USC head basketball coach Frank Martin made the media rounds on Thursday to discuss the arrival of high-profile Indiana product Brian Bowen, the former Louisville signee who never played for the Cardinals in the wake of the FBI investigation
Bowen was cleared by FBI officials, but federal investigations have alleged $100,000 was funneled to the Bowen family by an Adidas representative in exchange for steering the younger Bowen to Louisville and then upon his turning pro, that influence would continue with the expectation he would sign with certain agents and Adidas.
After an appearance on CBSSports.com, Martin met the local media where he talked at length about Bowen's arrival at USC.
"The way it’s been expressed to me is that the young man has been cleared by the FBI,” Martin said.
“If we thought in any way that that young man was still be investigated by the FBI, we wouldn’t be doing this.”
Martin says USC president Dr. Harris Pastides and athletics director Ray Tanner signed off on Bowen's enrollment which has started with the spring semester. Per NCAA transfer rules, Bowen would have to sit out two semesters before being eligible to play. In the meantime, Martin will defer to the Carolina compliance department, headed by Chance Miller, which will be
Martin was highly complimentary of the compliance department, headed by Chance Miller, saying that if there was any hesitation on that end, then Bowen is probably not a part of the USC program.
“I trust the people I work for and they wouldn’t have signed up for something that would have brought something negative,” Martin said.
“We obviously knew we were going to have to answer some questions. If we weren’t prepared to deal with that we wouldn’t have done it.”
Martin says the next step is for Bowen to apply for reinstatement by the NCAA so that his career can begin at some point. Bowen, who never played for Louisville, also never applied for reinstatement at that school. He will do that now, all the while knowing there are questions out there concerning what happened at Louisville and exactly what part, if any, he played in that. Martin though, says Bowen is a "phenomenal kid": who according to Martin, had a 3.5 grade point average at Louisville and comes in with a stellar academic record and plenty of people willing to vouch for him in spite of the controversy that he was caught up in at Louisville.
“We all got a chapter in our life that we’re not comfortable with," Martin said.
"The best part about life is when you can go on to the next chapter and start enjoying life again,” Martin said. “All he wants to do is be a college kid. He wants to enjoy it, wants to be a teammate. It’s all he’s ever done. I’m excited for him.”