Brian Bowen Sr. testified in court Tuesday that he received $1,300 from former Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson during the recruitment process of his son, Brian Bowen II.
Text messages revealed in court show Bowen Sr. and Johnson had planned to meet up in August 2017. Bowen Sr. asked Johnson if he wanted to “get together to square up.” Johnson replied, “OK, call you later on.”
Bowen Sr. said Johnson came to this residence, and the $1,300 was exchanged.
The development is the latest in the trial regarding the recruitment of Bowen II. Bowen Sr. is accused of accepting $100,000 from Adidas to send his son to Louisville. The younger Bowen was ruled ineligible by Louisville in October after the scandal broke and later briefly transferred to South Carolina before deciding to enter the NBA draft and being bypassed.
According to Bowen Sr., the offer to attend Louisville was originally between $60,000 and $80,000. He previously testified it was increased to $100,000 because Adidas paid Billy Preston that amount to attend Kansas.
Bowen Sr. said Tuesday that Johnson initially was shocked at the request to give money and refused to do it. It was during their second meeting that he said the exchange was made.
“He made it pretty clear this was a one-time deal for him,” Bowen Sr. said.
Former runner Christian Dawkins — who worked for an agent — is a defendant in the current case and charged with felony wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Dawkins was said to have facilitated the meeting between Bowen Sr. and Johnson.
Bowen Sr. also testified that he and Dawkins used multiple phones to communicate, including one device Bowen Sr. referred to as his “bat phone.” Text messages and phone calls between the two were shared in an attempt to prove they were concerned about being found out by the NCAA. Bowen Sr. said he was not, though he testified he ditched the “bat phone” when the FBI interviewed him on Sept. 26, 2017.
Bowen Sr., who has been granted immunity in the case, detailed additional money he received: $8,000 from then-head coach Shane Heirman for Bowen II to play at La Lumiere School (Indiana), $5,000 to play for the Nike-sponsored program Mean Streets and $4,000 from an Adidas executive and $20,000 from an Adidas consultant to play for an Adidas-sponsored program, the Michigan Mustangs.
Bowen Sr. testified last week that Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack (now head coach at UC Santa Barbara) offered $50,000, Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans offered $150,000 cash, $8,000 for a car and additional money to purchase a house, Creighton assistant Preston Murphy (now head coach at UNC Asheville) offered $100,000 and a “good job, a lucrative job,” and Texas assistant Mike Morrell offered to help with housing.
Pressed about accepting $3,000 from an Oregon assistant on an unofficial visit, Bowen Sr. replied, “I don’t recall that.” He said the same when asked about an offer from UCLA.
The younger Bowen is currently playing professionally in Australia.