Brian Bowen is not going down without a fight. The recruit in the center of the college hoops pay-to-play scheme has filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against Adidas and the individuals involved in funneling money to his father for him to attend Louisville. At the college hoops trial last month, Bowen’s father testified that his son has no knowledge of those payments, which rendered him ineligible by NCAA rules.
Bowen, now playing for the Sydney Kings in Australia, is seeking unspecified damages and also wants to ban Adidas from sponsoring Division 1 men’s basketball programs.
“Adidas has thus far infiltrated college basketball with complete impunity,” Bowen’s lead attorney Mullins McLeod wrote in a statement. “It is now time for them to answer for what they have done and to suffer the consequences of their corporate misconduct. Brian is an exceptional young man who is determined to right this wrong and to do his part to help free other student athletes from corporate corruption that has no place in college basketball.”
As Adam Zagoria notes, the complaint went even further, comparing Adidas’ exploitation of student athletes to slavery.
Bowen's complaint uses the terms 'exploitation' and 'slave labor' in discussing Adidas' relationship with student-athletes pic.twitter.com/R5IqKSxjmZ
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) November 19, 2018
As Zagoria also notes, Bowen’s attorneys will also have the chance to conduct discovery against coaches from Kansas, Louisville, NC State, and other Adidas schools. Bill Self is even listed in the complaint:
Bill Self is the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Kansas. On information and belief, Coach Self was aware of a bribe payment made to the legal guardian of Kansas recruit Silvio De Sousa by Adidas and communicated with Defendants Gatto and Gassnola about it.