A University of Louisville men's basketball transfer has been ruled ineligible to suit up for the Gamecocks next season, according to a statement from the school's athletic department.
The NCAA's ruling, transfer Brian Bowen will be, "at a minimum," ineligible for the 2018-2019 basketball season based on alleged benefits Bowen's family received while he was a student-athlete at Louisville, in addition to a requirement that he serve his transfer year in residence at USC.
Before this announcement was made, the former McDonald's All-American declared for the NBA Draft in April without an agent. He will now remain in the NBA Draft. The Gamecocks released this statement Wednesday afternoon:
The NCAA has informed the University of South Carolina that, at a minimum, Brian Bowen will be ineligible for the 2018-19 basketball season based on alleged benefits received by the Bowen family at his former institution and his requirement to serve a transfer year in residence at South Carolina.
After receiving this information, the University continued to work closely with Bowen and his attorney, Jason Setchen, over the course of the last few days to provide him with as much information as possible regarding the eligibility ruling so that he could make an informed decision on his NBA draft status. After taking time to assess the information provided by the NCAA, Bowen has decided to remain in the 2018 NBA draft, he announced on Wednesday.
“I am completely devastated by the NCAA’s ruling,” Bowen said. “All I ever wanted to do was continue my education and play college basketball, however, after learning of the ruling, and discussing it with my family and attorney, I’ve decided to pursue my professional career. I’m grateful to the University of South Carolina and Frank Martin for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a Gamecock.”
“I appreciate the hard work of our staff who worked on behalf of Brian on his eligibility status,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said. “Brian is a hard-working, bright and determined young man who saw himself as a teammate, even though he couldn’t play on game day. We look forward to supporting him in the next steps of his career.”
“I enjoyed having Brian as part of our program and he will always be part of our family,” South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said. “He is an outstanding person, who took his academic studies seriously and wants to earn his college degree. Brian dreamt of playing college basketball and selflessly contributed to helping his team get better each day while he was here. Participating in college basketball gives young people a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow while enjoying the surroundings being part of a University. I wish Brian had this opportunity. We will continue to support Brian and do everything we can to help him reach his goals. Brian is a proud Gamecock and will be one forever. I hope nothing but the best for him in the future.”
Bowen arrived at USC after being suspended indefinitely by Louisville in light of the FBI probe regarding corruption in college basketball. According to the probe, Bowen’s father was reportedly offered $100,000 from an agent and a representative from ADIDAS. Later, Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino was fired "for cause" by the university. The school eventually granted his release.
Bowen, a 6-foot-7 McDonald’s All-American, has no intention of signing with an agent, according to the report. Like Silva, Bowen will have until June 11 to withdraw his name from the draft in order to return to South Carolina.
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