Brian Bowen II will be able to proceed with his action against Adidas. A federal judge in South Carolina denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss the complaint against them. The decision includes Bowen’s claims against parties outside of Adidas related to the case.
College basketball fans will recognize Bowen’s name from the initial fallout of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball. It was alleged that representatives of Adidas, as well as others, offered to pay Bowen’s father $100,000 in exchange if the five-star recruit committed to Louisville. After Bowen was deemed ineligible by Louisville he attempted to transfer to South Carolina, but the NCAA found him to be ineligible for the 2018-19 season. This forced the young player to Australia for a year and he is now playing on a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers.
In the ruling, which occurred last week, Joseph Anderson Jr., U.S. District Court Judge, denied Adidas’ motions. The company’s attorneys made the argument that Adidas themselves were a “victim” in the pay-for-play scheme. Mullins McLeod, an attorney for Bowen, said that the argument had no, “merit”.
The Bowen situation isn’t just a Louisville issue either. In October of 2018, the senior Bowen testified in court that he had received thousands of dollars from Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola, Christian Dawkins, and Chris Rivers. On top of that claim, Bowen Sr., also claimed that multiple schools offered money for his son’s commitment. Arizona, Creighton, Oklahoma State, and Texas allegedly offered money to the Bowen family according to the testimony.
James Gatto, an Adidas employee, Merl Code, an Adidas consultant, and Christan Dawkins, a former NBA runner, were convicted of multiple felony charges. The charges included wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The lawsuit from Bowen is against Adidas America, Adidas employees Chris Rivers, Gatto, former Adidas consultants Code, Gassnola, as well as Dawkins, and financial manager Munish Sood. It was filed back in November 2018.
Brian Bowen is currently averaging 15.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League.