South Carolina coach Frank Martin is defending his decision to let five-star recruit Brian Bowen join the program in the wake of the FBI investigation that determined Adidas paid $100,000 to Bowen’s family to secure the player’s commitment to Louisville.
Bowen has repeatedly insisted there was no wrongdoing on his part despite Louisville initially suspending him and later announcing he wouldn’t play for the school. South Carolina announced Bowen’s addition to the program on Wednesday.
Martin said South Carolina’s compliance department investigated Bowen’s situation and cleared him to join the program.
“When I started doing my legwork, every single person I talked to that has had any dealing with that young man or that family speaks about what a great, great kid he is,” Martin told CBS Sports on Thursday. “He didn’t beat a girl up, he hasn’t raped anybody, hasn’t flunked 10 different drug tests. He’s a good kid. He isn’t a flunkie.”
–Auburn sophomore center Austin Wiley will not be eligible to play for the remainder of the season and won’t be eligible to return until the 2018-19 season, the NCAA announced Thursday.
The decision to sideline Wiley came after an internal investigation by the school related to recruiting, benefits and agent-related activity that led to a federal case against former Tigers assistant coach Chuck Person.
The federal complaint states Person received $91,500 in bribes from a Pittsburgh-based financial advisor and gave $11,000 to the mother of a “Player-1” and $7,500 to the mother of a “Player-2”. “Player-1” is believed to be Wiley’s teammate Danjel Purifoy and “Player-2” is believed to be Wiley. A co-defendant, Rashan Michel, also claimed to give $5,000 to the mother of “Player-2.”
–Pittsburgh senior forward Ryan Luther will miss the rest of the season due to a stress reaction in his right foot, the school announced Thursday.
Luther leads the Panthers in rebounding (10.1) and is second in scoring (12.7) but has missed the past seven games due to the injury. It is the second straight season in which he missed substantial time because of an injury to the foot. Luther, who missed 12 games in 2016-17 due to injury, indicated he will seek a medical hardship from the NCAA.
“Ryan’s injury has not responded as well as we had hoped and our medical team has recommended shutting him down for the remainder of the season,” Pitt coach Kevin Stallings said in a statement. “I know Ryan is frustrated with the injuries to the foot the past two years but everyone involved agrees that it is in his best interest to rest the foot and allow it adequate time to make a complete recovery.”
–Field Level Media