Unsealed indictment says Pitino ‘agreed’ to call Adidas executive about payment to recruit
Rick Pitino allegedly "agreed" to call Adidas executive Jim Gatto to request that money be sent to the family of Brian Bowen, according to an indictment recently unsealed in the federal bribery case.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Rick Pitino allegedly "agreed" to call Adidas executive Jim Gatto to request that money be sent to the family of Brian Bowen, according to an indictment recently unsealed in the federal bribery case.
Christian Dawkins, a sports agent with ties to the AAU circuit, said in a conversation obtained by an FBI wiretap that he asked "Coach-2," now widely reported to be Pitino, to call Gatto and "request that (Adidas) provide the money requested by the family of the student athlete, which Coach-2 agreed to do."
While the indictment doesn't provide any tangible proof of Pitino's knowledge of the payments, it does show that Dawkins claimed that Pitino had an active role in funneling money to Bowen's family as a part of his recruitment to U of L. A previous FBI complaint had stated that Dawkins asked Pitino to call Gatto and ask for the money to be sent to Bowen's family, but the unsealed indictment now says that Pitino "agreed" to do so.
Steve Pence, the attorney for Pitino, said Wednesday, "there is zero corroboration anywhere that conversation took place ... That is a lie."
Pence said federal investigators reviewed Dawkins' phone calls from their wiretap and looked at Pitino's phone records.
"I can guarantee you (Dawkins) never had this phone conversation with him," Pence said. "In time, all of this is going to come out. It always does."
Dawkins, who had ties to former Louisville forward Jaylen Johnson back when he played for Dawkins' AAU team, has been indicted on four counts of wire fraud. He was fired by sports agency ASM Sports for using an NBA player's credit card to run up approximately $42,000 in unauthorized charges in less than a year, according to Yahoo.
The FBI says Dawkins and three others arranged for payments of $250,000 to three different high school basketball players.
Below is the full indictment just unsealed:
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