Brian Bowen, player at center of Louisville scandal, enters NBA Draft after being ruled ineligible

By Matt Ellentuck, SBNation

Brian Bowen, the player at the center of the Louisville basketball scandal that resulted in coach Rick Pitino’s firing, was ruled ineligible for at least the 2018-19 season based on benefits his family received. The announcement came from his current school, South Carolina, where he transferred with the hopes of playing college basketball a year removed from the scandal.

Following the ruling from the NCAA, Bowen decided to keep his name entered into the 2018 NBA Draft pool. That means he’ll forgo all four years of eligibility.

Bowen hasn’t played any games for either school he’s attended.

“I am completely devastated by the NCAA’s ruling,” Bowen said, according to a statement from South Carolina. “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.”

Bowen was a five-star recruit out of high school, but there’s no assurance he’ll be drafted in June. He’s denied any knowledge of his family receiving benefits. “I was shocked,” he said to ESPN in December. “I didn’t believe it at all. … They have to be lying. There’s no way I’m involved in it.”

“I enjoyed having Brian as part of our program and he will always be part of our family,” Gamecocks 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.”

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