The NCAA has issued new allegations against Rick Pitino in the Louisville offenses case involving the recruiting of Brian Bowen when Pitino was a Cardinals coach. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, which obtained UL’s response to the NCAA’s amended Notice of Allegations, the source of the new allegations is due to Merl Code’s “Black Market” book, which portrays the former coach of Louisville as an accomplice in a bribery scheme that Bowen – a five-star recruit from the Class of 2017 – and Adidas
Code, who has already spent time in prison for his role, released his book earlier this year. In it, he wrote that Pitino was well aware of an offer of $100,000 to Bowen’s father and authorized it. The Courier-Journal was first to report news of the NCAA’s Complex Cases Unit submitting the additional allegations after obtaining information through an open records request. The CCU had issued its original Amended Notice of Allegations last September and will be decided by the independent liability resolution process.
“As a consultant for Adidas, I did not act on my own, and I could not have done so,” Code wrote in his book. “I simply presented the proposal to my bosses, who did the same after consulting Rick Pitino, and the response that came back from above was, ‘Rick wants our help. Do it.”
In February, Tim Sullivan reported that Pitino’s lawyer had tried to stop the publication of “Black Market”. However, these efforts were unsuccessful as it still released in March. So far, Pitino – now Iona’s trainer – hasn’t commented much on the book, but he has denied Code’s claims.
“For the 10th time, I have no idea who Merle Code is and why he uses me and others to be relevant,” Pitino said in February. “It has already been proven under oath by Brian Bowen’s father, Christian Dawkins and TJ Gassonola of my non-involvement.”
Pitinoin which he denied knowing anything about Adidas paying Brian Bowen’s family.
Meanwhile, Louisville also denies Code’s allegations and called the allegations “triple hearsay.”
“Reasonably prudent persons would not rely on the statements made in the Code book to guide their conduct in serious matters, because Code has been found guilty of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud related about which the CCU is relying on,” reads Louisville’s response, according to USA Today.
“…Including sensational allegations in his book, regardless of their accuracy, is an obvious route to goose book sales (and Code revenue) and, perhaps in the eyes of some, lessening his culpability for the crimes he committed and rehabilitate his image.”