Rick Pitino Asked by Louisville to Admit Agent Was Allowed to Attend Practice

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2018

Former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino talks to reporters during a news conference in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Pitino held the news conference in the wake of an NCAA decision in a sex scandal case that strips the Cardinals program of 123 victories, a national championship and $600,000 in post-season revenue. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

A court filing by the University of Louisville Athletic Association requests an admission from former Cardinals head basketball coach Rick Pitino that he allowed Christian Dawkins to attend a September practice before the agent was arrested during the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption.

On Tuesday, Justin Sayers of the Louisville Courier Journal reported ULAA lawyers made 53 "requests for admission" as part of their defense in Pitino's breach-of-contract lawsuit.

The connection between Pitino and Dawkins is tied to allegations of improper benefits provided to prized prospect Brian Bowen before his commitment to Louisville.

In September, ABC News (via ESPN.com) reported Dawkins told a cooperating witness he "helped funnel $100,000 to the family of recruit Brian Bowen" for a coach identified in court documents as Pitino.

The longtime Louisville coach, who led the program from 2001 until last October, told ESPN's Jay Bilas following his termination he passed a lie-detector test to determine his alleged involvement.

"I was asked two questions. And I said, 'I want you to ask me if any other recruits in my tenure were ever given anything.' And he [the polygraph examiner] said, 'That's not what we're here for. We're here for: Did you have any knowledge of the Bowen family getting any money? Did you have any knowledge of an Adidas transaction?'

"I answered 'absolutely not' on both questions and passed the lie-detector test. So I had no knowledge of any of this."

Bowen, who transferred to South Carolina and declared for the 2018 NBA draft in case he doesn't receive NCAA clearance, told ESPN's Outside The Lines he had no knowledge of the situation.

"I was shocked," Bowen said about his name coming up in the FBI investigation. "I didn't believe it at all. ... They have to be lying. There's no way I'm involved in it. I don't know anything about it."

Pitino is seeking more than $35 million from the university in a federal lawsuit.

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