I went into this in an article reply on here the other day, and it's a big enough topic to put into a Fanpost. In case some are not clear about whether Pitino was involved, or believe he was totally unaware of the Brian Bowen payola scandal as he claimed he was.
In my view, how you know that Pitino was involved, is per the U of L Adidas shoe contract. It was up for renewal in the summer of 2017. The university board approves it on the say so of the coach, who may prefer x or y brand for their players. What a surprise, Adidas got renewed >
There is no reason the Adidas employee involved in the scandal, James Gatto, ever would do so except to get the U of L shoe contract renewal and undoubtedly, a large bonus. Gatto is not going to risk his job and criminal charges (which is what happened), unless he is positive that Pitino will reciprocate the signing commitment from Bowen, with the shoe contract renewal. Quid Pro Quo.
(Supporting link, down article ; "Gatto, the sneaker company's
director of global sports marketing for basketball" >
He has to talk to Pitino to set that up. He's not risking the fallout to himself on osmosis, or just on hoping that Pitino will figure out who delivered Bowen to him.
There is no other motive for Gatto to be involved. If his interest is only about Bowen as an Adidas endorser, once he goes pro, Gatto doesn't care what school he signs with. He got involved with pushing Bowen to Louisville, obviously to get the U of L shoe contract renewed.
That comports with why the U of L board immediately fired Pitino and locked him out of his office, before hearing his side of the story. His involvement in the scandal was crystal clear, and they wanted to be able to make a showing to the NCAA of instant remedial action, to reduce the penalties ahead.
Then there is this kicker ;
Merl Code: Rick Pitino Knew of Brian Bowen Payment >