Full Court Press: The trial surrounding the Adidas pay-to-play recruiting scandal began this week in New York. Brian Bowen Sr. is accused of receiving $100,000 from Adidas in order to secure his son Brian Bowen Jr.’s commitment to play for the University of Louisville, an Adidas sponsored school. The elder Mr. Bowen testified Thursday, says ESPN, Yahoo Sports and The Washington Post.
A Bowen family friend Christian Dawkins is being charged with wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, along with James Gatto of Adidas and consultant Merl Code. All three pleaded not guilty. They don’t seem to be fighting whether the payments happened or not, but rather an NCAA violation is just that and not breaking federal law. The Department of Justice says the three coordinated illegal benefits to prospective players or their families and as such, defrauded the universities and because the money crossed state lines, constitutes a federal crime.
In his testimony, Mr. Bowen said there were quite a few schools willing to pay his son for his services. He says he heard, through Mr. Dawkins, Arizona was willing to pay $50,000, Creighton $100,000, Oklahoma State offered $150,000 and extra money to help with housing and a car and Texas offered housing support. He said he didn’t recall anything from Oregon.
Mr. Bowen has been granted immunity. He became emotional during his testimony when asked why his son wasn’t currently in college.
He said his son initially favored Arizona.
Louisville offered him a scholarship as a freshman, but they’d been off the radar. We hadn’t really talked to them.
Mr. Code and Mr. Dawkins discussed former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s knowledge of the deal with FBI agents, reports ESPN.
Code: If you ask Rick Pitino if he knows what happened [with Bowen], he’d say he doesn’t know. He probably doesn’t.
Dawkins: He does know some. He doesn’t know everything … plausible deniability.
Earlier this week, ESPN wrote, “the NCAA hoops scandal will likely spread as trial starts,” and it was right about that. USA Today note Mr. Gatto’s attorneys implicated Oregon in the race for Brian Bowen Jr., offering “an astronomical amount of money.” Oregon says it didn’t do it and has no record of any offer; Mr. Bowen says he does not recall any offer coming from Oregon. Here’s part of their statement:
We have reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the case to ascertain whether any evidence exists to substantiate this claim. They have not yet responded to our inquiry. To date, the UO has never been contacted by federal authorities or any other parties involved in this or any other current criminal or civil case related to recruiting in men’s college basketball.
And Bleacher Report picked up on a Courier Journal report from the trial asserting University of Louisville associate head coach Kenny Johnson made a $1,300 payment to Mr. Bowen Sr. and former assistant coach Jordan fair paid $900 to an unnamed recruit.
So it’s spreading and likely will continue as the trial resumes on Tuesday.
Hedging Your Bets: John Schnatter had his day in a Delaware court on Monday, seeking documents and emails related to his departure in July, says CNBC.
This is like the Law and Order edition of “In Other News …” this week.
In July, Mr. Schnatter stepped down as chairman after reports surfaced he used a racial slur on a conference call. He’s saying he felt forced into making that decision and sensed he would have been voted out had he not stepped down.
USA Today says in his testimony, he denies directing the slur at anyone and that he never criticized protesting NFL players in 2017.
He says, “the press, in short order, turned me into a racist.”
But during cross-examination, Papa John’s attorneys played a four-second clip showing him using the word.
Yahoo Finance says Mr. Schnatter admitted to having NDAs with two women. He declined to comment or elaborate. Probably because that’s the whole point behind an NDA.
One of the women, Lesil Workman, sued Mr. Schnatter and the company in 1999, alleging sexual harassment. The other involves an accusation that an unnamed woman misappropriated funds from Papa John’s. No word on Mr. Schnatter’s connection there.
Though headquartered in Louisville, Papa John’s, along with half of the corporations in America and 60 percent of Fortune 500 businesses are incorporated in Delaware, where according to Mental Floss, businesses can legally game the system with lower tax rates and no state corporate income tax. The state doesn’t tax profits on royalty payments, trademarks or copyrights, either. And the Delaware Court of Chancery allows companies to resolve disputes with a judge rather that a jury, so you can get things settled quickly.
So when it’s time for In Other News … Inc., we’re going to Delaware.
Meanwhile, a hedge fund put together by California teachers put a healthy investment into Papa John’s. Legion Partners now controls more than 5 percent of the company, says The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, making it one of the largest shareholders in the company.
They see tremendous value in the company, which is what we talked about here a few weeks ago. The company is either going to bounce back or it’s going to completely tank, making it worth the risk for the cost of the share. Legion says it wants the company to knock it off with all the shenanigans and just make pizza.
Also, Kyle Ware just learned what a cruise collection is, says “In Other News …”
I wish I were more savvy about these things. My wardrobe is divided mostly into things to wear when it’s hot outside or things to wear when it’s not as hot outside, which 80 percent of the time is a black T-shirt that’s either under a jacket or on its own. Also, there is the crossover nonseasonal category thing that requires a suit.
Ms. Lawrence has been the face of Dior, or one of them, since 2012. This year’s collection has an equestrian theme, or at least the campaign does. And I say that because there’s a horse in the photos.
Sort of. See for yourself.
You know how you know what great art is? It’s leaving in the thing most of us might consider a mistake. Like looking at those shots, I would say, “Oh, hell. I’ve cropped most of the horse out and it wasn’t looking at me besides.” And then I’d spend the rest of the afternoon trying to get a shot with the horse looking at me. “He’s so big, I better back up.”
This section is really showing me to be a thick piece of lumber.
There was another sighting of Ms. Lawrence with her boyfriend this week and that has everyone tizzied up. And I’m guessing that what led Cosmopolitan to profile “the deal with Jennifer Lawrence’s new boyfriend, Cooke Maroney.” They say tracking down information on him was really tough, what with him not being famous.
But that’s flawed, for a couple of reasons. First, he’s not famous, but he still has a pretty solid public profile as a big deal art dealer. And second, everything they talk about here is what people were writing four months ago. Why, they could have just visited the mighty “In Other News…” column back on June 8 and she could have lifted, I don’t know, seven sources from me.
The Mandalorian: The much-anticipated Jon Favreau “Star Wars” series was announced this week, along with the image above. It’s part of the coming Disney streaming service coming in 2019.
It’s a “lone gunman” kind of deal, so I’m thinking it’s like Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name running around in Boba Fett armor and if it’s like that even a little, they can have my money. That’s pretty much the series my 10-year-old self pitched to anyone who would listen after “Empire Strikes Back” came out, so I’ll be happy to see that come to life.
And finally, a special treat for you tonight to get your Halloween on early: Kentucky Shakespeare is reading “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” tonight at the Daniel Ruckriegel Center in Jeffersontown, brought to you by the Jeffersontown Arts Program. Written and directed by me and the cast is fantastic. It’s 90 minutes long, free to attend and starts at 7, recommended for ages 13 and up. Would love to see you there.
And throughout October, you can see us recreate “War of the Worlds” and on October 23, we return to Locust Grove for our annual reading of Frankenstein. We’ve got you covered in October, is what I’m saying.
See you next week.