Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Brian Bowen Will Remain in 2018 NBA Draft Amid NCAA Eligibility Issues

Brian Bowen Will Remain in 2018 NBA Draft Amid NCAA Eligibility Issues

Bowen attended the National Basketball Association draft combine earlier this month in Chicago, and most National Basketball Association executives told ESPN Bowen will likely go in the back end of the second round or undrafted. The news wasn't all bad for the Wildcats as his teammate, PJ Washington, announced he would return to UK.

The NCAA kept SC and talented transfer Brian Bowen in suspense until the final days before he had to make a crucial decision regarding his immediate future. The NCAA based its decision on alleged benefits received by the Bowen family at his former school Louisville and the governing body's transfer requirement of a year off the court.

Omari Spellman became the fourth Villanova underclassmen to leave the reigning national champions early for the NBA. He was suspended indefinitely in September following an FBI investigation that alleged his family received payments from Adidas prior to his commitment.

The team released a statement Wednesday explaining how Bowen's decision was related to the NCAA's ruling on his eligibility for next season and he reached the decision after conversations with team officials and his lawyer.

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The 6-foot-7 Bowen, from Saginaw, Michigan, transferred to SC in January following his suspension from Louisville amid the federal probe after news of an alleged payment involving the Cardinals and his father to get him to join that school. Bowen was not named in documents, but details made clear that investigators were referring to the freshman. The allegation, however, was enough to trigger the firing of longtime Louisville coach Rick Pitino. However, the NCAA's student-reinstatement committee determined that Bowen will have to sit all of next season.

The loss of Bowen continues the upheaval of last season's roster, including four players who chose to transfer and the departure of two graduate transfers - Frank Booker and Wesley Myers.

Setchen posted on Twitter that Bowen's case was "a tragedy of epic proportions. I'm grateful to USC and (coach) Frank Martin for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a Gamecock". "I can not express the magnitude of my dismay in the NCAA's "ruling" in this matter", Setchen tweeted. "We look forward to supporting him in the next steps of his career". I wish Brian had this opportunity.

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