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Pitino Reportedly Didn’t Know About Adidas, Bowen Payout

Former Adidas consultant testified saying Pitino didn't know but his assistant did Former Adidas consultant T.

Former Adidas consultant testified saying Pitino didn’t know but his assistant did

Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified in federal court Thursday that former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino didn’t know about the plan to pay $100,000 to the father of a former recruit.

Gassnola told the court that Pitino was in the dark but, his assistant, Kenny Johnson, was the one who knew about the payout to Brian Bowen. Courier-Journal reports that Johnson was part of a small group of people who were aware of the scheme and that Gassnola kept the Bowen pay-to-play deal away from Pitino.

During the testimony, Gassnola implicated three people in the case: former Adidas consultant Merl Code, Adidas executive James “Jim” Gatto and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins.


Phone calls, text messages and additional evidence provided by the government further supported his claim.


Per Courier-Journal, earlier this year Gassnola pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and signed a cooperation agreement with the government.

Erin Ashey Simon is a writer, producer, host and contributor for The Shadow League. Host of Grass Routes Podcast and the NBA 2K League’s The Post Up, a former college athlete who passes the time playing flag football. Simon has previous work experience at Cycle Media, REVOLT TV, The Wall Street Journal, and more. Originally from New Jersey, Simon graduated from the University of Kentucky.