Josh Kendall

Ray Tanner on Brian Bowen: 'I think we are going to have some clarity'

What Brian Bowen likes about Columbia, USC

Brian Bowen speaks at the NBA combine on May 18, 2018, in Chicago.
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Brian Bowen speaks at the NBA combine on May 18, 2018, in Chicago.

South Carolina hopes to know something about Brian Bowen’s eligibility in the next 24 hours, Gamecocks athletics director Ray Tanner told The State here Tuesday afternoon.

“I think we are going to have some clarity,” Tanner said during the first day of the conference’s annual spring meetings. “I have some tidbits of information that there is a possibility that we will have some updated information.”

South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin also is “optimistic,” Martin said.

“I’m on call. That’s about all I can say,” Martin told The State. “I’ve said this from the word go, I have unbelievable faith in our compliance, and our compliance believes in that young man. That’s where my optimism comes from.”

Bowen, the 6-foot-7 former five-star prospect, transferred to South Carolina from Louisville in the offseason but has yet to play because of a recruiting scandal that led to him being ruled ineligible for the 2017-2018 season. The NCAA still hasn’t announced if Bowen will be eligible for all or part of the 2018-2019 season, which is part of the reason Bowen chose to enter his name into the 2018 NBA draft and attend the NBA combine. If he is going to play at South Carolina next season, Bowen must remove his name from the draft by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

“My personal opinion is everyone else that was under that umbrella has been cleared or given penalties and cleared,” Martin said. “Brian is the only one that hasn’t, so I felt that he’d get to a place that whatever penalty there was going to be, that would be made available and he would at one time be eligible to play college basketball. He wants to be in college. He’s a 3.67 student. Getting a degree is something that’s important to him, but we’ll see.”

Bowen hosted a basketball recruit in Columbia this weekend, Martin said.

“That’s how much he wants to be here,” Martin said.

When the NCAA makes its final decision, it will notify South Carolina’s compliance office, which then will reach out to Tanner, Martin and the Bowen family.

“He’s got to make a decision on what his future is going to be,” Tanner said. “I’d love for him to have all the information he needs to make that decision. He’s been fantastic as a student-athlete, and I’d love for him to have the information he needs to decide his future. We are hopeful that he is going to get some information in a timely fashion. I’m hopeful.”

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