Auburn announced Wednesday that assistant basketball coach Ira Bowman, in his first season working at the school after coaching at Penn, has been suspended amid an investigation stemming from Jerome Allen’s testimony in the Quakers’ fraudulent admission case. Allen alleged that Bowman was involved in the scheme.
Allen, Penn’s former head basketball coach, has pleaded guilty to a federal charge stemming from his central role, testifying last week that he had taken approximately $300,000 from a Florida health-care executive to give the man’s son preferred athletic admissions priority at Penn.
Auburn, preparing to play in the Southeastern Conference tournament, issued a statement announcing the suspension, saying, “We continue to gather information regarding a situation that recently arose,’’ not mentioning the Florida federal court case where Bowman’s name came up in Allen’s testimony.
Allen testified that Bowman, his former Quakers teammate, then his assistant coach, had been brought into the scheme after Allen was let go by Penn, and that Bowman had been aware of it even before then. Bowman could not be reached for comment.
According to Law360.com, Allen testified that Bowman, who stayed on Penn’s staff after Allen was replaced by Steve Donahue in 2016, had been aware of Allen’s arrangement and that Allen suggested a separate account be set up, and that he gave Bowman a debit card for the account.
On Monday, Penn issued a statement saying, “We were extremely disappointed to learn that Jerome Allen, former head men’s basketball coach at Penn, accepted payments to recruit a potential student-athlete to Penn and concealed that conduct from the athletic department and university administration.
“Until Jerome’s testimony last week, we also were unaware that former assistant men’s basketball coach Ira Bowman had any relevant knowledge of the matter. The university has been cooperating fully with the government and the NCAA so that the matter is appropriately redressed.”
Allen had testified that in addition to taking money as Penn’s head coach, he had knowingly broken NCAA rules to work out the son privately, that he would be fired if Penn knew what he was doing.
“I put my whole career out there,’’ Allen testified, according to Law360.com.
Now, Bowman’s career is in jeopardy, too.