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UC Santa Barbara coach Joe Pasternack linked to college basketball probe in testimony

Testimony from the father of a top college basketball recruit has linked UC Santa Barbara coach Joe Pasternack to the federal investigation into bribery and corruption in the sport.

Brian Bowen Sr. testified Thursday that would-be agent Christian Dawkins told him Arizona would pay $50,000 through Pasternack if Brian Bowen Jr. attended the school.

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Dawkins and two other men are on trial in U.S. District Court in New York, accused of illicit payments to recruits and their families. It’s the first trial resulting from the investigation that became public last year and shook the sport with the arrest of four assistant coaches, including Tony Bland of USC.

Pasternack, who worked as an assistant coach at Arizona from 2011 to 2017, hasn’t been charged.

In response to messages to Pasternack and UC Santa Barbara athletic director John McCutcheon about the testimony, the school said: “UC Santa Barbara has not been contacted by any of the federal investigators involved in the college basketball trial in New York City. At this time, we are focused on and excited about the upcoming season.”

Pasternack guided UC Santa Barbara to a 23-9 record last season, tied for second in the Big West Conference.

Another former Arizona assistant coach, Book Richardson, worked on the school’s staff with Pasternack and was among those the FBI arrested in September 2017. Richardson is scheduled for trial in April.

During Thursday’s testimony, Bowen Sr. alleged Dawkins conveyed offers of cash and benefits from several other schools, including Oklahoma State and Texas.

Bowen Jr., a five-star recruit, ended up picking Louisville. He never played a game for the school after his name was connected to the federal investigation.

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