MSU: Miles Bridges reinstated by NCAA after making $40 payment

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Miles Bridges

East Lansing – When Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges was cleared to play Saturday morning by the NCAA, it was a quick turnaround after news surfaced just a day earlier about a potential problem with his eligibility.

The decision was announced by Michigan State, which said it conducted an internal review and that the NCAA cleared Bridges to play in the regular-season finale against Wisconsin on Sunday and beyond.

On Monday, Michigan State offered some clarification on the process.

“In the course of Friday’s internal investigation, while it was determined that the allegations detailed in the Yahoo Sports report were not true, the MSU compliance office did uncover an NCAA violation,” Michigan State said in a statement. “Per standard operating procedures, Miles Bridges was declared ineligible and MSU applied for reinstatement. On Saturday afternoon, MSU received word that Bridges had been reinstated by the NCAA.

“Last winter (2016-17), Bridges’ family members had dinner with an agent, without Bridges’ knowledge. As part of the reinstatement process, Bridges was required to pay $40 (value of dinner) to a charity of his choice.

“While it is not unusual for reinstatement cases to be handled within a day, Michigan State appreciates the NCAA taking swift action.”

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In reports published by Yahoo! Sports on Friday, Bridges and his mother, Cynthia, were referenced as part of the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. Documents reviewed by Yahoo! showed expense reports and emails of Christian Dawkins, an associate of former NBA agent Andy Miller.

In those documents, Dawkins referenced a $70.05 meal with Bridges’ parents and an “advance” of $400 for Bridges’ mom. In emails, Dawkins referenced attempting to meet with Bridges at a summer camp.

After Sunday’s victory at Wisconsin, Bridges said neither he nor his mother received any impermissible benefits.

“I haven’t, my mom hasn’t,” Bridges said. “It’s as simple as that.”

During his postgame press conference Sunday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talked about the fact MSU compliance found the alleged $400 payment never happened.

“There was one major issue with the $400 that we and they have found to be completely not true, as of what we know now,” Izzo said.

Bridges said he was nervous waiting to find out if he’d be able to play and while he said he was focused, it appeared Sunday as though it had an effect. Bridges scored just 10 points and was 3-for-15 shooting, including 0-for-7 from 3-point range. He did, however, have eight rebounds and made four free throws in the final minute.

Michigan State, which won the Big Ten championship outright, is the No. 1 seed in this week’s conference tournament and plays at noon Friday at Madison Square Garden.