Emoni Bates' Felony Charges to Be Dismissed; SF Reinstated by Eastern Michigan

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 13, 2022

FILE - Then-Memphis forward Emoni Bates looks on during the first half of a first-round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Boise State, on March 17, 2022, in Portland, Ore. Bates has officially transferred to Eastern Michigan. The school announced Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, that the 6-foot-9 guard will play for his hometown Eagles this season, nearly two months after Bates shared his plans on social media. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)
Emoni Bates (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

Eastern Michigan forward Emoni Bates reached a plea agreement that will see felony charges against him dropped and allow him to rejoin the Eagles' basketball program.

Steve Haney, Bates' attorney, told ESPN's Jeff Borzello and Pete Thamel on Thursday that Bates will plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of attempted illegal transportation of a weapon, which can also be dismissed if he completes a diversion program.

"It's my understanding he's actively being cleared by the school administration to return to campus today to resume his studies and his basketball career," Haney said. "I'm very pleased this matter has been resolved so Emoni can get back to school and join his teammates."

Eastern Michigan later confirmed Bates was reinstated:

Eastern Michigan Athletics @EMUAthletics

An official statement from Vice President/Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EMUEagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EMUEagles</a> <a href="https://t.co/jFcN53ECMr">pic.twitter.com/jFcN53ECMr</a>

Bates was arrested and charged with two felony counts—carrying a concealed weapon and altering ID marks on a firearm—following a Sept. 18 traffic stop in Superior Township, Michigan, per ESPN.

Haney said the felony charges will be formally dismissed next Wednesday during a hearing at Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

The Eagles are scheduled to play an exhibition game against Grand Valley on Oct. 27 and then have their regular-season opener against Wayne State on Nov. 7.

Bates' availability for those games hasn't been announced by EMU. The 6'10'' forward transferred to the MAC school in August after starting his college career at Memphis.

The 18-year-old Michigan native was a 5-star prospect and the No. 5 overall player in the 2021 college basketball recruiting class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Bates averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 threes and 1.3 assists across 18 appearances (13 starts) during his season at Memphis. He missed six weeks during the campaign with a back injury before returning for the NCAA tournament.

He became the first 5-star recruit to join a MAC basketball team when he opted to return to his hometown over transfer interest from Power Five programs.

"I love my city and coming home to do something special was big for me," Bates said. "I've known several of the guys on the team from playing together and competing. Having a strong relationship and bond with my teammates and coaching staff was important to me. I've been working really hard over the years, especially this summer, against great competition to continue to get better."

While his stock has dipped over the past year, he'll have an opportunity to shine at EMU as a ready-made MAC Player of the Year candidate for the Eagles.