Miles Bridges Briefly Ruled Ineligible; Reinstated After Making $40 Donation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2018

Michigan State's Miles Bridges, right, shoots over Wisconsin's Ethan Happ during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Andy Manis/Associated Press

Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges played in Sunday's victory over the Wisconsin Badgers despite appearing in a Friday report from Pat Forde and Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports detailing some of the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball. 

The school offered clarification Monday to how Bridges was deemed eligible so quickly before playing in the win that clinched the Big Ten's regular-season title for Michigan State. Brendan F. Quinn of The Athletic passed along the school's statement acknowledging an NCAA violation but to a lesser degree as was reported in the Yahoo story:

"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. 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.

"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."

Quinn summarized the proceedings:

Brendan F. Quinn @BFQuinn

This helps clarify what "being cleared by the NCAA" meant. • Michigan State conducted its investigation after Yahoo report • A dinner with an agent was found to be a violation. • Bridges was declared ineligible by MSU • Bridges required to pay $40 • NCAA reinstated Bridges

This comes after Forde and Thamel cited documents saying Christian Dawkins—a runner for sports agent Andy Miller—withdrew $400 from an ATM to give to Bridges' mother.

For his part, Bridges said he was interviewed by Michigan State's compliance office but not the NCAA or FBI, per Quinn.

"I haven't [taken any money]. My mom hasn't. It's as simple as that," he said Sunday, per Dan Murphy of ESPN.com.

The reported $400 withdrawal to pay Bridges' mother wasn't the only time the playmaker appeared in the Yahoo report. Murphy noted it also included an email Dawkins sent to Miller detailing a trade that would mean Bridges and other Spartans players would eventually join their agency in exchange for a commitment from then-recruit Brian Bowen.

Bridges' eligibility is critical for a Spartans team looking to parlay its Big Ten regular-season championship into a conference tournament title and success in the NCAA tournament.

He averaged 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in his sophomore season while shooting 46.6 percent from the field as a highly regarded NBA prospect. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Bridges to go No. 10 overall to the New York Knicks in his most recent mock draft.


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