Michigan State declared Miles Bridges ineligible Friday after an internal investigation revealed his family members had dinner with an agent, which is an NCAA violation.
A statement from the university Monday clarified that it discovered during its probe Bridges did not know his family members had a $40 dinner with an unnamed agent in the winter of the 2016-17 season, his freshman season.
MSU applied for reinstatement with the NCAA and was told Saturday afternoon that Bridges had been cleared to play the rest of the season. According to MSU, as part of his reinstatement process, Bridges was required to pay the value of the 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,” said Matt Larson, MSU’s associate athletic director for communications.
It is a separate incident from the ones mentioned in a Yahoo! Sports story published Friday morning, which cited expense reports from Christian Dawkins, the disgraced former middle man for NBA agent Andy Miller and his ASM Sports agency. Yahoo detailed two items on Dawkins’ ledger involving Bridges’ family from May 3, 2016: a $70.05 lunch at Redwood Lodge, and a second line item that read “ATM Withdrawl: Miles Bridges mom advance. $400.”
MSU determined those allegations were not true, according to the statement.
“(Compliance director) Jen Smith and our academic compliance office department and … the NCAA moved on it quickly,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said after Sunday’s win at Wisconsin. “There are reasons. But they cleared him to play, or I wouldn’t have played him. So he’s cleared to play.”
Cynthia Bridges has not returned a message, but talked with the Free Press in January 2017 about her son’s thoughts on dealing with agents.
“We do not talk about agents to him or anything,” she said. “He just wants to concentrate on his game, and he wants to win for coach Izzo.”
Asked after Sunday’s win if he took any extra benefits, Bridges said, “I haven’t. My mom hasn’t. So it’s as simple as that.”
The NCAA has been working with the FBI but does not have access to the federal documents, according to Yahoo.
Bridges, a Flint native, denied knowing Dawkins, who grew up in Saginaw. A second Yahoo report from Friday alleged Dawkins claimed in an email to Miller to have a “late night” meeting set up with Bridges in July 2016. Bridges said that meeting never took place.
Friday’s discovery is the second NCAA violation for MSU involving Bridges, the only ones involving Izzo’s program since at least June 2016.
Last fall, the Free Press discovered via a Freedom of Information Act request a minor infraction involving a FaceTime call from Draymond Green to Bridges from the Golden State Warriors locker room on May 27, 2015, and a second 1-minute conversation between the two on Sept. 12, 2015. Bridges was an uncommitted recruit at the time.
The NCAA determined MSU’s coaching staff did not direct Green to call Bridges on either occasion, and the organization determined “no further action should be taken by the NCAA enforcement staff in the matter.” However, Izzo and his staff were advised that “similar violations may result in additional recruiting and/or other penalties,” per the NCAA’s case summary.
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