Upon publication of the report, Bridges and many other players' eligibility was immediately in question. However the stellar sophomore played on Sunday afternoon and helped the Spartans clinch an outright Big Ten championship. That's because according to Michigan State, Bridges paid $40 to charity to resolve an NCAA violation discovered in the report, and he was subsequently cleared by the NCAA following an internal investigation by the university.
The university announced that a brief internal investigation determined that the allegations related to an accepted loan were not true. After the Spartans' win on Sunday, Bridges denied any wrongdoing and said neither he nor a member of his family took money from ex-agent Christian Dawkins, the man at the center of the FBI's investigation.
Here's what Michigan State had to say about the situation released in a statement via The Athletic.
"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."
So if you're keeping a running timeline at home, here's exactly the path Michigan State blazed to ensure Bridges played on Sunday.
- Michigan State conducted an internal investigation in wake of Yahoo! Report
- An NCAA violation was discovered when the university found out about a dinner with an agent
- Bridges was declared ineligible by Michigan State
- Bridges paid $40 to charity to resolve aforementioned NCAA violation
- NCAA, satisfied with $40 payment to charity, reinstates Bridges
An odd situation, no doubt. But for Michigan State, it's a hiccup of a scare that has been avoided -- which means second-ranked Sparty can march on towards their goals of winning an NCAA title at full strength.