EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University basketball player Miles Bridges has been cleared to play after a Yahoo Sports article named him in a federal corruption case that involves some of the biggest programs in college basketball.
Yahoo Sports reported Friday, after obtaining federal documents related to the ongoing investigation of NCAA basketball violations, that the investigation targets at least 20 Division I programs and more than 25 players.
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Here is a statement from MSU Interim Athletics Director Bill Beekman:
“After learning of the allegations in yesterday’s Yahoo! Sports article, our compliance office conducted a thorough internal review. Michigan State presented its findings to the NCAA, and Miles Bridges has been cleared for competition moving forward, beginning Sunday at Wisconsin.”
Here's some of the Yahoo Sports report:
The documents tie some of the biggest names and programs in the sport to activity that appears to violate the NCAA’s amateurism rules. This could end up casting a pall over the NCAA tournament because of eligibility issues. (NCAA officials declined a request for comment.) There’s potential impermissible benefits and preferential treatment for players and families of players at Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC, Alabama and a host of other schools. The documents link some of the sport’s biggest current stars – Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Duke’s Wendell Carter – to specific potential extra benefits for either the athletes or their family members. The amounts tied to players in the case range from basic meals to tens of thousands of dollars.
Here is a statement from head MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo:
"We are aware of the report in Yahoo! Sports. While we will cooperate with any and all investigations, we have no reason to believe that I, any member of our staff or student-athlete did anything in violation of NCAA rules."
Here is a statement from MSU interim athletic director Bill Beekman:
"MSU is committed to a culture of NCAA compliance. We have proactively contacted the NCAA and Big Ten Conference. As Coach Izzo has stated, there is no evidence that he or anyone in his program, including student-athletes, did anything impermissible."
Here is a statement from MSU Associate Head Coach Dwayne Stephens:
“Throughout my career as a college basketball coach, I’ve been committed to following all NCAA rules, including during the recruiting process. Any insinuation to the contrary is false. I’m confident that I have not committed a violation.”
The NCAA released a statement on the Yahoo report shortly after it was published:
“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”
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