Michigan State star Miles Bridges was briefly ruled ineligible by the NCAA following Friday’s bombshell report by Yahoo! Sports further detailing the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. The university’s compliance office self-reported the violation and Bridges was quickly reinstated before missing a game, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
What did Bridges have to do to get back on the court? He had to pay back the value of a meal an agent allegedly bought for his parents without his knowledge to the charity of his choice.
Documents recovered from the federal probe leaked by Yahoo! included the following note:
May 3, 2016: “Redwood Lodge. Lunch w/Miles Bridges Parents. $70.05.”
Bridges paid back the money and was eligible to play once again. Goodman notes it was only a $40 dinner Bridges reimbursed to charity.
This is actually standard operating procedure for the NCAA
16.01.1 Eligibility Effect of Violation. [A] A student-athlete shall not receive any extra benefit. Receipt by a student-athlete of an award, benefit or expense allowance not authorized by NCAA legislation renders the student-athlete ineligible for athletics competition in the sport for which the improper award, benefit or expense was received. If the student-athlete receives an extra benefit not authorized by NCAA legislation, the individual is ineligible in all sports.
———16.01.1.1 Restitution for Receipt of Impermissible Benefits. [A] Unless otherwise noted, for violations of Bylaw 16 in which the value of the benefit is $100 or less, the eligibility of the student-athlete shall not be affected conditioned upon the student-athlete repaying the value of the benefit to a charity of his or her choice. The student-athlete, however, shall remain ineligible from the time the institution has knowledge of receipt of the impermissible benefit until the student-athlete repays the benefit. For violations of Bylaw 16 in which there is no monetary value to the benefit, violations shall be considered institutional violations per Constitution 2.8.1; however, such violations shall not affect the student-athlete’s eligibility. (Adopted: 11/1/01, Revised: 8/5/04)
Bridges scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds as MSU knocked off Wisconsin on Sunday to win the Big Ten title outright.
The $40 Bridges’ donated to charity might hurt his pocket right now, but it won’t be that way for long. The sophomore is a projected lottery pick in June’s NBA draft. Of course, Bridges would have been a lottery pick last year, but made the surprising decision to return to college.
The Spartans will begin the Big Ten tournament on Friday as the No. 1 overall seed against winner of Maryland vs. Wisconsin.
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