No Doubt Michigan State’s Tom Izzo & Miles Bridges Fine After Latest Media Salvo
East Lansing, MI
My critics often decry that I am too close to Spartan athletics to be objective. My years of journalistic work tell that I am close and I am also unafraid to tell the truth. That is why when I read the latest Yahoo report on the FBI scandal that is going to rock college basketball, I was unfazed. Many seemed to instantly panic as my phone and email contacts wondered what has happened.
Unlike the ESPN work that in the opinion of Spartan Nation was Journalistic Malpractice as it pertained to Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio, the Yahoo report was based on actual documents obtained by the FBI. But there was a lot left out.
According to Yahoo, “Documents and bank records obtained in discovery during the federal investigation into the underbelly of college basketball detail in meticulous fashion the expenditures of prominent former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and his agency, ASM Sports.” READ THE ENTIRE REPORT HERE.
Christian Dawkins alleges that he had dinner with Izzo. That is not a violation of NCAA rules or a crime. BUT Spartan Nation has reason to doubt that the dinner never happened and that Izzo has NEVER had dinner with the disgraced Dawkins.
As far as the accusation that Bridges parents had dinner with an agent valued at $70 and subsequently was given a loan for $400, if true those are violations. None that would hinder Miles Bridges eligibility, but the family could be forced to pay back. But with Spartan Nation NOT believing the claims that Dawkins had dinner with Izzo, that leaves room for doubt here.
The alleged dinner happened May 3, 2016. Bridges had already signed his National Letter of Intent with Michigan State. A star player of Bridges caliber would have commanded much more than $400 to sign with a program if he were looking to violate the NCAA rules.
While not acceptable or an act of integrity, did Dawkins lie on an expense report? He has a track record of being untruthful. He was terminated by a previous employer for less than stellar acts of integrity.
According to an October 2, 2017, ESPN article, “During negotiations to end Dawkins’ employment, the lawsuit said, IMA calculated that Dawkins owed the firm $61,700 for improper expenditures.” YOU CAN READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.
Spartan Nation would NEVER cover up violations by the Spartans, but it is journalistic malfeasance to report on the Yahoo story and not to question the integrity of the man whose records it is based on.
Tom Izzo and Athletic Director Bill Beekman issued this statement moments ago:
Michigan State head men’s 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.”
Michigan State Interim Athletics 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.”
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