Report: Christian Dawkins tried to ‘close deal’ with MSU for Brian Bowen

February 24, 2018 GMT

The associate of a former NBA agent at the center of a federal investigation tried to swing a deal that would send Saginaw native Brian Bowen to Michigan State, a report released late Friday night by Yahoo Sports said.

Christian Dawkins, the runner for agent Andy Miller, said in an email to Miller on July 25, 2016, that he had contacted Michigan State associate head coach Dwayne Stephens and then Indiana assistant Chuck Martin regarding Bowen, according to documents obtained in the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption that Yahoo was allowed to examine.

“Dwayne Stephens – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Michigan State. Trying to do a trade deal for (Spartans) Gary Harris, Miles Bridges, etc,” the email read.

It would appear Dawkins’ intention was to attempt secure a deal where a commitment to Michigan State from Bowen would result in Harris and Bridges signing with Miller’s agency, ASM Sports. Bridges had already enrolled at Michigan State in June of 2016 and Harris was already in the NBA. He has been represented by Aaron Mintz of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) since leaving Michigan State at the end of his sophomore season in 2014.

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Bowen, the cousin of former Michigan State star Jason Richardson, was a top recruiting target for Michigan State. But as the process was drawn out, Michigan State backed off a bit in its pursuit and Bowen eventually signed with Louisville last June. However, he was suspended in the fall when the FBI investigation showed his family allegedly received $100,000. Bowen has since transferred to South Carolina but has not played.

Stephens is in his 15th season as an assistant at Michigan State and his sixth as associate head coach. He’s also coached at Marquette (1999-2003) with former MSU assistant and Indiana coach Tom Crean and was an assistant at Oakland from 1997-99.

The native of Ferndale played four seasons at Michigan State (1990-93). He was the team MVP in 1992 and team captain as a senior in 1993.

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Michigan State referred questions to a statement made by head coach Tom Izzo earlier on Friday when asked about the latest report.

“We are aware of the report in Yahoo! Sports,” Izzo said in the statement. “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.”

In Yahoo’s first report released Friday morning, it revealed spreadsheets and expense reports turned in by Dawkins. In those reports, it showed Dawkins spent $70.05 for a meal with Bridges’ parents and $400 as an “advance” to Bridges’ mom, Cynthia.

The story released Friday night by Yahoo also shows that Bridges was one of Dawkins’ primary targets in the summer of 2016.

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“Documents indicate that Dawkins spent considerable time in contact with the Bridges family and with Spartans assistant coach Dwayne Stephens,” the Yahoo report said. It added that Dawkins said in emails that he planned to be in touch with Cynthia Bridges and on July 27, 2016, Dawkins emailed Miller about a “late night” meeting arranged with Miles Bridges.

The next day, Dawkins sent another email from the Nike Skills Academy in Los Angeles where Bridges and three other players linked to Dawkins — Edmond Sumner (Xavier), Flint native Monte Morris (Iowa State) and Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson) – were taking part. The report says Dawkins referred to the players as “our guys.”