Malik Pope-Ernie Anderson-SDSU-SJS
Malik Pope dunks against the San Jose State Spartans in the Jan. 9, 2018, SDSU-SJS game at Viejas Arena. Photo courtesy of Ernie Anderson/SDSU

San Diego State has cleared senior forward Malik Pope to return to the court Tuesday night against Boise State after an internal review showed he did not violate any NCAA rules, the school announced.

Pope was suspended for four days following a report that he accepted a loan from a former sports agent in 2015 when he was a sophomore with the understanding that he would sign with the agent when he turned pro.

“I, along with my family, have never had contact nor accepted anything from the two people named in the story,” Pope said in a statement. “Since the report, I have worked with our compliance office to show that I have not broken any NCAA rules.”

Pope was not named specifically in the story, but his name appeared on the list of players who allegedly received a cash advance from Andy Miller, an NBA agent at the time. According to that list, Pope received $1,400 sometime before the end of 2015.

“Malik and I spoke Friday morning after the story was first published,” SDSU’s men’s basketball coach Brian Dutcher said in a statement. “He told me immediately that he did not accept money and did not know either of these two individuals linked to the report.”

SDSU’s investigation found no evidence that Pope “received any impermissible benefits or violated any NCAA rules,” SDSU associate athletic director Andy Humes said in a statement. “The NCAA Enforcement staff has been apprised of the internal investigation’s findings.”

This season, Pope, who was withheld from Saturday’s game against San Jose State, has averaged 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds and was 51.3 percent from the field. He is scheduled to play his final regular-season game Saturday against Nevada.

Show comments