MSU Recruit Reinstated

The NCAA restored the eligibility of Michigan State recruit Jason Richardson, selected last year as Michigan's top high school basketball player, the school announced Thursday.

The NCAA declared Richardson ineligible in July, saying the 6-foot-5 All-Stater from Saginaw Arthur Hill had not taken an acceptable core of high school courses.

Michigan State appealed and the NCAA granted Richardson partial eligibility in September, allowing him to practice and receive financial aid but not play.

Michigan State then reviewed Richardson's high school records and said it found a clerical error that had been overlooked when his transcript was transferred to Arthur Hill from the school he attended previously.

The university notified the NCAA, which restored Richardson's full eligibility on Thursday.

"It's been a long wait for us, but it's probably worth its while," coach Tom Izzo said Thursday night. "Justice prevailed."

Michigan State reached the NCAA tournament Final Four last season and is the preseason favorite to win a third consecutive Big Ten championship. Izzo said having Richardson on hand would give the Spartans "a shot in the arm" while two-time All-American Mateen Cleaves recovers from foot surgery.

"I think you're going to see not only a great player but a great kid in Jason Richardson," Izzo said.

Richardson, 18, said he was grateful for his teammates' support during the uncertainty of the past few months.

"Sometimes when you get things thrown at you, you've just got to handle them," he said.

Richardson is expected to play in Michigan State's exhibition opener Friday night against the California All-Stars.

"I'm ready to go out there and go crazy," he said.

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