College Basketball

From Staff and Wire Reports

Former Middle Tennessee State basketball coach Bruce Stewart and two assistants are accused of paying players and trying to bribe a recruit in NCAA charges made public Wednesday.

The NCAA alleges violations of eight rules and three codes of ethical conduct between 1987 and 1991, years when the Blue Raiders went to two NCAA tournaments and one NIT.

Several of the violations occurred more than once, the NCAA charges. All are major, which could possibly cost the school postseason appearances and could cut into the Ohio Valley Conference member's scholarships and recruiting efforts.

In Stewart's seven years at Middle Tennessee, the Blue Raiders went to the NCAA tournament in 1985, 1987 and 1989--and to the NIT in 1986 and 1988. He compiled a 141-76 overall record.

Stewart resigned last fall to become head coach of the Grand Rapids, Mich., Hoops of the Continental Basketball Assn.

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