Most members of the USC basketball team found out about the bribery scandal that would tear through the team and others around college basketball the same way as everyone else.
They woke up on Tuesday to phones buzzing about the news: That the FBI had arrested USC’s top assistant, Tony Bland, and charged him with soliciting a $13,000 bribe to steer Trojans players to an agent and financial advisor. The investigation also alleged that Bland facilitated payments of $9,000 to the families of two USC players.
“We read it about it just like y’all did,” senior guard Jordan McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin was the only player made available to the media after USC’s practice on Monday, but every player on the roster participated in practice.
After the news spread, coach Andy Enfield held a team meeting.
“He just told us what happened,” McLaughlin said. “We don’t know much more than you guys do.”
The reaction among teammates, McLaughlin said, was, “We were hurt. But it’s just nothing we can control.”
Enfield on Monday did not offer any new information about the investigation or how it may affect the team.
“It’s been a tough week,” he said. “Very emotional for our players and staff alike.”
Asked whether USC had a plan for how it would handle any ineligible players, Enfield said, “I just don’t have any comment on any of them. We don’t know anything at this point, and I can’t comment on it because it’s an ongoing investigation.”
Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand