USC declares De’Anthony Melton ineligible as probe into college basketball bribery case continues

De’Anthony Melton, David Crisp
USC guard De’Anthony Melton tries to steal the ball from Washington guard David Crisp last season.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

USC has declared sophomore De’Anthony Melton ineligible, according to his attorney, as the school continues to investigate his connection to the college basketball bribery case.

Melton has been held out of USC’s first 10 games as a precaution and will not travel to Hawaii this week with the rest of the team for the Diamond Head Classic.

“Apparently there are some other issues that have cropped up,” Melton’s attorney, Vicki I. Podberesky, said Wednesday.

Podberesky was unsure of the date USC declared Melton ineligible. The versatile guard wasn’t initially suspended or ruled ineligible.


A spokesman for the school said, “USC is working diligently to resolve the eligibility concerns regarding De’Anthony Melton. USC is actively investigating new information recently received that would make De’Anthony ineligible for competition, including travel, under NCAA rules.”

Federal prosecutors alleged David Elliott, a close family friend of Melton, received a $5,000 bribe in August in exchange for directing the player to use would-be agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood. Elliott’s attorney, Alex Kessel, denied his client received any money or otherwise did anything wrong.

“The only one who is suffering is De’Anthony, who has done nothing wrong,” Kessel said.

If Elliott accepted money, the arrangement could violate NCAA rules and force USC to forfeit games Melton participated in while ineligible.


The latest twist in the saga that started in September apparently isn’t connected to the $5,000, Podberesky said, but instead unspecified new information USC received.

“They won’t tell me what they have and I don’t know where they got the information,” Podberesky said.

At USC’s request, Kessel said, Elliott turned over receipts and other documentation Wednesday for expenses incurred at basketball camps and tournaments.

Melton hasn’t been publicly accused of wrongdoing in the matter and Podberesky described her client as “very frustrated.”


Twitter: @nathanfenno

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