USC is expected to resolve De’Anthony Melton’s status this week following bribery investigation

11/25/2016 - LOS ANGELES, CA: USC guard De’Anthony Melton shoots against the defense of Southern Met
USC guard De’Anthony Melton shoots against the defense of Southern Methodist forward Semi Ojeleye on Nov. 25, 2016.
(Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

USC is expected to decide this week whether sophomore De’Anthony Melton will play this season, his attorney told The Times.

Vicki I. Podberesky said USC appears to have concluded its investigation into Melton’s link to the college basketball bribery case and is ready to move forward.

“I don’t know if that bodes well or not,” Podberesky said.

Melton has been held out of all USC games this season after federal prosecutors alleged a close family friend, David Elliott, accepted $5,000 from Christian Dawkins in August to steer Melton to use would-be agent and financial advisor Munish Sood when he joined the NBA.


Elliott’s attorney has repeatedly denied that his client accepted any money.

USC also has been examining Elliott’s expenses from a summer trip to Las Vegas, including credit card statements and receipts, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Though Melton hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, any extra benefits accepted by friends or family members could violate NCAA rules.

Podberesky said Michael Blanton, USC’s vice president for athletic compliance, will meet with Athletic Director Lynn Swann and other administrators to “assess whether they’ll play De’Anthony and what risk they’re willing to take.”


Twitter: @nathanfenno