Bru McCoy leaving USC and entering NCAA transfer portal

USC wide receiver Bru McCoy runs the ball during the 2020 Pac-12 championship game against Oregon.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

After a lost season that began with his arrest and temporary removal from USC’s football team, Bru McCoy has entered the NCAA transfer portal, ending a tumultuous three-year tenure with the Trojans.

The former five-star receiver was expected to step into a major role on USC’s offense in 2021 but never took the field following a July 24 arrest on suspicion of felony intimate partner violence. McCoy was removed from USC’s roster soon after, as both the Los Angeles district attorney’s office and USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX continued to investigate the incident.

The district attorney’s office declined to file charges against McCoy last August, citing “insufficient evidence.” But USC continued to investigate, and McCoy ultimately never returned to the football field.


Bru McCoy won’t face criminal charges following an allegation of intimate partner violence, but USC’s Title IX office is still reviewing the incident and it’s unclear whether he will be reinstated on the football team.

Aug. 25, 2021

Both former coach Clay Helton and interim coach Donte Williams declined at various points over the past season to address McCoy’s status amid the ongoing investigation. But his departure via the NCAA transfer portal should bring the receiver’s saga at USC to a close after three disappointing years and only six total games.

McCoy is the third USC football player in the last two seasons to leave amid an investigation or university disciplinary review. Running back Kenan Christon, who entered the transfer portal last month, was suspended for the 2021 season after a physical altercation with another USC student. Munir McClain, a former Trojans wideout, was held out of the shortened 2020 season amid a federal probe into unemployment benefits fraud. McClain ultimately transferred to Utah; his brother and another former USC football player, Abdul-Malik McClain, was later charged in the scheme.

McCoy, who attended Santa Ana Mater Dei High, was viewed as one of the top prospects to come out of Southern California in recent memory when he committed to USC in January 2019. But just weeks later, after new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury left suddenly to be the coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, McCoy decided to transfer to Texas. He spent the spring in Austin before another change of heart led him back to Los Angeles.

Bru McCoy was in a bad frame of mind as he battled a mysterious illness. It took a one-on-one meeting with USC coach Clay Helton to help McCoy turn a corner.

Aug. 10, 2020

A mysterious illness left McCoy unable to join the team for most of the next year. But in 2020, as he returned to full health, McCoy carved out a minor role in USC’s passing attack, amassing 21 catches for 236 yards and two touchdowns. His breakout appeared imminent — until his July arrest threw his future with USC into serious doubt.

McCoy would never return to the Trojans after that. And while his legal issues were resolved last August, his path to playing football again remains unclear.