College basketball scandal updates: USC’s De’Anthony Melton suspended

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Ten minutes prior to USC’s season-opener vs. Cal State Fullerton’s on Friday night, the school announced that sophomore guard De’Anthony Melton has been indefinitely suspended, as his eligibility is in question due to the FBI’s investigation.

“As a precaution, De’Anthony is being held out due to a potential issue regarding eligibility,” the school’s statement reads. “De’Anthony is a valued member of the USC community and USC is working diligently to independently investigate this matter in order to confirm that De’Anthony meets the NCAA eligibility requirements.”

Melton, who lands on CBS Sports’ Top 100 (and one) players list, is a critical player for a USC team ranked in our top 10 and looking to capitalize with a talent-laden roster and make this season’s Final Four. Melton averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals last season. He’s a special fit for Andy Enfield’s team; there is no true replacement for him on the roster.

Melton was the second player at a school connected to the FBI’s investigation whose eligibility was publicly disclosed on Friday. Prior to Oklahoma State’s opener, Jeffrey Carroll (the leading returning scorer in the Big 12) was announced as ineligible as well. 

There is no timetable for either player to return. They join Louisville’s Brian Bowen, and Auburn’s Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, as players who’ve been connected to the FBI probe who are sitting and waiting to be cleared — if they ever are. Bowen’s been signed off on by the FBI, but the NCAA and Louisville still have to determine if his recruitment violated NCAA rules. 

Schools impacted

  • Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino was fired by Louisville. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish wrote that Pitino left Louisville with no choice but to fire him after his involvement in a past recruiting scandal, but Pitino plans to fight the charges.
  • Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich was also fired after originall being put on paid leave.
  • After Pitino was put on leave, assistant coach David Padgett, a former Louisville player, was named acting head coach. 
  • Louisville named Vince Tyra, a former University of Kentucky baseball player and Louisville businessman, will be the interim athletic director.
  • The Cardinals fired assistant coach Jordan Fair without cause and the other remaining assistant coach, Kenny Johnson, was placed on paid administrative leave.
  • Louisville hired Trent Johnson, to be an assistant coach.
  • Assistant coach Chuck Person, a former NBA player and Auburn alum, is accused of handling a total of $141,500. Person was suspended without pay.
  • Coach Bruce Pearl, who is no stranger to NCAA trouble, is not named in the report.
  • The program is already being impacted by losing a high-profile recruit and offering to give refunds to season-ticket holders.
  • Person was indicted on Nov. 7 and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes and gratuities, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy. Following his indictment, Auburn announced Person is longer an employee with the school.
  • Assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson is accused…

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