USC holding De'Anthony Melton out for rest of season over NCAA violation

TULSA, OK - MARCH 19: De'Anthony Melton #22 of the USC Trojans reacts against the Baylor Bears during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 19, 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

USC will hold out sophomore guard De'Anthony Melton for the rest of the season after the school found that a close friend of the family received an extra benefit, according to ESPN's Kyle Bonagura.

Dave Elliott, a friend of the Meltons, is accused by federal prosecutors of receiving $5,000 to steer Melton toward an agent. The student-athlete's attorney, Vicki Podberesky, says there's no evidence of that, but Elliott did allow the would-be agent to pay for a plane ticket and potentially a hotel room.

"There is nothing to suggest De'Anthony knew about these violations, but they're still NCAA violations," Podberesky said.

"De'Anthony is a valued member of our program," USC said in a statement. "He will have options for his future at USC, including remaining in school on scholarship while continuing to work on his degree and practicing with the team, and potentially compete for the Trojans in the 2018-19 season."

Melton averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists for the Trojans as a freshman.