USC Trojans wide receiver Munir McClain and his family have asked for reinstatement for the suspended sophomore, and are holding a press conference on Sunday ‘in defiance of USC head coach Clay Helton.’
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, McClain has been suspended since mid-September amid a federal investigation into fraud-related charges of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. McClain’s mother, Shan, also told the Times that USC has also not given her or her son a clear cut reason for his suspension.
According to more reports, USC’s vice president of ethics and professionalism, Michael Blanton, stated that Munir’s name came up originally in relation to complaints involving USC students applying for the Employment Development Department benefits.
Munir acknowledged he applied for financial relief from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program but was under the impression he qualified because his source of income — reselling high-end shoes — had dried up during the pandemic, the Times reported. A lawyer representing the McClain family told the Times they planned to challenge the suspension.
USC has also released a statement on the matter, assuring compliance with authorities.
“We are cooperating with the authorities,” USC said in a statement. “We understand there may be many questions and concerns, but we are unable to discuss this matter because of our obligation to protect students’ privacy.”
The Times report continued to showcase that federal agents visited McClain’s dorm looking for him and his older brother, Abdul-Malik McClain, but neither players were present at the time. The federal agent left a card identifying themselves as ‘special agents with the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.’
And now, Munir and his family are set to hold a press conference at 1:00 pm PT to address the issues head on.
“The press conference will feature Malik and Munir McClain, 2 Trojan football players who are also brothers, there [sic] mother Shan and members of the USC football team, who will speak up in support of Munir in defiance of USC Coach Clay Helton and call for Munir’s reinstatement to the football team immediately,” Saturday’s press release read.
The full statement was released by The Athletic’s Antonio Morales, with a forward from Najee Ali.
We’ll continue to cover this through the day and week after the conference goes public.
This is a developing story.