Chimezie Metu awoke to a text message from USC men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield on Friday morning. Enfield asked if Metu could meet him in his hotel room, where the team was staying in Salt Lake City, a day before it was to face Utah. When Metu arrived, Enfield relayed a newly published report by Yahoo! Sports that linked him and a former high school basketball coach, Johnnie Parker, to the FBI’s ongoing investigation into bribery and corruption in college basketball. The report alleged Christian Dawkins, a former employee of ASM Sports agency, had provided a $2,000 payment to Metu and/or Parker, citing expense reports that were collected as part of the probe. How did he react? “I didn’t do anything wrong,” Metu said, “so there was nothing to be nervous about.” USC’s compliance office began an internal investigation in response, interviewing Metu, among others. The next day, Metu, the Trojans’ star forward, was back on the court, totaling 14 points and nine rebounds in a 74-58 rout of Utah, capping the wild 24-hour span. The university cleared Metu, announcing he was eligible to play against the Utes, 2½ hours before tipoff Saturday. After a practice Monday at Galen Center, Enfield said he expected the junior to be available for the rest of the season, as well. “No concern at all,” Enfield said. The Trojans (21-9, 12-5 in Pac-12) end their regular-season schedule against UCLA (19-10, 10-7) on Saturday night, before beginning the Pac-12 Tournament next week. Metu has averaged 15.9 points and 7.3 rebounds this season, both team highs as the team battles for a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
USC expects Chimezie Metu to be eligible for rest of season
Orange County Register | Feb 27