According to the Los Angeles Times, the University of Southern California football player Munir McClain was suspended last month after being seemingly accused of committing fraud related to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
Munir’s mother, Shan McClain, says her son was suspended from the school back in the middle of September but says they have yet to be given a reason why. ESPN reports that Michael Blanton, USC‘s vice president of ethics and professionalism, told Shan that Munir’s name is connected to a filed complaint, which involved USC students applying for Employment Development Department benefits.
Munir says that he did, in fact, apply for unemployment, saying that he thought he would be eligible due to his low amount of income amid the Coronavirus pandemic. McClain’s family lawyer told the Times that it plans to fight against the suspension. USC says it will be working with authorities in the case. ”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.”
Federal agents went to Munir’s dorm earlier this week looking for his older brother, sophomore linebacker Abdul-Malik McClain, but he wasn’t home. Instead, the special agent left a card that detailed her position as an agent with the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, ESPN writer Kyle Bonagura reports. The outlet reports that other student-athletes have been visited by special agents who are inquiring about McClain.
McClain initially was re-selling high-end sneakers, which sometimes would make him up to $1,000, according to KTLA. However, the pandemic eventually dried up his business, so he opted to apply for PUA, which would give him a minimum of $767 per week in California. McClain’s claim was accepted, and the student-athlete began using the money to fund a new apparel brand that he started with his siblings called BeenFree.