A bizarre story involving a former member of the USC football program has taken yet another twist.
Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported, USC announced that Bubba Bolden has been reinstated to the university and is permitted to enroll in classes at the school for the spring semester that begins next Monday. Bolden revealed three months ago that he had been suspended from the university for a period of 28 months because of an off-field incident.
“Because of recent state court rulings changing the procedures required during an investigation, the office that oversees student discipline at USC is reopening an investigation involving Bubba Bolden, a former safety on the football team,” the university statement said. “As a result, he will be permitted to return to classes for the spring semester if he so chooses, pending the outcome of the reopened investigation. Because the case involves student disciplinary matters that are protected by privacy laws, USC is unable to provide additional details.”
In late August, shortly before the season opener, Clay Helton announced that Bolden, who was set to be the Trojans’ starting strong safety, would be sidelined indefinitely because of what was described only as a vague “personal matter.” In mid-October, his name was finally removed from the team’s roster.
While program officials have declined to discuss Bolden’s situation publicly, the player took to Instagram around the time his name was removed from the roster to explain that, one, he was slapped with a 28-month suspension by USC’s Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS) over an off-campus incident earlier this year and, two, because “USC’s Title IX Office declined to even open an investigation,” all of the off-field tumult has led him to withdraw from the university.
From Bolden’s social media post:
The University’s office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS) believes that I am responsible for violating the student code of conduct pertaining to underage drinking at an off-campus party back in February 2018 wherein I participated in mutual trash-talking with fellow party-goers. As the vibe at the party turned unfriendly, I left with several friends. Approximately nine days afterward, the party hosts reported feeling threatened by me that night, which sparked a USC SJACS investigation.
After USC’s chief threat assessment officer found me to not be a threat, USC’s Title IX Office declined to even open an investigation. I was not charged with any criminal activity and several party-goers refuted the allegations, SJACS sanctioned me with a 28-month suspension based on the projected graduation date of the party hosts.
While defending himself against the claims made against him, Bolden also apologized for his actions that February night.
“My behavior at the party was not reflective of my character which my family, friends, teammates and many more admire, and for this I am truly sorry,” the defensive back wrote at the time. “At this point, I’m 100% committed to ensuring that the lessons I’ve learned on and off the field will carry me to the next level.”
Bolden was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 safety in the country and the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Nevada on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. As a true freshman last season, Bolden appeared in 13 of the Trojans’ 14 games.
While Bolden has been reinstated, it’s unclear if the player will take advantage of the opportunity as he has been contemplating a transfer from the Trojans.