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GatorMan32
12-18-2009, 08:21 PM
http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/usc/la-sp-joe-mcknight-usc19-2009dec19,0,2881407.story


Joe McKnight, star tailback of USC's football team, has been driving a sport utility vehicle owned by a Santa Monica businessman, an arrangement that the school is investigating and may be in violation of college rules.

The NCAA, which governs major college sports, prohibits student athletes from accepting benefits from marketing representatives or agents or "extra benefits" based on their athletic ability.

For several weeks, McKnight has been seen driving a well-kept 2006 Land Rover that, according to California Department of Motor Vehicles records, is registered to Scott Schenter.

Schenter, 47, has a background that includes marketing, and a company he owned registered a website called 4joemcknight.com. It is unclear whether Schenter has any ties with USC or the school had knowledge of his activities.

If it's found that McKnight is in violation of NCAA rules, it could affect his athletic eligibility. USC's football team will next play against Boston College in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26 in San Francisco.

Trouble for McKnight, the Trojans' leading rusher this season with 1,014 yards, would be another hit to a USC athletics program already under investigation by the NCAA and the Pacific 10 Conference regarding allegations that former football tailback Reggie Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo received improper benefits while playing for the Trojans. The NCAA combined the investigations to examine whether the school failed to exert proper institutional control.

Tom Yeager, a former chairman of the NCAA infractions committee who is commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Assn., said universities are expected to be diligent regardless of whether they are repeat offenders or are dealing with infractions for the first time. He added, however, "The stakes go up just like someone making a return appearance in court. A judge is not going to be as sympathetic."

A DMV official said records show Schenter paid about $27,000 for the Land Rover and registered it in September. A Times reporter saw McKnight driving it several times in the last couple of weeks.

On Nov. 25, the SUV was parked outside the entrance to USC's practice facility, its emergency lights flashing as players, coaches and athletic department personnel exited the gate. Several coaches stopped to greet McKnight's girlfriend, who was seated in the passenger seat. McKnight came out of the locker room carrying his son on his shoulders, exchanged pleasantries with Coach Pete Carroll, who was walking with visitors, and made his way to the street where the Land Rover was parked.

The next day, McKnight left practice and drove away alone in the vehicle. He was also by himself as he drove the SUV from practice last Saturday.

Approached Wednesday after practice, McKnight acknowledged riding in the Land Rover but said he has never driven it. McKnight said his girlfriend, Johana Michelle Beltran, works as a secretary for Schenter, although the player said he did not know him.

McKnight and Beltran are the parents of a 10-month-old son, Jaiden. McKnight said the Land Rover was "my baby mama's boss'. "

"I never talk to her about it," he added. "I just see it whenever my girlfriend's around with my kid. I ask no questions. I just do what I got to do."

USC asks its athletes to provide written documentation about the vehicles they drive on campus. McKnight said Wednesday that he had not provided the school information on the Land Rover because he hadn't driven it.

However, Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration, said Friday that McKnight did provide the school with written documentation that he was driving the vehicle. Tim Tessalone, USC's sports information director, said the running back had been "mistaken" in his account. Tessalone declined a request to view the documentation or say when the information was filed.

Given a hypothetical scenario such as McKnight's, an NCAA spokesman said the following rules might apply:

NCAA bylaw 12.3.1.2 says that a student-athlete shall be ineligible if he, or relatives or friends, accepts transportation or other benefits from agents or marketing representatives. NCAA bylaw 12.1.2.1.6 prohibits preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual's athletic reputation or skill or payback potential as a professional athlete.

Schenter is in South Africa, according to his wife, Dawn. She said she didn't know what connection her husband might have with McKnight. Asked about Schenter's businesses, she said, "He's involved in a lot of things. I don't know what he's doing."

GR8NESS
12-18-2009, 08:26 PM
They'll probably put the basketball team on probation.

ugabrad
12-18-2009, 08:37 PM
It's SoCal... nothing will come of this. They're good at muddying the waters so that it appears that there is no impropriety.

Optik
12-18-2009, 08:50 PM
They'll probably put the basketball team on probation.

:confused:

You give them too much credit, Brumm. Probably suspend the equipment manager of the women's BBall team for a half or so. :cheers:

georgiaguy31015
12-18-2009, 09:14 PM
Unfortunately nothing will come from this either in my opinion.

Urb Gruber
12-19-2009, 02:39 PM
Why would anything ever come out of these violations?

The NCAA's unwillingness to stiffen the penalties means this stuff will keep happening. Vacating wins, loss of scholarships, and putting people on probation doesn't curb any of this at all. All it does it put a team behind the 8 ball in terms of recruiting, but Nick Saban showed that 1 superb coach/recruiter can put them right back up there.

planetalker
12-20-2009, 06:33 PM
Man, it's a good thing he didn't sell a textbook, or go fishing or he could be in big trouble!:sarcasm:

Texaubie
12-22-2009, 04:24 PM
Watching ESPN atm and they are discussing this. According to one of them the investigation is picking up steam, will be combined with the others, and they are being investigated for lack of institutional control.

georgiaguy31015
12-22-2009, 04:26 PM
Watching ESPN atm and they are discussing this. According to one of them the investigation is picking up steam, will be combined with the others, and they are being investigated for lack of institutional control.

Interesting to say the least. I hope something comes from it because I think USC deserves it but I will have to see it to believe it.