Joe McKnight’s name comes up in new USC probe

Getty Images

With USC finally emerging from NCAA probation for various allegations and instances of players receiving something more than room, board, and books, Southern Cal is back in the spotlight of controversy.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a former employee of the Los Angeles County assessor’s office said he provided “cash and perks worth thousands of dollars” to Jets running back Joe McKnight and a former USC basketball player.

McKnight, a fourth-round pick of the Jets in 2010, reportedly received a car and an airline ticket, according to emails obtained by the Times under the California Public Records Act.

The airline ticket allegedly was purchased in 2008, and a 2009 email message indicates that a Chevrolet Monte Carlo owned by former appraiser Scott Schenter was in McKnight’s possession.  Schenter recently told the Times that he gave the car to McKnight, who eventually wrecked it.

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said that the allegations will be investigated.

In 2009, McKnight was spotted driving a Land Rover registered to Schenter.  An investigation resulted in no violations by USC.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this new instance of possible NCAA violations is that the incidents apparently happened after the NCAA had embarked on an investigation regarding benefits received by former USC tailback Reggie Bush and his family.

At least McKnight won’t have to worry about giving up a Heisman Trophy.