The Los Angeles Times reports that Joe McKnight, star running back for the USC Trojans, has been driving an SUV belonging to a Trojan booster, Scott Schenter. This would be a violation of NCAA rules that would require McKnight’s disqualification, if true.
The USC athletic program is already under scrutiny by the NCAA for possible illicit payments to Heisman trophy footballer Reggie Bush and to basketball star O. J. Mayo. A scandal involving McKnight would seriously damage what’s left of USC’s reputation for athletic integrity.
The Times article said that Mr. Schenter “has not responded to multiple requests for answers.” Mr Schenter has since written that the car really belongs to McKnight’s girl friend, who works for Schenter—“ I am the owner of the Land Rover because [the girl friend’s] parents couldn't qualify for the loan. It is her car. She makes the payments and she is responsible for insurance.”
The Times has leveled serious charges of corruption at McKnight and USC, apparently without trying very hard to confirm the story. If Mr. Schenter is telling the truth the Times itself is guilty of corruption. If not, then USC has a lot to answer for. Either way, it’s a sad day for ethics in the Southland.