Joe McKnight reportedly got a car, plane ticket from corrupt guy while at USC
The LA Times published a report on Saturday alleging that Scott Schenter, a corrupt figure in the LA city assessor’s office, provided ex-Trojan athletes Joe McKnight and Davon Jefferson with improper benefits. McKnight, a former running back now in the NFL with the Jets, is accused of being provided with a car and plane ticket by Schenter. Jefferson, a former basketball player, reportedly accepted $3,700 in cash.
The school plans to investigate the claims and could be subject to NCAA penalties.
Schenter has been charged for his role in a scandal where he allegedly offered tax breaks to folks in exchange for campaign contributions to Assessor John Noguez.
The Times uncovered emails from Schenter to Mercury Insurance that suggest he was insuring a Monte Carlo for McKnight to drive. They also found a receipt for an airline ticket purchased by Schenter for a passenger named “Joe McKnight,” who was flying to Louisiana — which is where McKnight is from.
Schenter told the times he provided the car to McKnight and cash to Jefferson.
McKnight was at the center of a car scandal in 2009 while in school when he was seen with a Land Rover. The car was registered to Schenter, but McKnight claimed it was his girlfriend’s car (which LBS has been told is actually true).
Schenter was doing what so many others do: trying to pay the athletes so that they would help him out. Schenter wanted them to help market some businesses he was developing. Sound familiar? That’s similar to what happened with Reggie Bush.
As for the entire situation, if you dig deep enough at probably any D-I school, you’ll find the exact same thing. I actually would have been surprised if McKnight weren’t getting some “improper benefits.” The problem is if you’re going to accept things, it’s with the understanding that you’re getting involved with people who have some loose morals and could therefore get you into trouble.