USC’s return to the top of college football got off to a rollicking start Saturday as new allegations of improprieties surfaced hours before kickoff of the Trojans’ first game.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, documents related to the case of a Los Angeles County civil servant allegedly involved in a corruption scandal indicate he provided former USC running back Joe McKnight with a car and plane ticket. A connection between the L.A. County employee, Scott Schenter, and McKnight previously surfaced in 2009, when the running back was seen rolling around Troy in a Land Rover registered to Schenter.
Schenter apparently told the LAT that he had indeed given McKnight a car, as well as giving cash to Davon Jefferson, a USC basketball player.
On its face, the story sounds bad for Southern Cal. The NCAA has had the Trojans in its sights ever since stories of Reggie Bush and his family cashing in began to circulate in the mid-2000s, which drew stiff sanctions from the Association. Should the amateurism police take umbrage with this new story, it could get ugly for ‘SC, given its likely status as a repeat offender.
Keep in mind, however, that the NCAA has already tagged the Trojans for transgressions from the Pete Carroll era. This new case predates the sanctions handed down in the Bush affair, as well as the departure of Carroll and bombastic athletic director Mike Garrett.
If Schenter has mountains of evidence of misdoings that he wants to share with the NCAA, that may up the ante. As it stands now, USC has already been hammered for its lax compliance program under the previous regime.
Don’t count on much coming of this.