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USC TB Joe McKnight being investigated for use of a local businessman's SUV

USC Tailback Joe McKnight has some explaining to do...

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.

It would be easy to just jump right in and make some blanket statements about the compliance office and the ongoing NCAA investigation but I am going to hang back and see how this unfolds.

But I will say this. The compliance office can't know if a player violates a rule until it is brought to their attention. Even if the players know the rules some will still break them. And some will break them for a while before anyone knows it is going on. The compliance office does not have the resources or the right to follow a player around every moment of the day. If McKnight broke the rules then sit him down...he should know better but the compliance office can only instruct the players of what the rules are...they can't enforce them after the fact. If someone in the compliance office sees a potential infraction then of course they need to take the necessary actions but until they know about an infraction they can't do anything about it.

I thik it is better to let it play out before lighting our hair on fire over it.

That being said, this one is easy to me...If there is even a hint of a violation he won't play against BC and you can bet he will turn pro.

End of story...that is that.

That is just my thumbnail sketch in all of this.

I will take it one step further...USC will make him inactive for the game just to make sure they have this nailed down.

One interesting thing I see here...

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'.

So, did the school know he was driving the car or not?


He said Beltran's father may have paid Schenter for using the Land Rover, but repeated, "I never drove the vehicle, I've never driven it. I know I can't drive cars I'm not supposed to. If somebody said they spotted me driving, they're seeing wrong. I don't even have the keys."

Provided a document showing that Schenter had owned the domain 4joemcknight.com, the running back said, "I haven't done anything wrong. I'm just being a football player and a father to my child.

"I won't break any rules because I know if I do I can't get on the football field. I'm trying to keep my life secure and stay on the football field."

Who knows.

This one seems pretty cut an dried to me but I will wait before commenting further...