As explanations go, this one smells a little fishy.
Scott Schenter, the man who bought and registered a 2006 Land Rover that USC star running back Joe McKnight has been seen tooling around it, said he did not buy it for McKnight, he bought it for the running back’s girlfriend. Who just happens to be Schenter’s secretary. And that she was paying for the insurance on the car and the roughly $500 a month car payment, something he called “not a lot” of money. Apparently he pays his secretaries well than as she has a new baby, attends not-inexpensive USC, and can easily cover the $500 a month.
Schenter’semail to the Los Angeles Times
and Daily News also said that he only bought the Web site www.joemcknight4.com because he thought it was clever and his “USC Marketing” company is USA China Marketing, not the local team where a lot of pro players come out of. No, he wouldn’t just chance money because he is a Washington graduate who roots for that school.
Also, for the last 21 years he’s had a desk job at the Los Angeles County Assessor’s office. Apparently the marketing mogul thing is just a hobby, a little side venture.
It is possible all of this is true. It is possible that Schenter felt bad for a woman who just had a baby and needed a new car and so he helped out. Maybe he had no plans to get in good with McKnight, who is expected to turn pro after this season. Maybe the Web site registration and the marketing company are just innocent coincidences.
But that is a lot of coincidences to swallow at once.
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USC’s compliance office is investigating the matter, and you can be sure that the local media has not given up on the story.
Meanwhile, USC has its bowl game Saturday. Boston College is waiting in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. USC is trying to practice and ignore if the team's leading rusher from this year will be allowed to play. Already Anthony McCoy (tight end), Averell Spicer (defensive tackle) and Tyron Smith (offensive tackle) have been declared academically ineligible for the game. Pete Carroll is telling recruits this is nothing, and the same thing with potential sanctions from the investigation of Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo (a basketball player). NCAA penalties? Why worry.
Like Schenter’s explanation, that is a lot for the team and coaches to swallow at once. And it could go down just about as well.