The NCAA is launching a second investigation into allegations that former USC running back Joe McKnight and USC basketball player Davon Jefferson received improper benefits while playing for the Trojans.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Scott Schenter gave thousands of dollars worth of perks to McKnight and Jefferson while they were still enrolled at USC—including cash, a plane ticket from Los Angeles to New Orleans in May of 2008 and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in 2009. Schenter is currently part of the ongoing corruption scandal in the Los Angeles County assessor’s office.
When asked by the Times about the incident, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said the school had notified the NCAA about the claims immediately after they were first revealed. Haden said the school would closely investigate the claims and take any necessary actions after the recent report surfaced.
USC head coach Lane Kiffin and senior quarterback Matt Barkley said that the Trojans would not be distracted by the allegations against McKnight, instead focusing their attention on their upcoming game against Syracuse on Saturday.
Jefferson, who played for the Trojans in 2007 and 2008, is currently a member of BC Triumph Lyubertsky in Russia. McKnight, a member of the NFL’s New York Jets, competed for USC from 2007 to 2009. Due to the NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations, if the allegations prove to be accurate, USC, who is currently on NCAA probation for violations involving former running back Reggie Bush and former shooting guard O.J. Mayo, would face additional penalties.