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article imageUniversity of Southern California Under Investigation

By Michael Bearak     Dec 19, 2009 in Sports
Once again the USC Athletic Department is finding one of its programs under investigation for alleged violations regarding player privileges.
The University of Southern California is having to investigate the reasons why tailback Joe McKnight has been driving an SUV owned by a Santa Monica businessman. Multiple sources including ESPN and the LA Times are reporting that USC has begun its own investigation into McKnight's use of the vehicle. Depending on the outcome of the investigation the university could find itself having violated a number of NCAA regulations.
Questions have been asked about benefits received by current NFL star Reggie Bush and NBA star OJ Majo.
The LA Times revealed a number of current investigations going on concerning USC athletes:
* Reggie Bush -- The 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is alleged to have accepted thousands of dollars in cash and his family allegedly failed to pay rent on a home owned by a fledgling marketer while the tailback played for USC in 2004 and 2005.
* Dwayne Jarrett -- The wide receiver was declared ineligible by the NCAA before the 2006 season because of his living arrangement the previous season with former quarterback Matt Leinart. Jarrett was reinstated after agreeing to pay $5,352 to a charity of his choice.
* Joe McKnight -- During a February 2007 news conference in Louisiana, McKnight said his mind was put at ease about attending USC after he listened to a telephone conversation between Bush and Coach Pete Carroll. The comment sparked an investigation by USC compliance officials because former players are regarded by the NCAA as "representatives of athletics interests" and are prohibited from telephoning prospective recruits. Carroll denied such a call took place and McKnight's high school coach said McKnight misspoke during the news conference.
* O.J. Mayo -- During the 2007-08 basketball season, the freshman guard is alleged to have accepted gifts from a middleman representing a sports agency.
* Pete Rodriguez -- Special teams expert allegedly acted as an extra coach in 2008 by attending practices, monitoring games and offering Carroll behind-the-scenes advice. School compliance officials investigated whether the situation surpassed college limits on the size of coaching staffs.
While the connection between McKnight and Scott Schenter isn't completely clear this much is. Schenter employs McKnight's girlfriend, Johana Michelle Beltran, and the mother of his 10-month old child. Schenter registered the vehicle with the DMV in September.
McKnight has come out to say that he has NEVER driven the car but he has ridden in it. Based on an ESPN report McKnight has said, "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."
Beltran works as a secretary for Schenter. McKnight acknowledges that the SUV belongs to Beltran's boss, and he has never asked her questions about it when she has been the operator of the vehicle.
More about Usc, Trojans, Joe mcknight, Mayo, Reggie bush
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