Joe McKnight and Davon Jefferson Tied to New Allegations at USC



One the same day the Trojans will begin to celebrate the end of a bowl ban, new alegations have risen with the USC Trojans, as they pertain to two former star athletes receiving improper benefits. The Los Angeles Times has learned that Joe McKnight and Davon Jefferson have been tied to Scott Schenter, who is part of an on-going investigation within the Los Angeles County assessor’s office.

"The allegations are contained among hundreds of Scott Schenter’s county work emails that suggest the former appraiser provided football star Joe McKnight with a car and an airline ticket, and basketball player Davon Jefferson with about $3,700 in cash. The Times obtained the emails from the assessor’s office under the California Public Records Act."

The Times has done an extensive amount of reporting, one that includes scans of emails and the airline ticket. News of an airfare is new news, but this isn’t the first time that McKnight has been tied to improper benefits, as the running back was benched for the 2009 Emerald Bowl after the school investigated allegations that he was driving Schenter’s Land Rover. According to the Times, USC athletic director Pat Haden says that administration had investigated those claims, formed a report and turned it over to the NCAA, who ultimately decided to forgo filing a violation.

Whether or not that’s good news or bad news for USC, is hard to say. If the administration’s report hid further details between Schenter and McKnight, it could be a signifcant setback for the school’s perception of a re-born athletic deptartment, even if the allegations happened on Mike Garrett’s watch.

However, the fact that USC is cooperating and being proactive is huge sign that things are in fact different at USC under Haden. With Garrett in charge, he vehemently denied allegations and defied the NCAA, which made matters worse for the Trojans. With USC having filed a self-issued report on McKnight, there’s a clear visible intent to follow through, though we don’t know how extensive that intent was at the time.

Nonetheless, the allegations pertaining to Davon Jefferson are entirely new. Jefferson left USC to opt for the NBA Draft in 2008, but was ultimately undrafted forced to play two years in Israel. Jefferson’s lone season at USC came under Tim Floyd, who has already faced flack from the NCAA over his handling of the O.J. Mayo situation.

For now, the allegations are just that: allegations. But with them being on public record, there’s little doubt for the truth not be told, especially taking into account the position Schenter was in during the investigation.

We’ll have more as it comes out, and for now, we’ll resume our regularly scheduled programming: USC vs. Hawaii.