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McKnight case likely won't derail USC's national title hopes

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07:49 AM ET 09.02 | Hours before the Trojans took the field Saturday, The Times reported that former Los Angeles County assessor's employee Scott Schenter has admitted giving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo to former Trojan running back Joe McKnight during the 2009 season. The bad news for the Trojans is that this particular infraction was not included in the laundry list of items that landed them on a two-year probation, and it does not fall outside the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations that would have prevented them from being penalized for it. The good news for the Trojans is that the NCAA might consider it unseemly to level another stiff sentence on a program for something that happened before it was punished, torn down, and rebuilt under Mr. Clean, er, Pat Haden. The guess here is that the McKnight case will warrant a stiff slap, but nothing that would keep the loaded Trojans from being allowed to continue their newfound pursuit of a national championship.

Los Angeles Times

Lane Kiffin, Harry How/Getty Images Lane Kiffin, Harry How/Getty Images
September 2, 2012  08:15 AM ET

So I guess the "repeat offenders" rule is toothless or subjective or both.

This smacks of the same treatment given to Auburn in the 1990's, where Auburn was on probation and continued offenses were discovered ... at which the NCAA made excuses/rearranged the timeline logic so they wouldn't qualify technically.

September 2, 2012  08:21 AM ET

Oh, and what a shock that someone gave a car to a football player at USC.

In 2009 ... amidst the Reggie Bush scandal .... and the OJ Mayo scandal.

But yeah, go easy on them NCAA. We wouldn't want to keep the loaded Trojans from being allowed to continue their new found pursuit of a national championship.

September 2, 2012  08:24 AM ET

Another parting gift from Pete Carroll.
Those who deny the corruption of USC football under his reign are living on another planet.

September 2, 2012  08:29 AM ET

You have to believe that PC had a list of boosters ready and willing to help out. How many other star players were getting cars?

September 2, 2012  08:44 AM ET

Ya gotta hand it to the NCAA. NC is told they did not violate any rule handing out free grades to players who never even took the class, which sometimes never met, to stay eligible.

September 2, 2012  08:46 AM ET

2006: Reggie Bush investigation begins.
2008: OJ Mayo investigation begins.
2009: Bush & Mayo investigations combined into a single probe of the entire athletic program.
2009: Joe McKnight receives a car during the Bush/Mayo investigations.
2010: NCAA punishes USC for the Bush & Mayo infractions.
2012: NCAA looks the other way for the repeat infractions that were occurring at the height of their investigation into the athletic program in 2009.

USC won't qualify, technically, as "repeat offenders" because the Joe McKnight infractions happened before the 2010 rulings were handed down. USC wasn't on probation at the time Joe received improper benefits so they're not "repeat offenders" ... not technically.

September 2, 2012  09:04 AM ET

NCAA=Sgt Schultz "I see Nothing".

Comment #8 has been removed
September 2, 2012  09:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

NCAA=Sgt Schultz "I see Nothing".

Good comparison.

Comment #10 has been removed
September 2, 2012  09:45 AM ET

A county employee? Obviously getting the funds from somewhere other than his paycheck!

September 2, 2012  09:46 AM ET

This year it won't have affect.

September 2, 2012  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

A county employee? Obviously getting the funds from somewhere other than his paycheck!

Should a Monte Carlo qualify as a violation?

Seriously Pete appears to have been a bit too relaxed with public access to the players at practice; one can only assume that allowing the public to mix with players during practices could be a breeding ground for this type of stuff.

Comment #14 has been removed
Comment #15 has been removed
September 2, 2012  10:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

It also did not say if it were a new one nor the value of it too. If one got a car, you can bet more did too. And you guys rag on Calipari for not being honest, really, which ones are, that would be NONE.

The Monte Carlo comment was a joke.

As I stated Pete was a too slack with having the general public having so much access to the players, especially at practices.

September 2, 2012  10:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

It also did not say if it were a new one nor the value of it too. If one got a car, you can bet more did too. And you guys rag on Calipari for not being honest, really, which ones are, that would be NONE.

I disagree. Honest coaches/programs are out there...they're just not the big-name schools.

I kind of agree with both of you old farts. I'm not sure any of them are honest at the biggies...even if they wanted to be because of boosters.

At the smaller places, they don't have anything significant to put in the bags or pay the bagmen so they are probably okay...but many of those coaches wouldn't be honest if they had access to things to put in the bag.

September 2, 2012  11:05 AM ET

It's not right for any fan or booster to give a car to a player, but it's not right to give "ANYTHING" free to a player. Say I was out with my cousin, which is a player at USC, can I buy the kid a hamburger at McDonald's?? Can I buy my cousin a beer if he is old enough??

Comment #19 has been removed
 
September 2, 2012  11:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

They serve beer at McDonald's now, wow, maybe I need to change my ways and try them again.No you can not buy him anything at all, as a relative you can provide food I guess, the burger may be alright, no fries, no beer, offer him water.

LOL, I was trying to make a point, that you really can't put a "monetary" value on a gift!!!! A gift is a gift, period. Can I have a party for all the college players and offer them food, drinks, etc!!! I'm not trying to be picky here, I'm just saying "any" gift is a violation, if given "free", regardless of the monetary value of that gift!!!

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