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Joe McKnight's relationship with businessman being investigated by USC

December 18, 2009 |  4:33 pm

USC tailback Joe McKnight's relationship with a Santa Monica businessman is being investigated by USC.

The Times has observed McKnight driving a late-model sport utility vehicle in the past few weeks, and it is registered to Scott Schenter, who has marketing in his career background and owned the website domain and others related to USC.

NCAA rules prohibit athletes from accepting benefits from marketing agents or "extra benefits" from anyone based on their athletic ability or potential. USC is already under NCAA investigation because of rules violations allegations against former football tailback Reggie Bush and former basketball star O.J. Mayo.

Questioned about the situation this week, McKnight denied driving the vehicle and said he didn't know Schenter personally. The running back also said that his girlfriend, Johana Michelle Beltran, worked as a secretary for Schenter and that her father may have paid for the use of the car.

Full details:,0,2881407.story. USC is practicing this afternoon, and McKnight is participating. The Trojans will play Boston College Dec. 26 in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

--Mike Hiserman