Joe McKnight: 'I'm not coming back' to USC Trojans
Joe McKnight, USC's 2009 starting junior tailback, told The Times today that he would not consider returning to the Trojans for his senior year and still intends to enter the NFL draft.
McKnight declined to say if he's retained an agent, which would clinch his move to the NFL, but he said he was absolutely not reconsidering his departure based on the coaching change from Pete Carroll to Lane Kiffin.
"I'm not worried about Lane Kiffin," McKnight said, referring to his announcement last week that he would turn pro. "I'm moving on. I'm done. I'm officially done there, no matter what they say."
McKnight added that he has "nothing to clarify" about USC's internal probe into his use of a 2006 Land Rover registered to Santa Monica businessman Scott Schenter. The university launched the investigation after The Times observed McKnight driving the vehicle around campus, and found Schenter had marketing interests, and had previously created a Web domain, 4joemcknight.com.
"I don't know the guy [Schenter], have never met him, and he knows he can't even be around me," McKnight said.
When told questions persist about Schenter's intentions with the star tailback who became the first Trojan since 2005 to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards, McKnight said, "Yeah, and the questions came back to me and I sat out the [Emerald Bowl] game because of it."
-- Lance Pugmire