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Category: Joe McKnight

Joe McKnight rejoins Trojans

Joe Joe McKnight is back with the USC football team. But whether he'll play in the Emerald Bowl against Boston College on Saturday is still in question.

USC announced this morning that McKnight rejoined the team late Wednesday night and would practice today.

"Joe did everything he needed to do compliance-wise in L.A., so it was the right thing to get him up here right away," Coach Pete Carroll said in a statement released by the school. "Compliance hasn't made a final ruling, but this is a most favorable sign."

USC has been investigating McKnight's relationship with Santa Monica businessman Scott Schenter since The Times reported the junior tailback was driving a Land Rover registered to him.

McKnight told The Times he had not driven the car and that it was being driven by his girlfriend, Johanna Michelle Beltran, who is the mother of McKnight's 10-month-old son. Since then, USC has said McKnight had registered the car as one he was driving. Schenter says Beltran works for him and is a longtime family friend. He also said he helped her purchase the Land Rover but she was paying the insurance and making $500-a-month payments for it.

Schenter was expected to meet with USC officials earlier this week. He has not responded to questions from The Times asking him to explain his relationship with McKnight, Beltran or USC.

"We'll just play it out and see what happens from here," Carroll said of McKnight's situation. "In the meantime, it's great to have Joe back with us."

-- Mike Hiserman

Photo: Joe McKnight. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire

USC won't have three key players for Emerald Bowl

Anthony USC will be shorthanded for the Emerald Bowl, even if tailback Joe McKnight can play.
 
The Trojans announced today that starting tight end Anthony McCoy and starting right tackle Tyron Smith are academically ineligible to play against Boston College in Saturday's Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. And so is defensive tackle Averell Spicer, who is not a starter but who usually plays significant minutes.
 
"We're really disappointed these guys didn't come through," Coach Pete Carroll said in a statement released by the school while the team was practicing this morning. "They had all the help in the world to get it done, and they didn't do it."
 
Whether McKnight, USC's leading rusher, will play hasn't been determined either. McKnight is practicing, but the school is investigating his relationship with a Santa Monica businessman who owns the sport utility vehicle he has been driving.
 

-- Mike Hiserman

Photo: Anthony McCoy. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

Joe McKnight story was 'rushed,' Santa Monica businessman says

The Times today received the following e-mail from Scott Schenter, the Santa Monica businessman whose Land Rover USC tailback Joe McKnight has been driving. It was addressed to Lance Pugmire, co-writer (along with Gary Klein) of the story headlined "McKnight's use of car investigated" that was published in today's newspaper.

Mr. Schenter requested we publish his response in its entirety, so here it is:

Mr. Pugmire:

I was very insulted in that you co-authored an article titled, "USC investigating tailback Joe McKnight's use of vehicle" and "rushed" to publish it without comments from myself. My personal life was put in the open without the opportunity to comment (I had to disclose to my wife of the other cars I have purchased or helped buy for other women). I will make a few comments and will also be forwarding my comments to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, and other news organizations that I feel should hear from me so they may publish or have it for their records.

I am in Johannesburg, South Africa finalizing a major business deal (more on this later) but the internet is very expensive to use and I had meetings scheduled all week with no time to check the internet. You sent me a list of questions to answer at December 17, 2009 at 10:25 p.m. and on December 18, 2009 at 6:03 p.m. you sent me an email saying, "The Times will publish the story regarding your connection to USC running back Joe McKnight in a few hours." I had no chance to respond. In the article, you said, "Reached by e-mail this week, Schenter was sent a list of questions regarding his businesses, McKnight and the Land Rover. Since then, he has not responded to multiple requests for answers."

(Editor's note: The Times' first e-mail to Mr. Schenter was sent on Wednesday at 8:33 p.m. PST. He responded asking what reporter Pugmire wanted to ask him about at 11:04 p.m. PST, less than three hours later. The Times sent Mr. Schenter five more e-mails before publishing the story late Friday afternoon. None were answered. This e-mail was received this morning at 3:41 PST.)

I also want to put on record that I have a strong negative bias toward your paper as I have never forgot the "hatchet job" your staff did in the early 1990's on the Washington Huskies football program and the horrendous journalism your staff did back then. I still have one of my pride possessions parked at Santa Monica Beach, (you didn't see it when you visited my home), my Washington Husky Marching Band Van. There aren't too many of those parked at Santa Monica Beach? I used to have season tickets to the Washington Huskies for more than 15 years. I have never had USC season tickets or have never received tickets from any players or coaches from USC. I lost a bet from a girl from USC and have a "W" permanent tatto on my ankle because of it. "W" stands for Washington and the Washington Huskies are my passion.

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Joe McKnight's relationship with businessman being investigated by USC

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 4joemcknight.com 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: http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/usc/la-sp-joe-mcknight-usc19-2009dec19,0,2881407.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

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