Southern Cal Slapped with Steigering News — The NCAA spared the Rod last time, but now the on-probation trojans could finally be facing the Death Penalty, as illegal payments to Joe McKnight (and Basketballer Davon Jefferson) come to light
Hey trojans — Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? No, it’s not Sidney “They call me Mr. Tibbs” Potier, it’s actually a new set of NCAA investigators. Is “NCAA” the new “N-word” at the University of South Central? If not, it will be soon, as the organization is once again descending on Figueroa Tech, to look into brand new allegations of improper benefits to star players — allegations based on ADMISSIONS, in e-mails written by the guy who supposedly supplied the benefits.
L.A. County Assessor Scott Schenter, who is already embroiled in an unrelated scandal over giving undeserved tax breaks to rich L.A. homeowners, claims in his e-mails that he gave a car, and an airplane trip, to former trojan Running Back Joe McKnight, and $3,700 in cash to hoopster Davon Jefferson. A while back, McKnight was seen in a fancy Land Rover SUV, parked right in front of the practice field on campus, blatantly thumbing his nose at NCAA regulations. But when compliance officials looked into it, no violations were discovered. Apparently, they didn’t look hard enough.
Schenter is not an $C fan, but he was trying to organize a business venture, and he wanted to get his hooks into McKnight and Jefferson, to manipulate them into promoting and marketing his project, which involved animated logos. He told people that he had “direct access” to the players, implying that they would help him with his products.
McKnight travelled home to Louisiana on an airline ticket purchased by Schenter, and also CRASHED a Chevy Monte Carlo registered to Schenter. And in the e-mails, there are references to over $30,000 worth of payments to a “Joe.” Of course, McKnight denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he didn’t even know Schenter. This looks like utter B.S., as Schenter worked with McKnight’s girlfriend, and says that he helped her acquire the Land Rover, because he was a longtime family friend of hers.
U$C Athletic Director Pat Haden quickly distanced himself from the SCandal, pointing out to the Media that these transgressions occurred before he took over as A.D. Typical trojan, selfishly thinking only of himself. He then claimed that all of these matters had already been looked into, and $C was cleared of any charges. But what happened to sc’s own compliance officers? Their star Tailback crashes a car that doesn’t belong to him, drives a luxury SUV and parks it prominently in front of a Times Reporter, and Davon Jefferson suddenly has $3,700 worth of Mad Money, and no one took notice? Just like no one noticed Reggie Bush’s extravagances and O.J. Mayo’s jetting around, buying a widescreen TV, and making other wild expenditures?
What will it take for the NCAA to actually punish $C appropriately? What is the point of Probation, if further violations don’t warrant stiffer discipline, i.e. the Death Penalty? Yesterday, I predicted that $C would win the BCS this year, then be forced to forfeit the trophy due to, amongst other things, illegal benefits. And it took about 6 hours before new charges arose, that could actually cause the second half of my prophecy to come true. What happened on the field yesterday could indicate that the first half of it could come to pass as well: On the first play of the trojans’ opener, Matt Barkley hit Marquise Lee on a short pass, which Lee turned into a 75-yard Touchdown. [By the way, what are the odds that $C’s first snap of the Season AND the Bruins’ first snap of the Season would each result in 70+ yard TD’s??]. Troy went on to destroy Norm Chow’s Hawaii 49-10, as Lee also scored on a 100-yard Kickoff Return, and the other trojan All-World Wide Receiver Robert Woods caught two more Touchdown passes. The trojans led 35-0 at the Half, but sadly for trojans who gamble, $C did NOT cover the 42-point spread, so the victory was NOT as dominant as expected. Nor was it satisfactory for Barkley, who moaned arrogantly after the game that he was disappointed because they could have and should have scored 100 points in the First Half.
Let’s see how arrogant — and disappointed — he is, when he finds out his unnecessary return to u$c for his Senior year — for which he turned down a chance to sign a guaranteed multi-million dollar contract — all for the opportunity to win a BCS Title, could be all for naught, after the NCAA once again declares them ineligible for postseason play.