In the wake of a school investigation into his use of an SUV that may have violated NCAA rules, Joe McKnight did not travel with the USC Trojans to San Francisco yesterday. The team will play Boston College in the Emerald Bowl there on Saturday.
In an extensive investigative report published last Friday by Gary Klein and Lance Pugmire, the L.A. TIMES reported McKnight driving a 2006 SUV owned by Santa Monica businessman Scott Schenter “several times“. When confronted about the vehicle by reporters, McKnight denied driving it.
Klein and Pugmire of the Times noted today that McKnight practiced with the team yesterday but did not make the trip to SF. Also noted: “McKnight participated in the workout but was not made available to reporters.”
That may have been the case, but McKnight did indeed talk to a Los Angeles reporter yesterday, and not surprisingly he was not with the Times.
Also, it turns out that Carroll had every intention of taking McKnight on the team trip yesterday, but was stopped at the last moment by the USC Compliance Office.
USC coach Pete Carroll said Monday afternoon that McKnight would accompany the Trojans to the Bay Area.
But a few minutes later, USC’s compliance office kept McKnight from going to the Emerald Bowl.
“He has some paperwork he needs to do, and it’s best he stay in L.A. so he can be available to finish it,” Carroll said. “We don’t know right now how long this will take.”
Wolf then followed with:
McKnight left the USC campus about 10 minutes after team buses departed for the airport.
“I’m not saying anything; you will just twist my words,” McKnight said. “You’ve all (ruined) my life.”
Klein is the USC beat writer for the L.A. Times, so he has to face the team and Carroll every single day. He also assisted on the story that supposedly “ruined” McKnight’s life. Think Klein is excited about that gig these days?
Makes you wonder if Klein heard the same quote, but didn’t report it. Or perhaps McKnight only gave the quote to Wolf of the Daily News to send a message to the Times reporters.
Regardless, Klein and Pugmire did an extensive job on their investigation into McKnight’s vehicle use. And if rules mean anything, they probably shouldn’t be blamed for McKnight’s alleged poor judgement and dishonesty.