The man who owns the 2006 Land Rover SUV the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported yesterday was driven “several times” by USC running back Joe McKnight responded to the Times article today.
In a long email, Schenter claimed McKnight’s girlfriend, Johanna Michelle Beltran, worked for one of his (apparent) side businesses involving cancer research and that,
I am the owner of the Land Rover because Michelle’s parents couldn’t qualify for the loan. It is her car. She makes the payments and she is responsible for insurance. The payments are a little over $500/month (not a big amount).
Schenter attempted in the email to show that he has never worked in marketing or had any association with the USC football program. Though he doesn’t sufficiently explain why he once purchased the internet domain name 4JoeMcKnight.com.
The coincidence of Schenter purchasing that domain - and also USCMarketing.com - and McKnight’s girlfriend working for one of his obscure, side business endeavors seems dubious. And whether Beltran is paying for the vehicle isn’t relevant. Because Beltran received special treatment from Schenter, she was afforded the use of the vehicle. McKnight in turn drove the vehicle repeatedly, which he also noted that with the school.
The hardest thing to pin down will be if Beltran is indeed a “is a long time family friend” of Schenter and verifying Schenter’s business background, which he presents in an (intentionally?) incoherent manner. His email doesn’t change my opinion that McKnight improperly drove the vehicle, but the message does at least muddy what look liked a hopeless situation for McKnight and the USC football program.
But as noted by just about every media member following up on the McKnight case, the NCAA is still in the throes of investigating USC about Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo, so piling on McKnight doesn’t exactly advance the chance of the NCAA excercising leniency in any of the cases.
What a mess.