Here is athletic director Pat Haden’s response today regarding charges that former athletes Joe McKnight and Davon Jefferson received improper benefits from Scott Schenter, a former employee in the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office.
One interesting note is that Haden says no violation was ever processed over McKnight’s use of a Land Rover owned by Schenter in 2009.
When allegations regarding Joe McKnight’s use of a Land Rover arose in 2009, USC fully investigated the matter. All of the information related to the investigation was sent to the NCAA. The NCAA staff accepted the report, and no violation was processed.
“We have just learned of new allegations presented by a reporter from the Los Angeles Times. We have discussed those allegations with the NCAA and PAC-12, and we will thoroughly investigate them and take any and all necessary actions.
“Since my 2010 appointment as USC’s Athletic Director, in conjunction with USC President Max Nikias and Dave Roberts, our Vice President for Athletic Compliance, we have diligently worked to enhance a culture of compliance throughout the Athletic Department and the University. We have been a national leader in athletic compliance matters, holding national conferences on issues impacting intercollegiate athletics such as agents, non-scholastic football 7 on 7 competition, high-profile student-athletes and other issues.
These events were attended by representatives of the NCAA, Pac-12, professional sports leagues, collegiate conferences and Division I institutions. We have increased the staff in our Office of Athletic Compliance and we will continue to stress and emphasize rules education and compliance to all of our constituents, including our student-athletes and their relatives, coaches and University staff, alumni, boosters and the media.
Just last week, as the fall sports season kicked off, Dave Roberts and I met again with our football team and staff to discuss and emphasize the importance of these rules and the need to be ever-vigilant in fulfilling our compliance obligations. Similar meetings will be held with all of our athletic teams this fall.
“I can personally assure you that USC takes its compliance obligations with NCAA and Pac-12 rules extremely seriously and we are dedicated to playing and competing the right way.”