Scott Schenter, a former appraiser at the Los Angeles County assessor's office -- and "a key figure" in an ongoing corruption scandal -- said he provided the Jets' running back with a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and an airline ticket while Mc- Knight was a student-athlete at the university. Schenter also admitted he provided a former USC basketball player with $3,700 in cash. Those alleged gifts could be a violation of NCAA rules, which prohibit student-athletes from accepting extra benefits for the athletic ability.
It's been an up-and-down offseason already for McKnight, whose Week 1 status against Buffalo is uncertain after he suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday night's preseason loss to the Eagles. The third-year running back -- who said he suffered food poisoning at a Cortland Applebees and was embroiled in a sideline brawl during training camp -- had 19 carries for 73 yards in four preseason games. He did not get any carries in the third and most important preseason game.
The Times obtained "hundreds" of Schenter's work emails, through the California Public Records Act, as evidence of the alleged transgressions. In May 2008, an email from Delta Air Lines to Schenter included a receipt for his purchase of a $625 flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans -- McKnight's hometown -- and the passenger listed on the ticket was named "Joe McKnight." In 2009, Schenter was questioned by an insurance agent, via email, about a Chevrolet Monte Carlo listed on Schenter's policy that was believed to be in McKnight's possession.
McKnight and his agent could not be reached for comment.