The LA Times reported this weekend that USC back Joe McKnight has been spotted tooling around campus in a car that does not belong to him. It's okay, though, because the real owner has a totally batshit explanation for that.
The car in question is a 2006 Land Rover that is registered to Santa Monica businessman Scott Schenter. In a long, rambling email to the Times, Schenter explains the circumstances under which he became a successful and powerful businessman who gives cars to college-age women he is not dating. It's a performance worthy of Morgan Fairchild's husband, Tommy Flanagan.
For starters, Schenter says he was unavailable to answer the Times' questions before their initial story was published because he is in South Africa "finalizing a major business deal" and "internet is very expensive" there. (Even for major businessmen?) He claims he bought the car on behalf of Johanna Beltran—McKnight's girlfriend, with whom Joe has a young son—because she is a Schenter family friend who also works for a company that may or may not be owned by Schenter's father and "has a patent to turn nuclear wastes into valuable metals." Michelle's family could not qualify for a car loan, so he bought the car and she takes care of the insurance and the car payments, which are a little over $500 a month. According to Schenter that is "not a big amount."
I'm not sure in what universe a single mother attending a private university can consider a $500 car payment "not a big amount," but we have more to get to. Schenter also explains that one of his many successful companies bought the URL "4joemcknight.com" because he thought it was "clever" and that his other company—USC Marketing—has nothing to do with Southern California. It stands for, improbably, "United States China Marketing." He isn't even a USC fan! He loves Washington, as evidenced by the "W" ankle tattoo that he got as a result of a bet he lost to a girl from USC. Doesn't that clear everything up with no need to ask any further questions?
Schenter also makes it clear that he is an expert marketer, but doesn't do sports marketing or represent athletes. In fact, marketing isn't even his paying job. He works (shamefully) for the LA County Assessor's Office. For the last 21 years. (But only the high end assessing, not that trailer park junk.)
What is my job? This one really showed your research capabilities! I am an entrepreneur that has his hands in numerous businesses and investment opportunities. My background is in Finance and Marketing. I am in South Africa closing a deal with major corporate sponsorship for the use of my "motion media" signage for Busivision. We just signed two huge contracts to distribute the signs in South Africa. The companies you mentioned in the article are two companies that I registered in May 2008, USC Marketing (United States China Marketing) and Brighter. What about Lumabright? I have not done anything with them. Teslavision also was a past partnership. These businesses are in the marketing business but I have nothing to do with agents, marketing players, or representing athletes. I have no experience in this business. What is my real job? I currently work for the Los Angeles County Assessor's office for over 21 years real estate appraising high value properties. You couldn't find that on the internet. I would rather be known for my expertise in my marketing and finance ventures (there are more) but my current job is working for Los Angeles County, I don't like to admit it but it is.
I'm not sure how many public servants—at the county level—get to spend a week in South Africa closing "major" business deals, but Schenter's ship is sure to come in any day now. In fact, he is so well known for his expertise in marketing and finance ventures that when the Times asked his own wife about his business dealings, she said, "He's involved in a lot of things. I don't know what he's doing." Couldn't she find that on the intenet?
The Swiss cheese-like nature of this story would certainly cause Schenter and USC a lot of trouble if the NCAA were still alive. (How's the Reggie Bush inquiry going?) The good news is that "Also, did you see my patent on Actinium-225?" is the new "I drive a Dodge Stratus!"