The Los Angeles Times appears to have stumbled into your USC athlete graft scandal du jour when it plumbed the records of a former county appraiser and found that he'd been shoveling money at a couple of Trojans.
It happens that this fellow, Scott Schenter, has been under investigation previously, making his records enticing for a news outfit such as the Times. He's facing charges that he has given rich people in Los Angeles "improper tax breaks," the Times writes. The emails the paper unearthed are merely a bonus of doing a deep dive on an apparently crooked government employee.
The allegations are contained among hundreds of Scott Schenter's county work emails that suggest the former appraiser provided football star Joe McKnight with a car and an airline ticket, and basketball player Davon Jefferson with about $3,700 in cash. …
Administrators investigated McKnight and Schenter's relationships in 2009, after the running back was seen driving a $27,000 Land Rover registered to Schenter. School officials said they "fully investigated the matter" at the time and turned their findings over to the NCAA. The disciplinary body "accepted the report, and no violation was processed," according to Haden's statement. …
A May 2008 email from Delta Air Lines to Schenter includes a receipt for his purchase of a $625 flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans. The listed passenger: "Joe McKnight." The football player is from Louisiana. Schenter, in a brief interview at a recent court hearing, told The Times that he gave money to Jefferson and the Monte Carlo to McKnight, who he said then wrecked the vehicle.
Now, far be it from us to wish anything approaching good fortune for the University of Southern California athletics department, because it seems to manufacture or purchase all the luck it needs. But when such crimes as pocket money to teenagers and flights home to see Mom wind up threaten the program, you have to hope that the sledgehammer, if there is one, falls bruntwise on this fellow Schenter. You can't prevent demand for free shit, but maybe you can smother the supply.
Meanwhile, unfazed USC is demolishing Hawaii.
Figure In Assessor's Scandal Says He Gave Gifts To 2 USC Athletes [Los Angeles Times]