USC looking into report on gifts to players

USC is investigating a Los Angeles Times report that says two Trojans athletes, one of whom is former running back Joe McKnight, received gifts from an employee of the Los Angeles County assessor's office.

Here's the Times report.

And here's a statement from USC athletic director Pat Haden.

The report centers on a former appraiser, Scott Schenter, who is under investigation in an apparently unrelated scandal at the assessor's office. His interest in the two athletes wasn't immediately apparent.

If Schenter's name is familiar, it should be. Haden says USC investigated previous reports of McKnight using a Land Rover registered to Schenter in 2009. The school worked with the NCAA, which didn't process a violation.

Haden says the school wasn't aware of additional gifts to the two athletes. USC already has discussed the report with the NCAA and Pac-12.

It's difficult to say what -- if anything -- this might mean for USC with the NCAA. It's certainly not the sort of potentially lingering story USC was hoping to see on the day of its season opener.