Report: USC draws NCAA's interest

Updated: September 5, 2012, 3:56 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The NCAA is looking into allegations that two former USC players received improper benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Previously, the paper had reported that USC was investigating allegations that former tailback Joe McKnight and former men's basketball player Davon Jefferson apparently received a car, an airline ticket and cash from Scott Schenter, a former appraiser.

"Any time the NCAA receives credible, new information regarding potential major violations we will look into the issue," NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said Tuesday, the paper reported. "USC has been working cooperatively with us regarding the matter."

Schenter is under investigation in an unrelated scandal at the Los Angeles County assessor's office. His interest in the two athletes wasn't immediately apparent.

Trojans athletic director Pat Haden said USC investigated 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.

Haden replaced Mike Garrett in July 2010. USC is currently on probation and the football team is eligible for postseason play for the first time in two years in relation to violations involving former running back Reggie Bush and former men's basketball player O.J. Mayo.

However, if the NCAA's findings prove these latest allegations took place ahead of when sanctions were handed down in 2010, the Trojans would not be subjected to repeat violator sanctions, the Times reported.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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