O.J. Mayo Wasn't the Only USC Basketball Player Taking Money in 2007-08

By Joshua Casey

When allegations broke in 2010 that former USC basketball star O.J. Mayo, who is now with the Dallas Mavericks, had received improper cash and gifts while in school, many USC basketball fans’ worst fears were realized. They were slapped with harsh sanctions, which strictly limited their recruiting strategies moving forward.

Former head coach Tim Floyd made USC relevant for the first time in a very long time and USC’s future looked extremely bright. Mayo had taken USC deep into the NCAA tournament, subsequently losing to Michael Beasley and Kansas State, and was looking forward to doing the same thing in his sophomore year until these allegations arose and USC headed downhill from there.

Since then many USC fans and non-fans alike have often made Mayo the punch line to many jokes. Now new reports have begun to surface that Mayo was not the only player on that 2007-2008 team taking improper benefits. A recent report out of the Los Angeles Times says that a man by the name of Scott Schenter, who is being investigated in an ongoing corruption scandal, gave money to two athletes while at USC. How does the Times know this? Well, Schenter said it for himself.

Schenter said that he gave a little more than $3,700 in cash to former USC player Davon Jefferson while he was still at USC. Schenter is the same man who claims that he provided former USC star running back Joe McKnight, now with the New York Jets, with a car and airline tickets.

The report is more focused on Schenter than on sports, but this information arose as a result of the investigation.

Instead of looking to find information on Davis or McKnight, the Times was instead, “looking into Schenter, a former assessor’s employee who has been charged with giving improper tax breaks to wealthy residents.”

Under the California Public Records Act, the Times obtained hundreds of e-mails sent by Schenter to Jefferson detailing cash payments that have been previously unreported.

The violation would have occurred under former head coach Floyd, who is now at UTEP, not under current head coach Kevin O’Neil. USC has notified the NCAA of this latest news and there is no telling where it will go from here.


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