USC will conduct an internal investigation on allegations that former Trojan football star RB Joe McKnight and former Trojan basketball player Davon Jefferson received improper benefits. A corruption investigation of the Los Angeles County assesor's office has unearthed work emails of former (and trifling) appraiser Scott Schenter that suggest he helped out the two athletes on more than one occasion. He was under investigation by the NCAA in 2009 when McKnight was seen driving his Land Rover, but they couldn't pin anything on him. The hundreds of emails found speak of a Chevy Monte Carlo—in Schenter's name—and plane ticket given to McKnight, and about $3,700 in cash given to Jefferson. In the emails, the former appraiser suggests that he's just trying to get the two Trojans to help him market a couple business ventures he was cooking up. Schenter has no clear cut connection to USC and in the emails he also says he's a University of Washington fan. Looks like someone is trying to cover their ass. 

If this turns out to be true, the violations will fall under the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations and USC will be a "repeat violator" in both sports. Either USC is trying to get themselves the death penalty or they might be onto something. Maybe if the Trojans keep giving gifts to their athletes, the NCAA will give up and just start paying these kids.

Joe McKnight plays for the New York Jets and Davon Jefferson is playing basketball overseas.

[via The Big Lead and LA Times]