McKnight leaves

There's big news today in the world of USC football.

First, Joe McKnight announced he intends to declare for the NFL draft, saying he didn't want to risk injury by returning for his senior season.

"The time is right," McKnight told our Joe Schad. "This was my first healthy season and I really don't want to come back and risk injury."

It entirely contradicts what he told the Los Angeles Times in late November, when he appeared set on returning.

"I feel like right now is not the right time to drop everything and leave," McKnight said then. "I feel like I'm not ready for it."

Of course, in between those two comments McKnight began to be investigated by the university for allegations that he was driving an SUV that didn't belong to him — a violation of NCAA rules, if true.

McKnight has denied any improper activity, but the university investigation continues. McKnight was not allowed to play in the Emerald Bowl because of the ongoing probe.

But perhaps the most telling comment from McKnight was this one: "If I would have come back it would have been to pursue the Heisman."

That remark doesn't shine a good light on McKnight as he finishes a tumultuous three-year career at USC. A mention of personal achievement, but no mention of the pursuit of a Pac-10 or national title?