McKnight didn't make the trip with the team to San Francisco on Monday afternoon. After today's practice, Carroll said the university made the decision to have him stay in Los Angeles, and aid them in trying to resolve any questions surrounding his use of an SUV owned by a Santa Monica businessman.
"It's really kind of out of my hands at this end of it, we are here practicing," Carroll said. "Down there with the compliance and the people at the university are working to figure out how to get the answers that they need. Right now, they felt like it would best support the process to have Joe down there and available to them to try and help.
"Joe doesn't have the answers. It's the other people that they are trying to get some financial records and things like that from, and they are hoping that he can help them do that."
With just days until the kickoff of the Emerald Bowl, tracking down all the necessary information and documentation needed for a resolution is going to be a difficult task.
"We are talking about getting information from other people that will justify the setting and I don't know where those other people are or who they are," Carroll said. "I don't know anything about those guys and I don't know what's going to happen with the timing of that."
Carroll said he is going to devise the game plan for the players that are currently on the trip.
"Really, it's totally out of our hands at this end. We are at the other end of the state right now. Those guys down there are working on it and until they tell us something different, Joe isn't available to us."
The Trojans certainly have a capable tailback in Allen Bradford, who has worked with the first-team offense, and will get the start on Saturday if McKnight is unavailable.
"I'm just going to go out there, run hard and punish ‘em," Bradford said.
- Junior cornerback Shareece Wright, who was recently reinstated after missing the entire regular season because of academics, has received the bulk of the reps with the first-team defense and looks to be on course to start in the Emerald Bowl.
"He is working with the first group," Carroll said. "We haven't made a decision on that but he has looked very good in practice. He's done a nice job."
"He's playing aggressively," Carroll said. "He's getting after it and you can see, as happens sometimes, that guys get a little boost in confidence now that he's up there. He's trying to make a statement that he belongs."
- While it's always a difficult task to monitor the actions of every player on the roster, Carroll said as the head coach, he is ultimately responsible for any issues within the program.
"Whether it's a kid not making his grades, or whether a kid with issues that we are talking about right now, it still comes down to the head coach," he said.
- The decision to leave McKnight in Los Angeles wasn't made by the coaches but come from the compliance office and the general counsel, Carroll explained.
"The decision came out of the university to keep Joe in the area so they can help get the information that they need," he said.
Redshirt freshman Matt Kalil has replaced Tyron Smith at offensive tackle.
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