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Monday, June 6, 2011
Former USC coach McNair sues NCAA

By Ted Miller

Former USC running backs coach Todd McNair isn't going to just walk away after the NCAA essentially ended his career over what he allegedly knew -- or didn't know -- in the Reggie Bush case.

McNair filed suit against the NCAA on Friday, accusing the NCAA of libel, slander tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, tortious interference with contractual relations, breach of contract, negligence and declaratory relief.

You know, lots of nasty stuff.

The NCAA previously ruled that McNair, the Trojans running backs coach for six seasons under Pete Carroll, knew or should have known about extra benefits provided to Bush by a pair of would-be sports marketers and that he misled investigators. His appeal was denied in late April, so a one-year show-cause penalty against McNair was upheld, meaning any school attempting to hire him during the year period would have to seek permission from the NCAA to do so.

A "show cause" penalty makes it very difficult for an assistant coach to get a job. USC did not renew McNair's contact after the infractions committee published its original report.

You can read the entire lawsuit here.

This was not unexpected. And the NCAA has a long history of being sued -- winning, losing and settling -- over a variety of issues.

The question for us is not whether McNair ever gets some money. It's whether this ever get interesting. (My guess: No. But we'll see).

The NCAA lacks subpoena power during investigations. It can't compel witnesses to testify if they are no longer involved in college sports. Such as Reggie Bush. That won't be the case in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Ergo: Potentially a lot more information could be exposed about the NCAA's inner-workings on this case. And USC's.

A part of the lawsuit is McNair's claim that the NCAA committed misconduct in the process of its investigation. The Pac-12 blog does not have a law degree, but it feels safe saying that McNair will have a strong case on those grounds based on what already has been reported.

To quote the great American Michael Corleone: "Just when I thought I was out ... they pull me back in."