USC Football: Former Trojan RB Coach Todd McNair Files Lawsuit Against NCAA

Bill NCorrespondent IJune 5, 2011

Former USC running backs coach Todd McNair filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 3 against the NCAA and up to 50 fictitious defendants (to be named later) for libel, slander, interference with contract relations and economic advantage, breach of contract, negligence and declatory relief. 

This was reported by today and the full text of the lawsuit No. BC462891 is contained in their article.

On April 29, the NCAA denied McNair’s appeal as a result of the NCAA findings and sanctions in the USC Reggie Bush case decided on June 10, 2010. 

This lawsuit has been anticipated since the original NCAA decision because it appeared that the NCAA made so many mistakes and lacked due process in the alleged faulty finding against McNair. 

The lawsuit wasn’t anticipated this quickly, but that most likely is due to the anticipation by the McNair legal team that the NCAA would unfairly deny his appeal even though it took almost six months.

A few of the allegations made by McNair against the NCAA include:

11. During the course of the internal “investigation,” Defendants, and each of them, interviewed convicted felon, Lloyd Lake.  During that interview, Defendants, and each of them, suggested certain facts to Lake which he then adopted as part of his statement.  Yet at no time did Lake, or anyone else, indicate that Plaintiff, TODD McNAIR was told and/or informed by them that Bush was receiving improper benefits from Lake.  At all times, Plaintiff TODD McNAIR categorically and steadfastly denied having any knowledge of alleged improper benefits obtained by Bush and/or his family from Lake.  Bush also makes clear that he never discussed with TODD McNAIR any benefits received by Bush and/or his family.  As stated above, Plaintiff TODD McNAIR was not provided an opportunity either personally, through his counsel, or through USC to question Lake as part of the “investigation.”

12. Despite a complete lack of evidence that Plaintiff TODD McNAIR did anything wrong, let alone committed acts amounting to unethical conduct, and despite the NCAA’s own internal regulations mandating that the evidence must be “clear and convincing” of wrongdoing to reach such a finding, Defendants, and each of them, in an arbitrary and capricious manner, disregarded their internal regulations, processes and procedures to read a finding that TODD McNAIR committed unethical conduct.  In doing so, they relied solely upon convicted felon Lake’s incomplete responses to Defendant’s misleading and suggestive questioning.  Defendants then mischaracterized the testimony of Lake to support an unethical conduct finding against TODD McNAIR.  Defendants then ignored their mischaracterization when it was pointed out to them in their in-house appeal.

13. Defendants, and each of them, in bad faith, and in contravention of all notions of fairness, justice and decency, arbitrarily and capriciously decided to ruin Plaintiff TODD McNAIR’s career to further their own agenda.

McNair asks for the following from each defendant:

1. For special damages, according to proof;

2. For general damages, according to proof and within jurisdictional limits of this Court;

3. For loss of earnings and earning capacity, according to proof;

4. For damages for breach of contract, including consequential damages, according to proof;

5. For punitive damages in a an amount sufficient to punish and/or set an example of said Defendants;

6. For damages for loss of reputation;

7. For damages for Plaintiffs other economic losses, according to proof;

8. For declaratory relief, as set forth herein;

9. For costs of suit incurred herein;

10. For prejudgment interest, according to proof;

11. For post-judgment interest, according to proof;

12. For such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.

McNair requests a jury trial.  He is represented by Bruce A. Broillet and Scott H. Carr of Green Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. Broillet is one of the top attorneys in the country.

Most USC fans fully support McNair and anticipate a huge financial settlement because it is unlikely that the NCAA will want the way it operates addressed in court.

The NCAA has not issued a public response to this lawsuit yet.

USC AD Pat Haden
USC AD Pat Haden

USC also was denied its appeal by the NCAA on May 26.  Athletic Director Pat Haden has repeatedly stated that the Trojans want to move on and will not sue the NCAA. 

Of course, USC is in a difficult situation because it is on probation mandated by the NCAA and cannot risk getting it upset and facing a death penalty situation. The NCAA appears to be a very vindictive organization that is, at best, inconsistent.

It is no coincidence that the NCAA held up the McNair and USC appeals for many months until it passed a new rule on April 28 that essentially makes past precedent meaningless.

As reported by on May 26, Haden, also an attorney, stated:

If we have to prove an abuse of discretion and there is no standard because you can’t use past precedents, how do you prove an abuse of discretion? It's kind of circular. I don’t know how you overcome the burden.