Todd McNair Loses Ruling in Defamation Trial Against NCAA, Was Seeking $27M

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

Southern California tail back Reggie Bush, left, listens to running backs coach Todd McNair, center, as LenDale White looks on during a work-out in Los Angeles Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005. The Trojans face the University of Texas  in the national championship game at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/Associated Press

A jury found in favor of the NCAA in a lawsuit filed against the sports organization by former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair, who said the NCAA defamed him and lied about him in its investigation into impermissible benefits received by former running back Reggie Bush

Keely Eure of the Trojans' football website 

McNair had been seeking $27 million in damages due to lost wages. The 52-year-old coach has been out of football since 2010 due in large part to his connection with the scandal.

Bush received hundreds of thousands of dollars in impermissible benefits during his time at USC. One of the most prolific college football players in history, Bush was provided with money, a rent-free house for his parents to live in and multiple other forms of compensation by Lloyd Lake. The aspiring agent provided Bush with those benefits in hopes he would sign with him as a client in the NFL; Bush did not.

The NCAA's investigation of the case concluded McNair had engaged in "unethical conduct" because he knew about the benefits. McNair was barred from contact with recruits for a year and was given a show-cause penalty as part of his punishment. After an unsuccessful appeal, McNair sued the NCAA in civil court.

"We appreciate the time and care the jury devoted to this case. After seven years of litigation, we are pleased the jury found clearly that the NCAA's actions did not defame Mr. McNair. We hope that the decision will allow the NCAA, USC and Mr. McNair to move on from the case," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement, per Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.

McNair said Bush gave him $60,000 in loans between 2010 and 2015 during his testimony. He also said he became depressed following the committee's decision and has had to resort to using food stamps and other means to make ends meet. 

The NCAA said it was justified in its punishment of McNair. 

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