Todd McNair's Lawsuit Against NCAA Will Go to TrialBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
Todd McNair's defamation lawsuit against the NCAA in relation to the highly controversial Reggie Bush case will go to trial.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that McNair's lawsuit "demonstrated a probability of prevailing." The NCAA could appeal the court's decision, and it previously filed a motion to have the complaint dismissed.
"To summarize, McNair established a probability that he could show actual malice by clear and convincing evidence based on the (committee's) doubts about McNair's knowledge, along with its reckless disregard for the truth about his knowledge, and by allowing itself to be influenced by nonmembers to reach a needed conclusion," Justice Richard D. Aldrich wrote in the court's 30-page ruling, according to Sports Illustrated.
McNair filed his lawsuit in June 2011, and the NCAA's motion to dismiss the complaint was denied the next year. McNair maintains the NCAA investigated him, the University of Southern California's football program, and star running back Reggie Bush in a malicious manner.
In denying NCAA's motion to dismiss, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller determined certain emails from the NCAA's infractions committee "tend to show ill will or hatred." Earlier this year, hundreds of pages of documents related to the investigation became unsealed, The Times previously reported.
In some of the emails, which the NCAA fought hard to keep sealed, infractions committee officials referred to McNair as a "lying, morally bankrupt criminal." The NCAA determined Bush accepted impermissible benefits during USC's National Championship seasons and during his Heisman Trophy campaign. The NCAA also implicated McNair to have known about Bush's benefits.
While USC claimed the unsealed documents revealed the NCAA's bias against the program, the NCAA claimed they sought to keep the documents sealed to protect its infractions officials and investigators.
The USC football program is no longer under any of the NCAA's sanctions from the case, but McNair's case could have implications on its lasting effects.