Senior Columnist

Stay granted to NCAA delays release of possible damaging documents

The NCAA has been granted a stay of a Los Angeles judge's order to unseal documents in the potentially explosive Todd McNair lawsuit.

The stay, issued Dec. 7 by judge Frederick Shaller, at least temporarily delayed Shaller's decision last month to unseal documents that reveal the NCAA's possible improper involvement in the Reggie Bush case. The documents were due to be unsealed on Thursday.

The stay allows the NCAA time to file an appeal on the decision to unseal the documents. That doesn't mean that appeal would be successful but the process could possibly delay the trial for months.

McNair, a former USC assistant, is suing the NCAA for defamation of character citing irreparable damage to his career. McNair was charged with unethical conduct by the NCAA in the Bush case. The NCAA gave McNair a one-year show cause order that rendered him virtually unemployable as a coach during that time. reported last month that at least three persons involved in the enforcement process may have improperly influenced the NCAA infractions committee. Shaller's decision to reject an NCAA motion to dismiss the case contains excerpts of emails from NCAA representatives that the judge called “malicious” and show “ill will or hatred” toward McNair. Shaller determined that the case should go forward despite the NCAA's motion.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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