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Judge calls NCAA 'malicious' in its treatment of former USC assistant McNair

By Chris Huston | College Football Writer
Former USC assistant coach Todd McNair's case against the NCAA will likely move forward. (US Presswire)

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge called the NCAA 'malicious' in its treatment of Todd McNair and refused the NCAA's request to throw out the case brought against the association by the former USC assistant.

Furthermore, the judge ruled that the NCAA investigative process in McNair's case -- which includes emails and other documents -- was open to discovery and would be unsealed.

The NCAA's report on ethical breaches by Todd McNair was flawed, and the former coach has shown a probability he can win his defamation claims, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller said.

The NCAA had sought to have the case dismissed, but Shaller disagreed. He said after reviewing sealed documents in the McNair inquiry, which was tied to a gift scandal involving Heisman Trophy-winner Reggie Bush, he was convinced that the actions of NCAA investigators were ''over the top.''

His ruling states emails between an investigative committee member, an NCAA worker and a person who works in the agency's appeals division ''tend to show ill will or hatred'' toward McNair.

Though the NCAA will appeal the decision, it looks likely that McNair's trial will go forward. The possibility that private documents related to the case could become public is no doubt sending shivers up the NCAA's spine at this point.

McNair, the Trojans' former running backs coach, sued the NCAA in June 2011. He claimed he was a victim of a one-sided investigation at the hands of the association. The NCAA had determined that McNair "knew or should have known" about two San Diego-based operators who gave money to Bush in the hopes of representing his marketing interests. USC was hit with a two-year bowl ban as a punishment, with McNair being prohibited from contacting recruits, which resulted in his contract with the school not being renewed.

The judge's decision and strong language is the latest blow to the credibility of the NCAA's process, following reports that former Miami players would be presumed guilty if they didn't cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the Nevin Shapiro case and that investigators might have shown bias in determining the status of UCLA basketball recruit Shabazz Muhammad.

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