Well, it's about time. The guy who allegedly had full knowledge of Reggie Bush's relationship with Lloyd Lake and Michael Michaels, leading to the NCAA placing the USC football program on 4-years probation will no longer be on the university's payroll according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Yes, that's correct. USC running backs Todd McNair, who has been a fixture coaching the USC backfield for the past six years, will no longer be roaming the sidelines for the Trojans in the coming years. Per the initial report from the Times:
Todd McNair, who was USC's running backs coach for the last six seasons and a key figure in the the NCAA's investigation of the school's athletic department, is no longer part of the staff.
"Todd McNair's contract expired on June 30, 2010," Coach Lane Kiffin said. "We have no additional comment."
McNair has not been in USC's coaching offices since the NCAA handed down sanctions against USC that include four years' probation, a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships over three years.
As part of the sanctions, McNair was forbidden from contacting recruits.
I can't say that any of this is incredibly surprising to begin with. Sources indicate that McNair had not been in Heritage Hall since the NCAA sanctions were handed down in early June, and he had not been made available to the media either. Something was clearly in the works.
Granted, whether the evidence the NCAA used is sufficient or not, it's difficult to argue that the link between McNair and Bush did not place the current coaching staff in an awkward position. In turn, it's easy to understand why he was out of the office for most of June, and now out of a job.
McNair was featured extensively in the original NCAA report, and moving forward, it's hard to argue that if USC at least wants to maintain a better image in the public eye than it was going to have to attend to a few internal matters. That means expanding its compliance office, limiting access to outside influences, and cutting those with alleged ties to Bush loose. Unfortunately for McNair, that means him.
Granted McNair has tons of recruiting ties throughout the Southland, but moving forward, it's hard to argue that Kiffin didn't make the correct decision in letting McNair walk. In the end, it's probably better for both sides.
"USC's appeal of the NCAA's ruling includes an appeal of the findings and sanctions related to Mr. McNair."