It's 2014 - NCAA still arguing to cover up the facts in the USC/McNair case,0,1422341.story

Gary Klein has authored a story on the Todd McNair v. NCAA case which is published on the above listed link.

Tomorrow, Monday, October 27, 2014, the case comes before the California Court of Appeal, Second District, Los Angeles for arguments.

It is now five years after the NCAA made its allegations. Ten years after the events. The behavior of the NCAA Committee on Infractions has ruined Mr. McNair's coaching career, damaged USC's reputation, and caused huge ripple effects to the athletic programs across the PAC-12 and the NCAA.

Many in USC's fan base have been pointing out for the past five years that the allegations in the Committee on Infractions report were unsubstantiated, damaging to the reputation of the coaches and university, and harmful to the players over the past five years. More importantly, the action the NCAA took in response to these allegations was draconian.

Tonight, it appears that the McNair case is coming to a point. But, not because of USC or McNair. It's coming to a point because Los Angeles Times and New York Times are requesting to unseal the records of the case. Attorneys representing the media have fought since June 2013 (15 months) against the attempt by the NCAA to seal the case. A court elected to seal the documents in July 2013 until otherwise. Trading delays, interventions, and motions for the past year, the litigants are proceeding to oral arguments tomorrow morning.

LA Times and NY Times filed letters with the court on 9-30-2014 "requesting permission to present oral arguments on the sealing issue" for a hearing on 10-15-2014. The court granted "permission to present oral argument limited to the issue of Interveners' opposition to the motion of appellant National Collegiate Athletic Association to seal the appellate record. Oral argument of interveners shall be limited to 15 minutes".

On 10-6-2014, a request from NCAA attorney Laura Ann Wytsma is noted in which NCAA counsel is "asking additional ten minutes to respond to interveners NYT and LAT".

On 10-9-2014, the court continued the oral arguments from 10-15-2014 to 10-27-2014 at 9;30 AM "limited to the NCAA's motion to seal the record lodged conditionally under seal."

On 10-17-2014 the NCAA "request for an additional 10 minutes to respond to the argument of the interveners" was granted.

Last week on 10-20-2014, the court deemed that the opposition by New York Times and Los Angeles Times was "filed as of July 9, 2013". The court also noted the filed letter from Todd McNair that "Stuart Esner will appear and present oral argument on 10-27-2014."

If the court finds that the documents can be unsealed, we may finally learn the testimony of Mr. McNair in the case of the allegations made by NCAA. Many of us on this blog have believed for the past five years that no substance exists in this case. Many of us believe that McNair is likely to be an unfair target of an overzealous Paul Dee, who was chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions and then Athletic Director of the University of Miami.

NCAA is having to argue tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM before the court in order to defend the sealing of the case. The NCAA has been preventing opening of the court documents to the media but NCAA has never made public the reasons for their position. The media, including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, has been seeking to obtain the court documents in order to review the statements of the parties and the court. Tomorrow morning, the litigants, including the media, will be in court for the first time with oral arguments on the cover up.

McNair has not been able to work as a coach since 2009, lost a request for appeal before NCAA in 2011, and had to file the court case to clear his name. The NCAA claimed in the infractions report that "the assistant coach" "knew or should have known" that Bush had dealings with two sports marketers.

USC has not been a party to the litigation, which is between Todd McNair and NCAA. USC has no role in this case because it is between McNair and NCAA directly.

There have been many people on this blog who were arguing that USC should have taken a stronger position against NCAA. However, it is important to point out that had USC taken the position of entering litigation against NCAA, USC would be a party to much of the litigation and action while making communication between USC and NCAA very difficult. Patrick Haden positioned the university to exclude university resources and budget from the risky exposure to the case. Plus, there would be no ability for USC to really gain anything from entering the McNair case.

USC already accepted the penalties and has already paid that price. USC has never covered up anything in the matters related to the 2009 NCAA COI report.

NCAA has chosen to formally seal all documents related to the matter. The NCAA has pursued the "sealing of documents" related to the McNair case through the California Court of Appeals over three years of time.

Tomorrow, we could find out the reasons for the NCAA's continuing refusal to discuss the COI report and the events around it. Is the issue that the NCAA wants the court to overturn the ruling and does not want other parties reviewing the NCAA arguments? My guess is that the NCAA attorneys have already lost one hearing last year (before Shaller), and they do not want to erode their position any further. Therefore, they are requesting to keep all statements sealed.

But, the NCAA position ignores the huge economic impact of the Committee on Infractions. In the case of Penn State, the NCAA action has financially harmed not only Penn State, but the surrounding community and the state of Pennsylvania. In the Penn State matter, the arguments were profound and required intervention of the governor and state legislature to defend their sovereignty over having a "membership based organization" seizing funds from the state university.

In the case of McNair, there are clear overriding and legitimate arguments by the media in favor of unsealing the documents. The media, the government, and the people have a right to understand and review the behavior of NCAA's Committee on Infractions.

As Klein writes:

In November 2012, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller ruled against the NCAA's motions to dismiss the case and to keep documents under seal. McNair had shown a "probability of prevailing on the defamation claims," Shaller wrote.

Shaller wrote that emails between an infractions committee member, an NCAA employee and an NCAA appeals coordinator "tend to show ill will or hatred." Shaller said in court that "the conduct that is shown by the persons involved in this investigation is over the top, it's malicious, and I think it was directed for an outcome."

The NCAA is seeking to have the court overturn the ruling.


EDIT on FEB 3, 2015 - There is no statement at California Court of Appeals or from LA Times regarding the ruling on the sealing of information. One wonders when the information is coming out. You would have expected that information to be released already.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors.

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