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Punishment upheld for former USC football assistant

Todd McNair was penalized because of his alleged participation in the Reggie Bush scandal

While USC is still waiting to hear the results of its football appeal, the chances of coming away with a victory may be looking even grimmer after learning the punishments for one ex-assistant will not be lessened.

The Division I Infractions Appeals Committee announced this ruling today.

The NCAA cited the university for a “lack of institutional control” and claimed McNair either knew or should have known former USC running back Reggie Bush was receiving improper benefits and thus should have reported these actions.

In addition, the NCAA claims McNair had contact with sports marketer Lloyd Lake about a possible business arrangement and that McNair gave “false and misleading information” throughout the investigation. Lake co-founded New Era Sports & Entertainment and was a former Bush acquaintance thought to have provided gifts to him.

Bush ended up giving back his Heisman Trophy last year after the penalties were announced. The team was forced to vacate 14 wins and ban Bush from the program. USC was also hit with four years probation.

In total, the NCAA believed Bush received nearly $280,000 in benefits while he played at USC.

McNair’s appeal of the decision was made public on Aug. 17. He alleged the NCAA was guilty of misconduct, mischaracterized facts, and that the Committee on Infractions used false statements to justify its ruling. He also acknowledged inconsistencies between his testimony and Lake’s.

As part of his punishment, McNair was hit with a “show cause” penalty, which keeps him from contacting recruits for one year. McNair is no longer an employee at USC. He contract was allowed to expire earlier this year. McNair was an assistant coach under former USC head coach Pete Carroll for six seasons.

This news comes as USC continues to wait for the results of its appeal, weeks after the team was supposed to learn its fate. USC made its case before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee in a four-hour hearing on January 23. The releasing of those results is long overdue, as the team was supposed to hear the committee’s findings within four to eight weeks of that date. 

USC was hoping to have its two-year bowl ban cut back to just one year. (The Trojans observed the first year of the ban this past season.) The team is also facing a loss of 30 scholarships over three years (including this past year) and is hoping that number is cut down to 15. USC was hit with these punishments on June 10, which were among the most severe in the history of college sports.

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