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What is the NCAA Trying to Hide in the Todd McNair Case?

UCLA v USCWhy doesn’t the NCAA want you to know what happened in the Todd McNair case? If you’ve forgotten, McNair, a former NFL utility player, was a central figure in the Reggie Bush case that resulted in severe penalties against Trojans. The NCAA has sealed all the documents in the case. Fortunately, the New York Times and LA Times are asking the courts to open them. From USCFootball.com:

On June 3, 2013, the NCAA filed an extraordinarily overbroad and improper sealing motion in this Court, which asks to keep secret seven hundred pages of the appellate reord, as well as to redact key portions of its opening brief to this Court.”

These documents include interview transcripts, deposition transcripts, and declarations of key individuals, including Mr. McNair and Mr. Lake, emails from the NCAA enforcement personnel relevant to Mr McNair’s allegations of actual malice by the NCAA; all of the opposition brief in the trial court, including routine legal argument; and even Mr. McNair’s response to the notice of allegations, which is publicly available on the Internet. This broad demand for secrecy cannot possibly satisfy the constitutional requirement that any sealing by the Court must be narrowly tailored to support a compelling interest”

Fight the good fight, newspaper men. I’m sure we’d all love to see what the NCAA is hiding, right?

The McNair vs. NCAA case is at the appellate level, after last November, the trial judge ruled in favor of McNair when the NCAA sought to dismiss McNair’s defamation claims. In doing so, the judge had some pretty strong words, including calling the actions of NCAA investigators “over the top” and saying that internal NCAA e-mails “tend to show ill will or hatred” toward McNair.

The NCAA is trying to keep those documents viewed by the court out of the public’s hands. After the Miami investigation saga, if these documents show a pattern of behavior by the NCAA with separate investigators, it will be harder for Mark Emmert to claim that these were rogue actions and not a larger issue.

In a perfect world, the newspapers would win this battle, and then the NCAA would lose the O’Bannon case. After those two, let’s replace Mark Emmert, pay the revenue-generating players, and move to an 8-team playoff. Think this can all happen by 2015? [via USCFootball.com]

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