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Court denies NCAA request to reconsider Todd McNair ruling

The NCAA claims it cannot defend itself in lawsuit if documents related to Todd McNair case remain unsealed

The NCAA lost another round Tuesday in the long-running defamation lawsuit by former USC running backs coach Todd McNair.

California’s 2nd Court of Appeal rejected the NCAA’s request to reconsider the court’s ruling earlier this month that prevented the organization from sealing hundreds of pages of documents.

The NCAA could still ask the California Supreme Court to hear the case.

The appellate court, however, didn’t need much time to consider the matter after the NCAA petitioned the court for rehearing late Monday.

In the eight-page filing, the NCAA expressed concern that the court’s ruling would hamper its ability to conduct investigations.

“The NCAA wants nothing more than to defend itself against these claims,” the filing said. “But in order to do that, this Court has directed the NCAA to compromise the very confidentiality that made this investigation possible in the first place.”

In its decision earlier this month, the three-justice panel expressed skepticism about a similar argument.

“We are not convinced by the NCAA’s contention that public disclosure of its documents will make future investigations more difficult for the NCAA to conduct,” the decision said.

The justices added that the NCAA bylaws “do not bind the courts” and don’t “provide the one-size-fits-all cloak of confidentiality” sought by the organization.

In Monday’s petition, the NCAA argued that the decision deprived the organization’s due process rights by requiring it to publicly refile the documents as part of an appeal.

“Due process does not permit the courts to exact from the NCAA such a price to appeal,” the filing said.

A hearing in McNair’s lawsuit, paused pending the appellate court’s action, is scheduled for May 14 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Twitter: @nathanfenno

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

3:42 p.m.: Updates throughout to reflect courts rejection of NCAA motion.

This story was originally published at 2:11 p.m.

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