USC’s hearing continues before NCAA committee

Todd McNair could not wait to finish.

Tim Floyd cannot wait to start.

So it goes for USC, which is scheduled to complete its three-day hearing before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on Saturday.

McNair, the Trojans’ running backs coach, appeared relieved late Friday afternoon after enduring two days of grilling from the 10-member committee during the closed-door proceeding in a hotel ballroom.

Floyd, who resigned as USC’s basketball coach last June, had hoped to appear Friday. But with questioning about football filling the day, the committee put off Floyd’s testimony until Saturday morning.

“Nothing you can do,” said Jim Darnell, Floyd’s attorney. “We’ll get our chance.”

Under orders from committee chairman Paul Dee, McNair and USC officials declined to comment about the hearing.

But McNair and his attorney spent a second consecutive day answering questions about the coach’s knowledge of allegations related to former running back Reggie Bush, according to a source close to the situation who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

According to various media reports, Bush received thousands in cash and benefits from a would-be sports marketer while he was playing for the Trojans.

Bush’s family also is alleged to have received benefits, including the use of a San Diego-area home owned by another would-be marketer who reached an out-of-court settlement for a reported $200,000 to $300,000.

Bush has said that neither he nor his family did anything wrong.

USC has acknowledged violations and self-imposed sanctions against its basketball program for infractions related to former player O.J. Mayo’s one-season stay in 2007-08.

Now comes an appearance by Floyd, which could turn contentious.

Floyd is expected to address several topics, including an allegation by a former member of Mayo’s inner circle that Floyd paid $1,000 to Mayo’s former advisor, Rodney Guillory. Floyd has denied the allegation.

Floyd and USC officials also are expected to be questioned about Guillory’s access to the program and why Mayo was allowed on the roster after Guillory had provided free airline tickets to an ex-Trojan player, Jeff Trepagnier, in 2000.

In recent interviews with The Times and New Orleans Times-Picayune, Floyd talked about his displeasure with Athletic Director Mike Garrett.

Current USC basketball assistants Bob Cantu and Phil Johnson, both of whom served under Floyd, also are expected to appear at the hearing Saturday. Johnson is coming at Floyd’s request. Floyd and his legal team believe Johnson will provide information that will “help the committee,” Darnell said.

Floyd, now an assistant coach for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, wants to coach a college basketball team again, and he has the opportunity in this hearing to attempt to clear his name, Darnell said.

Floyd directed USC to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances before he resigned in June.

“There will always be a job waiting for someone as good as Coach,” Darnell said.