Pac-12 Conference has ‘serious concern’ about NCAA’s punishment of USC

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has criticized an NCAA investigation and punishment of USC.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has criticized an NCAA investigation and punishment of USC.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott on Monday criticized the NCAA’s investigation and punishment of USC -- this in the aftermath of the unsealing last month of almost 500 pages of documents in Todd McNair’s lawsuit against the NCAA.

“As we’ve maintained from the beginning, the USC case is a good example of how the current enforcement system is not fair and consistent across the board,” Scott’s statement to the Los Angeles Times said.

“The punishments on USC were too harsh and after an initial review of the documents released recently, we share USC’s serious concern regarding the process undergone by the NCAA and its Committee on Infractions, as well as the substance of their actions in the case.”


A Pac-12 spokesman said that the conference has expressed its concern about the matter to the NCAA.

The documents that the NCAA unsuccessfully fought to seal included comments by members of the Committee on Infractions deriding USC’s response to the scandal and an excerpt of an email by the committee’s director, Shep Cooper, that called McNair a “lying, morally bankrupt criminal.”

McNair, a former running backs coach at USC, sued the NCAA for defamation in June 2011 after being sanctioned in connection with the Reggie Bush extra-benefits scandal. USC had been sanctioned in June 2010 for “lack of institutional control” for violations that centered on former football star Bush and his family, and former basketball star O.J. Mayo.

After the documents filed in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal became public last month, USC said in a statement that they confirmed “bias against McNair and USC by and on behalf of the NCAA and its Committee on Infractions.”

The NCAA countered by saying that the documents showed “how the Committee on Infractions underwent thorough deliberations consistent with the policies and procedures governing the infractions process.”

The documents omitted about 200 pages of emails, deposition transcriptions and other documents that the NCAA had conditionally filed under seal. Attorneys for McNair filed a motion last month to dismiss the NCAA’s appeal in the case because of the missing documents.


The NCAA hasn’t responded to the motion.

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