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California judge rules NCAA show-cause against Todd McNair violates state law

Nearly 13 years after he left campus, the Reggie Bush case continues to snake its way through the legal system.

The latest development comes from a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, who found the NCAA’s show-cause penalty against former USC running backs coach Todd McNair (pictured, far right) violates California law and declared it void because such a ruling violates “unlawful restraint” on McNair’s ability to pursue work in his profession.

Tuesday’s ruling is a tentative one, though it’s one the NCAA figures to fight back hard against, given the organization does not have subpoena power and the threat of a show-cause penalty is one of the dwindling few avenues it has to compel cooperation by NCAA coaches and employees as it works to enforce a moral code that grows more publicly unpopular by the year. If California law renders the show-cause penalty worthless, other states might, too.

“McNair’s ability to practice his profession as a college football coach has been restricted, if not preempted, not only in Los Angeles and California, but in every state in the country,” Judge Frederick Shaller wrote in the tentative decision, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Bush left USC after the 2005 season. McNair was slapped with a 1-year show-cause penalty in 2011. He has not worked at the NCAA level since his USC contract expired after the 2009 season.

“At that point, it’s like you just shut down,” McNair testified in May of not being able to land subsequent jobs after being let go by USC. “It’s hopelessness if I can’t get a job at my alma mater (Temple). At that point it was pretty rough.”

McNair is now the offensive line coach at Village Christian School in Los Angeles.