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Judge says NCAA 'malicious' in USC investigation

Judge says NCAA 'malicious' in USC investigation

LOS ANGELES (AP) The NCAA was ``malicious'' in its investigation of a former Southern California assistant football coach who was linked in a report to a scandal surrounding Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush, a judge said Wednesday.

The NCAA's report on ethical breaches by Todd McNair was flawed, and the former coach has shown a probability he can win his defamation claims, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller said.

The NCAA had sought to have the case dismissed, but Shaller disagreed. He said after reviewing sealed documents in the McNair inquiry, which was tied to a gift scandal involving Heisman Trophy-winner Reggie Bush, he was convinced that the actions of NCAA investigators were ``over the top.''

His 10-page ruling states emails between an investigative committee member, an NCAA worker and a person who works in the agency's appeals division ``tend to show ill will or hatred'' toward McNair.

``We are disappointed with the decision and plan to appeal,'' the NCAA said in a statement.

McNair sued the NCAA in June 2011, claiming the association's investigation was one-sided and his future earnings were hurt by its report on the scandal, which led to sanctions against USC. The NCAA determined McNair lied about knowing about some of the gifts lavished on Bush's family by two aspiring sports marketers who hoped to land the future NFL player as a client.

The NCAA imposed a two-year bowl ban and scholarship restrictions on USC last year as a result of the Bush case. McNair was prohibited from contacting recruits and his USC contract was not renewed.

Shaller said he would unseal the entire inquiry into McNair, but would hold off on release of the records for a month to allow an appeal. ``I think the public has a right to know,'' he said.

McNair's attorney Bruce Broillet declined comment, citing the sealing order in the case. He said during the hearing that the records showed the agency knew it was relying on false statements about McNair's conduct and wanted to ``nail'' the coach, who also played in the NFL.

``They wrote evidence the way they wanted it to be - that's malice,'' Broillet said.

Laura Wytsma, an attorney for the NCAA rejected that contention in court, saying the evidence in the case show the committee that investigated McNair was trying to get its report right.

``They were struggling to get the right result,'' she said, adding that several members of the investigative committee were prominent lawyers and legal scholars.

She also argued that records in the case should not be unsealed, saying it would hurt future investigations. The NCAA does not have subpoena power, she said.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached athttp://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon at the NBA Combine.

Turgeon talked about his three draft-eligible players and what this time is like advising them. Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their early favorites for the Wizards' first round pick and their biggest takeaways from the NBA Combine measurements.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.