Former USC assistant coach Todd McNair is allowed to proceed in his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA, a California appellate court ruled on Monday.The three-judge panel ruled in favor of McNair after the NCAA appealed to have the lawsuit thrown out.McNair, who coached at USC from 2005-2010, was given a show cause penalty by the NCAA for allegedly being aware of violations that former running back Reggie Bush committed while at USC and lying to investigators.McNair filed the lawsuit in June of 2011, claiming libel and slander. Monday’s decision by the appellate court supported the ruling of a Superior Court judge in 2012, who also rejected the NCAA’s efforts to have the case thrown out. The panel noted McNair had a “probability of prevailing on the merits” of his defamation lawsuit.The NCAA can either ask the appellate court to reconsider its decision or appeal to the California Supreme Court.“McNair presented admissible evidence, which if credited by a jury, indicates that he did not know about the NCAA violations, in which case the operative statement is susceptible of a false meaning,” the court ruled.While the court threw out McNair’s claim that the penalty resulted in him losing his job at USC, it could reignite the debate over the harsh sanctions levied against the school’s football program as a result of Bush’s violations. If, indeed, McNair was unaware that Bush received improper benefits during his time at USC, the NCAA could not have sanctioned the school without a university employee being aware of Bush’s activity.In its ruling, the court stated that the NCAA’s investigation centered on a two-minute phone conversation between McNair and Lloyd Lake, a would-be marketer who provided Bush with illegal benefits. But the court, citing an interview with Lake, cast doubt that McNair learned about Bush’s activity from Lake.“Nowhere during Lake’s description of the two-minute call did Lake ever say that he informed McNair of, or that McNair claimed knowledge about, the agency agreement and improper benefits,” the court ruled. “Instead, Lake speculated that Bush told McNair, or that McNair knew from osmosis because ‘he was around a lot’ and ‘watched.’”In addition to a two-year bowl ban and loss of 30 scholarships over three years, USC was forced to vacate its 2004 BCS national championship and its wins during the 2005 season as part of the sanctions levied by the NCAA in 2010. Bush also voluntarily forfeited his 2005 Heisman Trophy.
Hopley may be driving a brown 1987 Toyota Camry, with B.C. license plate 0-9-8 – R-A-L. At approximately 2:30 p.m., a motorist reported seeing a male hitchhiker, similar in description to Randall Hopley with a small child. The RCMP quickly attended the location and established road blocks and mobile patrols. Two police dogs were also deployed in the ground search.The hitchhiker was located in the area and the RCMP were able to confirm his identity and discovered it was not Randall Hopley.- Advertisement -Police would like to thank the public for their information and co-operation, including those that provided timely updates and motorist who stopped in police road checks.Friday night the RCMP extended the Amber Alert for Kienan Hebert who was reported missing from Sparwood, B.C. Wednesday night. RCMP say they are also looking for 46-year-old Randall Hopley, a known sex offender, in connection with his possible abduction.Kienan Hebert is described as: Age: 3 years old Hair: Red Race: Caucasian Descriptors: He was last seen wearing a blue pair of “Scooby Doo” boxer shortsRandall Peter Hopley is described as: Age: 46 Hair: Brown Eyes: Hazel Race: Caucasian Descriptors: He has a birthmark along his hairlineAdvertisement