USC Trojans tailback C.J. Gable with tailback coach Todd McNair after practice… (Alex Gallardo/Los Angeles…)
At least three people may have improperly tried to influence members of the NCAA infractions committee to find former USC football assistant Todd McNair complicit in the Reggie Bush case, according to a judge's decision made public last week, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.
The decision contains excerpts of emails from two nonvoting members of the infractions committee and an NCAA staffer that the judge determined showed "ill will or hatred" toward McNair.
McNair, who coached at USC from 2004 to 2009, is suing the NCAA for defamation, citing irreparable damage to his career. When the NCAA penalized USC, it also handed down a one-year "show cause" order to McNair, meaning any NCAA-member institution would have to argue its case in order to hire him.
The NCAA argued that McNair's lawsuit should be dismissed. Judge Frederick Shaller's decision to deny that motion revealed information about the lengths the NCAA went to disparage McNair. Shaller said evidence provided by McNair's attorneys show the NCAA had a "reckless disregard for the truth."
The Big East moved quickly to replace Rutgers and braced for more possible departures, getting Tulane and East Carolina to agree to join the reinvented conference in 2014.
Tulane, in New Orleans, and East Carolina, in Greenville, N.C., will make it six Conference USA schools to join the Big East in the last two years.
Rutgers would like to join the Big Ten by 2014, along with Maryland, but the Scarlet Knights have left their departure date from the Big East ambiguous. Conference bylaws require members to give the league notification of two years and three months before departing, but the Big East has negotiated early exits for Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the last year.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has filed a lawsuit against Maryland seeking full payment of the approximately $53-million exit fee for its move to the Big Ten.
According to the 10-page lawsuit filed in Guilford County, N.C., the ACC said the school must pay $52,266,342, which is three times the league's annual operating budget for the 2012-13 season.
The troubled Western Athletic Conference is adding Grand Canyon University to replace the University of Denver, which is bolting for the Summit League after only one year in the WAC.
Phillies' Ruiz is suspended 25 games
Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Carlos Ruiz was suspended for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine. The 33-year-old catcher had a career year in 2012, hitting .325 with 16 home runs and 68 runs batted in in 114 games.
Ruiz will be eligible to participate in spring training, including exhibition games.
The Philadelphia Eagles will put wide receiver DeSean Jackson on injured reserve after he sustained multiple rib fractures in Monday night's loss to Carolina.
Jackson leads the team with 45 catches and 700 yards receiving but has only two touchdowns.
The Eagles released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin. Babin had 5.5 sacks, down from 18 last year. He signed a $28-million, five-year contract with Philadelphia after going to his first Pro Bowl for Tennessee in 2010.
San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter is the team's second player in two days to be lost for the season after he and wide receiver Kyle Williams were hurt on the same play in Sunday's win at New Orleans.
The 49ers said Tuesday that both players had been put on season-ending injured reserve. Williams announced Monday on Twitter that he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and Hunter is listed as out because of an ankle injury.
Jack Pardee, one of Bear Bryant's "Junction Boys" who went on to become a five-time All-Pro linebacker and an NFL coach, has gallbladder cancer and has six to nine months to live, his family said.