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Report: Three violated NCAA ethics code in USC appeal

The SportsXchange

At least three people reportedly may have tried to influence members of the NCAA's infractions committee over its decision to sanction former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair in the Reggie Bush case decided two years ago.

CBSSports.com reported Tuesday the NCAA has tried to keep the improper involvement under wraps, but a judge's decision last week made public emails that allegedly prove the impropriety.

McNair's lawyers are trying to prove the NCAA violated its own code of ethics McNair said false information gathered by the NCAA was the key reason his appeal was denied by the NCAA last year, when he also sued the NCAA.

The emails, released by Judge Frederick Shaller, showed one staffer calling McNair "a lying morally bankrupt criminal, in my view, and a hypocrite of the highest order" to the infractions committee.

The staffer, a former enforcement representative, has duties that include assisting the infractions committee.

The evidence provided by McNair's attorneys show the NCAA had a "reckless disregard for the truth," Shaller said in his ruling.

Also, emails between individuals in question and committee members were "covertly" circulated, a violation of NCAA rules.

One email alleged that McNair lied often, saying "I hope none of you was insulted by this rant ... USC's approach to this case I have found very troubling and downright insulting."

The judge said "actual malice" by the NCAA has been proven by the emails.

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