Major setback for everyone’s favorite collegiate sports organization yesterday:
The NCAA can’t seal hundreds of pages of internal emails and other documents in the defamation lawsuit filed against it by former USC running backs coach Todd McNair, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Friday.
The three-justice panel dismissed NCAA arguments that not sealing the documents would hinder investigations by the organization.
“We are not convinced by the NCAA’s contention that public disclosure of its documents will make future investigations more difficult for the NCAA to conduct,” the 16-page opinion said.
You didn’t believe this?
Laura Wytsma, representing the NCAA, told the court during the October hearing that the organization wasn’t trying to obscure “wrongful conduct.”
“The NCAA has been as transparent as it can be on this one,” she said.
Now comes the inevitable drip, drip of embarrassing revelations of NCAA overreach. Damn, where have we heard that song before?
The situation is grim enough that it actually prompted a Stacey Osburn response.
Stacey Osburn, a spokesperson for the NCAA, released this statement:
“The NCAA remains fully committed to its obligation to member schools, student-athletes, and third-parties to protect the confidentiality of the infractions process. As such we are considering our options in light of the court’s decision.”
I’ll just bet you are, sweetheart.
Meanwhile, over in O’Bannon-land, Michael Hausfeld has decided that the best response to a motion to have his fees and costs reduced is to troll Mark Emmert.
“The value of succeeding should be measured in multiples of the value it cost the NCAA to lose,” O’Bannon lead attorney Michael Hausfeld said. “How many people did they have working on their case and what did it cost them to lose? Why don’t they produce what they spent? This wasn’t a tale of two lawsuits. This was a tale of one fraud. What the NCAA owes for losing is, in their terms, just the cost of doing bad business.”
If everyone got to penalize the NCAA for that, it would have to file for bankruptcy before the end of the year.