The NCAA's "show-cause" penalty issued against former USC football assistant coach Todd McNair was ruled illegal by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The NCAA's show-cause penalty prohibits interactions between a coach and recruits for one year while working for any NCAA-member institution. USC did not renew McNair's contract in 2011 after the sanction was handed down. He has not held a coaching position with an NCAA team since.
Per the Times' Nathan Feeno, an eight-page decision ruled the show-cause provision consistituted an "unlawful restraint," hindering McNair from getting a a lawful profession in his case against the NCAA.
McNair sued the NCAA seven years ago after the league said he had not been honest about his role in the extra-benefits scandal surrounding former Heisman Trophy winner and USC tailback Reggie Bush. McNair also sued the NCAA for defamation, but lost the case in May.
Tuesday's ruling could potentially impact the NCAA status of California-based, Pac-12 schools. According to ESPN's Kyle Bonagura, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said that "the court's tentative ruling would place at risk the competitive and scholarship opportunities that flow from NCAA participation for the Pac-12's Member Universities."
Per Bonagura, the NCAA released a statement expressing its disagreement with the judge's decision.
"The NCAA disagrees with the court's ruling, which is wrong as a matter of law and does not impact Todd McNair's show-cause order that expired more than six years ago," the statement read. "We will explore all avenues for relief to ensure that NCAA member schools in California can continue to abide by the same rules as the rest of the NCAA's membership."