USC FOOTBALL NEWS

USC Football Roundup: Todd McNair testifies and more (5/4)

BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 22: Running backs coach Todd McNair of the Cleveland Browns looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at Ravens Stadium on December 22, 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Browns defeated the Ravens 14-13. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 22: Running backs coach Todd McNair of the Cleveland Browns looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at Ravens Stadium on December 22, 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Browns defeated the Ravens 14-13. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Former Trojan assistant Todd McNair finally took the stand as his lawsuit against the NCAA heats up. Here’s your USC football roundup for May 4th.

The big story around USC football this week continues to be Todd McNair’s pursuit of damages from the NCAA, which penalized the assistant coach for his alleged role in the Reggie Bush scandal.

McNair’s testimony stretched across Thursday and Friday, giving USC reporters on hand plenty of interesting information to relay.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

  • McNair claims the NCAA’s ruling against him sent him into a spiral of depression. Joey Kaufman of the OC Register did a good job detail the gist of the personal fallout for the coach.
  • Reggie Bush helped out McNair financially after he was let go from USC. Nathan Fenno of the LA Times runs down the payments which added up to $60,000.
  • McNair settled with USC for $240,000 after his appeal was denied by the NCAA, per Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.
  • McNair claims Pete Carroll was planning to leave USC before the 2009 season, hiring offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and special teams coach Brian Schneider with an eye towards bringing them with him to the NFL, per Kaufman on Twitter. That undermines the perception that Carroll left USC in order to escape the sanctions.
  • During cross examination, the NCAA’s lawyer asked if Bush’s ’96 Chevy Impala, which was allegedly paid for by Lloyd Lake, was a popular car. That got a laugh from Judge Frederick Shaller, per Kaufman. McNair called the vehicle “trash.” It didn’t raise any red flags for the coach from a compliance standpoint.
  • The NCAA lawyer tried to claim USC parted ways with McNair because of poor recruiting performance, citing Rivals recruiting rankings and apparently displaying his own poor grasp of how recruiting works, per Fenno on Twitter.
  • The NCAA tried to undercut McNair’s claims that his career was ended by the scandal by pointing out he only reached out to a handful of programs after the ruling. At one point, they put up a list of contacts McNair could have contacted for jobs. It didn’t go well for them:

It’s tough to know exactly what the jury thinks of McNair’s case compared to the NCAA’s arguments, but from a USC-centric perspective, McNair’s lawyers seem to be landing more punches at this stage.

Pac-12 revenue rising

Revenue in the Pac-12 is up eight percent from last year, surpassing $500 million for the first time, per Fox Sports.

More from Reign of Troy

That’s something for Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott to champion and trumpet when Pac-12 Media Day comes around.

The trouble is, the Pac-12’s growth remains outmatched by the revenue being hauled in by the SEC and Big 12.

New rivalry wishes?

College Spun laid out some college football matchups they’d like to see become annual rivalries, including USC vs. Penn State.

USC’s recent Rose Bowl victories over the Nittany Lions definitely make that a palatable matchup, though Ohio State and Michigan would be just as intriguing in terms of annual dates with a Big 10 foe.

Besides which, the Trojans already have a locked in date with Notre Dame each year. That’s enough rivalry for one school.

Darnold’s first day

Sam Darnold threw in a New York Jets jersey for the first time on Friday. Reporters on hand were impressed by his passes and poise, but it was head coach Todd Bowles who had the most fun with the media on the subject.

Trojan Trivia

USC has won 42 of its last 53 games against the Big Ten.

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