LOS ANGELES -- Former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair's defamation trial against the NCAA is now in the hands of the jury.
During closing arguments Friday, McNair's attorney, Bruce Broillet, called for an award of roughly $27 million in actual damages. The figure does not include potential punitive damages and was scoffed at by his opposing counsel, Kosta Stojilkovic, who argued McNair had not met his burden and should not receive anything from the NCAA.
In a civil trial such as this one, the plaintiff's side (McNair) presents its closing argument first, the defense follows before the plaintiff gets a rebuttal.
Broillet took about two hours to methodically resurface what he deemed to be the NCAA's most damning missteps during its investigation into McNair's involvement in the Reggie Bush impermissible-benefits scandal and the hearing and appeals process that followed. Bush was provided with hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits, including a house for his parents, during his career at USC by an aspiring agent, Lloyd Lake, and his business partner.
Among other things, Broillet chose to focus on factual mistakes by NCAA investigators during separate interviews they conducted with Lake and McNair about a short phone call Lake made to McNair in the early morning hours of Jan. 8, 2006. During their interview with Lake, a portion of which was played twice for the jury during the trial, investigators incorrectly represented it was McNair who called Lake. And when they asked McNair about the call, they told him it occurred a year earlier than phone records show it did.