Bucs hire Todd McNair, ex-USC RB coach tied to Reggie Bush scandal

ByJenna Laine ESPN logo
Saturday, January 12, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- Former USC running-backs coach Todd McNair, who spent the past seven years fighting the NCAA over the Reggie Bush scandal and lost, will return to coaching in 2019 as the running-backs coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.

McNair's hiring was first reported by Pewter Report.

In a high-profile defamation lawsuit, McNair accused the NCAA's Committee on Infractions of destroying his coaching career when it found him guilty of unethical conduct when Bush accepted improper benefits at USC, where McNair coached for six seasons and helped guide Bush to a Heisman Trophy in 2005.

McNair has not coached at the college or NFL level since 2010, but has been coaching high school football in Sun Valley, California.

A four-year NCAA investigation concluded that McNair knew or should have known that Bush had accepted $280,000 worth of improper benefits. McNair claimed he had no knowledge of Bush or his family accepting those benefits.

McNair's attorneys argued that the NCAA tried to make an example out of him. He testified that after he lost his job at USC, his wife, Lynette, took a job as a parking-lot attendant. He said he was also forced to use his retirement funds and had to live off of food stamps.

In May, the jury ruled in favor of the NCAA. McNair's attorneys filed a motion for a new trial in December, with a hearing scheduled for January.

This isn't the first time that new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has hired a staff member who struggled to find work after being subjected to harsh and controversial punishment from the NCAA. Arians offered an internship with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 to David Kelly, a former Central Florida assistant who was forced to resign from the school in 2011, despite the fact that the school appealed its sanctions and won. Kelly has since landed on his feet as Florida State's wide-receivers coach/recruiting coordinator.

McNair played for Arians at Temple and with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989-1993, before coaching with him on the Cleveland Browns staff from 2001 to 2003.