Rick Courtright, who served as a defensive quality control assistant at USC from 2016-18, has filed a lawsuit saying that he was fired after reporting NCAA violations that involve other Trojans support staff.
According to the LA Times, Courtright states in the lawsuit that he “overheard graduate assistants Brett Arce and Austin Clark discuss working with defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast to pay two students with low-level positions in the program to take online classes for the graduate assistants.” Courtright later said he witnessed Pendergast hand over some cash to Clark and that the graduate assistant then gave it to one of the students.
Courtright later reported that and other concerns including the graduate assistant driving full-time assistants while they recruited (another NCAA violation) to the USC compliance office and filed an anonymous complaint with the school.
After the issues were reported to compliance, Courtright shares that he was harassed around the football office and secluded from other staff members and his forced resignation directed by head coach Clay Helton led to “physical and mental harm.”
In a statement, USC shared that they are “investigating the allegations in the lawsuit.”
In the lawsuit, Courtright is seeking at least $2 million in damages, and states that he believes it is unlikely that he will be hired as a football coach in the future because of the pushback he received after reporting the violations. After leaving USC, Courtright spent a year as the defensive coordinator at Mayville State (NAIA – ND) before going on to be a consultant for the US Army.
The court will decide whether this is a legit case or just sour grapes from a former employee, but the allegations do involve some current coaches on staff at Southern Cal as Pendergast remains as the program’s defensive coordinator and is worth keeping an eye on. You can read the full run down here.