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A California judge has ruled that NCAA show-cause penalties levied on coaches violate state law

An LA County judge has ruled that the show-cause penalty levied on former USC running backs coach Todd McNair violates a state law because it places an "unlawful restraint" on him pursuing other coaching jobs, the LA Times points out.

The article adds the following note from Judge Frederick Shaller, who ruled on the case, and has much wider implications than just McNair's particular case.

“McNair’s ability to practice his profession as a college football coach has been restricted, if not preempted, not only in Los Angeles and California, but in every state in the country.”

The LA Times goes on to add, "...the Show-Cause Order imposed as a penalty against McNair was, in his case, in essence equivalent to a college coaching career-terminating sanction since no NCAA member school, including USC, would likely risk the exposure to sanctions that would impact their athletic programs and lucrative media-related and athletic program income or status by even considering hiring or retaining McNair at any later date after sanctions expired because his reputation was tainted by the penalty.”

Judge Shaller goes on to note in his this "tentative" ruling (as the NCAA refers to it) that California state laws ensures that every citizen has the right to pursue lawful employment of their choosing, and the show-cause penalty prevents that.

If this ruling is upheld in California, it could have some considerable future implications. The state of California is effectively telling the NCAA that they're not going to recognize the punishment they've handed to a coach because they feel it is too unfair. Depending on how this continues to play out in the courts, there's a slim possibility that show-cause penalties levied on coaches aren't recognized by the state of California moving forward, but don't expect the NCAA to allow that to happen.

McNair, who was given the show-cause by the NCAA after being found guilty of providing false information and covering up rules violations related to former Trojan running back Reggie Bush, is just one name you may recognize that has been issued the infamous show-cause penalty. More recent examples include Jim Tressel, who was given a five-year show-cause that expired on December 9th, 2016), and Chip Kelly, who received an 18-month show-cause in June of 2013 after leaving Oregon to become the head coach of the Eagles.

Stay tune to The Scoop as this battle between California and the NCAA continues to play out, and head here to read the full piece from the LA Times. This certainly won't be the end.