Ex-USC assistant Todd McNair’s defamation trial vs. NCAA begins in L.A.

In a small, cramped, downtown courtroom, opposing sides in former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair’s defamation trial against the NCAA delivered lengthy opening statements on Monday, providing detailed looks into how they will argue the case over the next few weeks.

Broillet said McNair approached friends at Washington, Western Kentucky and Temple for jobs at the college level, but his involvement in the Bush scandal prevented anything from materializing. The same goes for jobs in the NFL with the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. The timeline for these inquiries was not provided.

The NCAA’s lead attorney, Kosta Stojilkovic, who once clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts, made a case that McNair’s attempts to find a job in coaching were minimal and that his lack of effort — not the NCAA’s punishment — was at fault for his continued absence from college coaching several years later. In fact, Stojilkovic said the NCAA “gave McNair one of the lightest penalties it could.”

Showing no panic from allowing a goal to Evgeny Kuznetsov 17 seconds into the game and another to Alex Ovechkin 28 seconds into the third period, the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions took another series lead in typical Penguins fashion.

Playing without injured forwards Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh naturally fed off Crosby, who had a goal and an assist.

“Right from Sid, he led the way for us and it’s right down the lineup,” said Guentzel, who had a goal and two assists and leads the playoffs with 16 points. “You can’t get down. There’s going to be highs and lows throughout the whole series. You’ve got to stick with it to the end and we were happy to get three and end up winning the game.”

Matt Murray stopped 32 of 34 shots, keeping the Penguins in the game and maintaining the lead late with a sprawling stick save on Brett Connolly with 2:30 left. Unsure of what would happen at the other end of the rink with Braden Holtby dialed in, Murray could only keep the puck out as much as possible after allowing the early-period goals to Kuznetsov and Ovechkin.

Murray denied Michal Kempny from point-blank range and kept the puck out from a hard-charging Devante Smith-Pelly early and missed no opportunity to give the Penguins the impressive stop when they needed it.jets_043

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