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Appellate court affirms Todd McNair’s right to a new trial against NCAA

An appellate court gave Todd McNair a major victory in his long-running legal fight with the NCAA on Friday, affirming a lower court’s decision to order a new trial in the former USC assistant football coach’s defamation lawsuit against the organization.

The three-justice panel in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller didn’t abuse his discretion when he granted McNair’s motion for a new trial.

“The trial court abuses its discretion in ruling on a new trial motion only if there is no reasonable basis for its ruling or the court committed legal error,” the 26-page opinion said.