Rick Courtright

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former USC assistant claims he was fired for reporting potential NCAA violations


Former USC defensive quality control assistant Rick Courtright is taking USC to court over his removal from the program in 2018. In a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times, Courtright claims he was ousted from the football program’s staff after reporting potential NCAA violations to the compliance office at USC.

In his lawsuit, Courtright claims he overheard two graduate assistants discussing plans to have students take online courses for them. The graduate assistants named in the lawsuit are Brett Arce and Austin Clark. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast is accused of having discussions about payments to students to take the online classes for the two USC graduate assistants. Courtright claims he saw Pendergast hand cash to Clark, who then passed it off to an unnamed student. This incident was reported to the USC compliance office in June 2017, according to Courtright’s claim in his lawsuit.

Courtright also claimed to have witnessed a number of other potential NCAA violations, including players warming up without protective equipment and coaches to supervise, the use of a school courtesy car for personal reasons and more. As a result, Courtright also claims he became the target for abuse in the workplace with various pranks and acts of mischief.

Courtright resigned from his position on the USC staff in May 2018 after being given the option of resigning or being fired by USC head coach Clay Helton, according to the lawsuit.

USC has not commented on this legal battle, which is to be expected.