Former Trojan Football Assistant Alleges Whistleblower Retaliation

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former USC football senior defensive analyst filed court papers today seeking $2 million from the university, alleging he was fired after reporting multiple violations to school officials.

Rick Courtright's papers were brought in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A USC representative said the school is investigating the allegations and that the university ``strives to ensure compliance with NCAA rules.''

Courtright was with the Trojans in 2016-18, and Athletic Director Lynn Swann gave him several awards and a raise in 2017 for his work, according to his court papers.

Courtright alleges he learned two USC graduate assistants working for the football team were paying other students to take their classes for them with the knowledge of USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.

Courtright also maintains he reported safety violations, including two football players who he says suffered concussions after an unsupervised pre- game warmup in which they did not wear protective gear.

Courtright alleges he suffered a backlash after reporting what he knew to the USC compliance office. He alleges he was subjected to pranks and ostracized.

Head coach Clay Helton put Courtright on administrative leave in January 2018 and three months later told him to either resign or be fired, according to his court papers.

Courtright says he resigned in May 2018 to avoid having a firing on his record and believes he is unlikely to be hired as a football coach by another college or university.

Courtright was once a former assistant secondary coach and defensive quality control coach with the Arizona Cardinals and served as a scout for the New York Jets in 2013-15, his court papers state.

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