Jurors in the trial of former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair’s defamation lawsuit against the NCAA went home Friday without reaching a verdict.

“I never thought they would go this long,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller said. “Let’s hope for the best on Monday.”

Shaller named a female alternate juror to replace another woman he dismissed Thursday after she said she did not know English well enough to take part in the discussions.

The jury cut its deliberations short Friday because one panel member had a prior commitment.

The jury foreman had told Shaller on Tuesday that the panel was at an 8-4 impasse. He also asked the judge why McNair’s claims for breach of contract and negligence are no longer in the case, leaving only the defamation claim for them to consider.

The judge told them not to speculate on the reason for the dismissal of the two causes of action, which McNair’s attorneys voluntarily dropped before deliberations began Monday.

The judge has not asked the jurors which way the majority were leaning. The jury originally began deliberating Monday morning.

McNair spent six seasons at USC coaching Trojans running backs under former head coach Pete Carroll. But his contract was not renewed after the NCAA alleged in a report that McNair knew about star player Reggie Bush’s relationship with two sports agents, San Diego sports marketers Lloyd Lake and Michael Michaels, who were providing Bush with benefits, according to his lawsuit.

McNair received a show-cause penalty from the NCAA, meaning that he had to receive permission from the NCAA for any recruiting he did for one year.

McNair, who filed his lawsuit in June 2011, maintains that he was unaware of Bush’s relationship between Lake and Michaels and that the NCAA committed misconduct in its investigation.

The NCAA’s court papers say McNair’s statements were contradicted by Lake.

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