UNC asks McAdoo suit to be dismissed

Says McAdoo has no claim

Staff WriterSeptember 7, 2011 

— The University of North Carolina and Chancellor Holden Thorp have asked for the dismissal of former Tar Heels football player Michael McAdoo's lawsuit against the school.

McAdoo sued on July 1, claiming gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, seeking unspecified damages after the NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible. In addition to the university and Thorp, the NCAA was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Judge Paul Gessner is scheduled to hear the motion to dismiss on Oct. 11.

In court papers filed Tuesday in Durham County Superior Court, the university and Thorp argued that McAdoo has no constitutionally protected right to play college sports. The defendants argued that because McAdoo entered the NFL supplemental draft and signed with the Baltimore Ravens, he voluntarily forfeited his eligibility and therefore no longer has claims against the school.

This week, McAdoo, a defensive end at North Carolina, learned he made the Ravens' 53-man roster as an outside linebacker.

North Carolina and Thorp also argued that McAdoo failed to demonstrate that the school improperly delegated any authority to the NCAA, stating that public universities may elect to participate in associations with membership rules.

The defendants argued that North Carolina provided full and accurate information to the NCAA to determine McAdoo's eligibility.

McAdoo's lawyer, Noah Huffstetler III, said he hadn't received the motion but feels good about the basis for McAdoo's case and wasn't surprised by a motion like this in a case of this kind.

"It's not unexpected," Huffstetler said.

Huffstetler has argued that while North Carolina reported three violations to the NCAA, the school's honor court found McAdoo guilty of only one, and the NCAA chose to ignore the new information.

North Carolina spokeswoman Nancy Davis said the school won't have further comment beyond the court filing.

McAdoo was ruled permanently ineligible last season in the NCAA's investigation of academic fraud and impermissible benefits at North Carolina. He was one of 14 players to miss at least one game and one of seven to miss the entire season after the school's student-run honor court found he received improper help from tutor Jennifer Wiley in citing bibliography notations in a Swahili class.

McAdoo's motion for an injunction to restore his eligibility while his lawsuit is heard was denied by Judge Orlando Hudson in July.

After McAdoo sued, the term paper in question was included in court papers and posted on the internet by The News & Observer. N.C. State fans ran the paper through online programs designed to detect plagiarism and found that much of the 21-page paper on the evolution of Swahili culture was copied directly from other sources, including a text written in 1911.

The professor who taught the class, Julius Nyang'oro, resigned his post as chair of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies last week as the university investigates possible irregularities involving students.

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