The lawyer who represents former North Carolina football player Michael McAdoo said on Tuesday that he's likely to appeal a judge's ruling to dismiss his client's lawsuit against the University of North Carolina and against the NCAA.
"The only thing I would say is we're certainly disappointed that the case was dismissed," said Noah Huffstetler III, who represented McAdoo since he filed his suit on July 1. "We will be talking to Mr. McAdoo and his family in the next couple of days ... My expectation is they will want to appeal."
McAdoo had been seeking the restoration of his eligibility after the NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible because of his role in the school's academic fraud case that represents one part of a multi-pronged NCAA investigation. Orlando Hudson, a Durham County Superior Court Judge, dismissed McAdoo's case on Monday.
Before the dismissal, UNC argued McAdoo has no constitutionally protected right to play college sports, and he no longer has a legal claim against the school because he voluntarily forfeited his eligibility when he entered the NFL supplemental draft and signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
McAdoo played in one game this season as a linebacker with the Ravens and is on injured reserve.
Huffstetler said he's interested in an appeal because of the opportunity to set a legal precedent that he believes could be helpful to future college athletes.
"(McAdoo's) feeling and that of his family is that athletes that were in his position don't have very much in the way of protection," Huffstetler said. "And when there is an NCAA investigation into the university (athletes) sometimes get caught between two large and powerful institutions that are working through a problem."
McAdoo sued North Carolina, the NCAA and Holden Thorp, the UNC Chancellor, in early July. McAdoo claimed that after the NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible, the defendants committed gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
Huffstetler argued the NCAA ignored new information after UNC initially reported three violations involving McAdoo to the NCAA. The university's honor court later found McAdoo guilty of only one of the violations.
McAdoo was one of seven players who missed the entire 2010 season because of the NCAA violations. Fourteen players served suspensions of at least one game.
In July, Hudson denied McAdoo's motion for an injunction to allow him to play while his lawsuit against the school proceeded. A term paper for a Swahili class, in which tutor Jennifer Wiley provided improper citations for McAdoo, was included in court papers that were made public when he sued.
When The News & Observer posted the term paper online, N.C. State fans ran the text of the paper through programs designed to find plagiarism. Much of McAdoo's 21-page paper was copied directly from other sources, including one text that was published in 1911.
Thorp later said he regretted that UNC officials had not caught the plagiarism. The professor who taught the class, Julius Nyang'oro, resigned his chairmanship of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies as UNC began investigating possible irregularities in the program in September.
Staff writer Ken Tysiac contributed to this story.