The lawsuit filed by former North Carolina football player Michael McAdoo against the university and the NCAA was officially dismissed n Wednesday, nine days after judge Orlando Hudson announced in a Durham court his intention to dismiss it.
Noah Huffstetler, the Raleigh-based lawyer who represents McAdoo, said on Wednesday that he plans to file an appeal within the next week. McAdoo, who had been ruled permanently ineligible amid an NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits and academic fraud, had been seeking the restoration of his eligibility.
After Hudson in July denied McAdoo's motion for an injunction to allow him to play while his lawsuit proceeded, McAdoo entered the NFL's supplemental draft. He signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens, played one game and is now on injured reserve.
Despite his status as a professional football player, McAdoo wants to continue his legal fight, Huffstetler said.
"Michael and his family believe strongly that he was treated inequitably by both the university and the NCAA," Huffstetler said. "And he would like to take the case to the appellate level where we can address for the first time in North Carolina some of the issues that have not been dealt with before."
McAdoo's appeal will be made to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel would hear the case. Huffstetler said he hopes an appeal would allow the chance to create legal precedents that would help future collegiate athletes who are "caught between two large and powerful organizations."
McAdoo sued the university, the NCAA and Chancellor Holden Thorp in early July. McAdoo claimed that after the NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible because of his role in the university's academic fraud case, the defendants committed gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
Huffstetler argued that the NCAA ignored new information after North Carolina initially reported to the NCAA three violations involving McAdoo. The university's honor court later found McAdoo guilty of only one of those violations.
He was one of seven players who missed the entire 2010 season because of NCAA violations. Fourteen players served suspensions of at least one game.
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.
Much of McAdoo's 21-page paper was copied directly from other sources, including one text that was published in 1911.