McAdoo tells NY Times he was steered to AFAM
Posted February 6, 2013
Updated February 7, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Former University of North Carolina football player Michael McAdoo is once again speaking out against the school, alleging that he and other athletes got special treatment.
It is the latest blow to UNC’s reputation, which has been forced to forfeit football victories, pay a fine and has seen four independent investigations into academic practices.
A criminal probe into the matter is still ongoing. Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall met with State Bureau of Investigation agents last week. Indications are that they may have a decision on charges by the end of the month.
In an interview with the New York Times published Monday, McAdoo claimed that he was recruited to the university with a promise that he could pursue a criminal justice degree. UNC does not offer a criminal justice degree.
According to the article, counselors at UNC selected the African and African-American Studies major for him because it worked around the Tar Heels’ practice schedule
It is not a new practice for college athletes to select majors that allow scheduling around the commitments to practices, workouts and games.
McAdoo further told the New York Times that he was “assigned” a Swahili course, never attended it and never met the professor. It was for this class, SWAH403, that McAdoo turned in the paper that subsequently led to his NCAA ineligibility. The paper for the course was found to be largely plagiarized.
A spokesperson at UNC said Wednesday, “Number one, I cannot comment on any student’s academic record. Number two, I cannot comment on Michael’s situation because of ongoing litigation.
“As far as the counselors, I would refer you to the Martin report for what counselors did or didn’t do.”
The university contracted former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin last fall to investigate allegations of academic improprieties, including no-show classes, changed grades and special treatment for athletes. In December, Martin released a 74-page report on his findings, pointing to the AFAM department as a trouble spot but concluding that athletes were not the driving force behind the irregularities.
In all, 216 courses in a nine-year span showed “anomalies” and there were no fewer than 454 unauthorized grade changes over an 18-year period.
McAdoo, who has moved on from UNC to the NFL where he is on the Baltimore Ravens, has been in and out of court with a lawsuit against the NCAA and UNC. His lawyers have argued that McAdoo hadn’t received any procedural protections guaranteed to him by the honor code before the NCAA made its decision to rule him permanently ineligible. Also, by being ruled ineligible, he did not have the opportunity to improve his potential draft status, thus potentially earning more money.
In January, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that McAdoo had no standing to sue the university or the NCAA.
McAdoo, now on the injured reserve for the Ravens, signed for the league minimum $270,000 in 2011.
“I would still like to get a college degree someday,” Mcadoo was quoted of saying in the New York Times. “But not at the University of North Carolina. They just wasted my time.”