UNC, NCAA file to dismiss appeal by McAdoo
Posted July 9, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The University of North Carolina, Chancellor Holden Thorp and the NCAA filed a response Monday to dismiss an appeal by former football player Michael McAdoo that seeks damages after he was ruled ineligible to play his senior season at the school.
UNC, Thorp and the NCAA, all listed as defendants in the lawsuit, argue that the North Carolina Court of Appeals should drop McAdoo’s complaint based on the facts that McAdoo has already signed an NFL contract and that the NCAA was within their right to rule the former defensive end ineligible after finding major violations during the course of an NCAA investigation.
“McAdoo has mooted his claims by securing an NFL career, the ultimate focus of his claims in this case,” the document filed Monday reads.
In July 2011, McAdoo sued the university and the NCAA to regain his right to play football after being ruled ineligible for the remainder of his college career in Nov. 2010. McAdoo sought an injunction to allow him to play for the 2011 season while his case went to court but had his request for an injunction denied July 14.
McAdoo was placed on injured reserve shortly after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 23.
On Nov. 14, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson ruled that, because he was now playing professionally, McAdoo had reached his ultimate goal, and the case was no longer relevant.
McAdoo’s lawyer, Noah Huffstetler, argued that, if McAdoo had been allowed to play in his senior season, he would have improved his draft status which would have led to him being drafted and signing a more lucrative contract.
The filing by the defendants states that financial damages are “speculative by law” and thus cannot be recovered.
As it pertains to McAdoo’s NCAA eligibility, Monday’s filing also states that the NCAA was within its right under their bylaws to rule McAdoo ineligible after he “received improper benefits from a prospective agent.” McAdoo was later found to have received impermissible academic help that the university approached the NCAA with in a hypothetical manner.
UNC asked for a reinstatement and a reduced penalty on McAdoo’s behalf after a second violation that amounted to “academic fraud” because of his being unaware of the violation.
The reinstatement was denied by the NCAA on Nov. 12, 2010.
Dr. Emmett Gill, a professor at North Carolina Central University who is heavily involved with student-athlete's rights, recently filed an Amicus Brief on McAdoo's behalf.