Lawyers: UNC player not complicit in academic fraud
Posted September 11, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The latest twist in the case of a former football player seeking damages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill again points the finger at irregularities in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.
Michael McAdoo filed suit against the university in July 2011 after he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the 2010 season. A judge dismissed his suit, noting that by signing an NFL contract with the Baltimore Ravens, McAdoo attained his goal of a professional career and made his college career moot.
McAdoo’s lawyer, Noah Huffstetler, argued that the loss of his senior season cost McAdoo a higher draft status and a more lucrative NFL contract. He has appealed the dismissal of his case and is due in court again on Thursday.
WRALSportsFan.com will carry McAdoo's hearing live online beginning at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
McAdoo was one of seven players forced to sit out the 2010 season while the NCAA investigated the Tar Heel football program. The NCAA ruled McAdoo ineligible for receiving improper assistance from tutor Jennifer Wiley on multiple assignments across several academic terms.
The university began an internal investigation of the AFAM department after McAdoo's lawyers included an assignment in court filings. The paper, written for class taught by then-department head Julius Nyang’oro, was revealed to be largely reproduced from other sources.
In their latest filing, on filed Sept. 7, McAdoo's lawyers offered five documents from UNC's own investigation as evidence that McAdoo "did not knowingly or willfully obtain improper assistance."
"By UNC's own admission, there are were serious irregularities in the way in which the course in question was conducted," McAdoo's lawyers wrote. They use the university's internal investigations into the AFAM department and a report on irregularities in the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes to demonstrate that UNC had doubts about the integrity of the class in which McAdoo allegedly cheated.
They argue that the court didn't have all the information necessary before it dismissed McAdoo's case. His lawyers wrote:
Mr. McAdoo contends that, if his claims are allowed to proceed to discovery and trial, th evidence will show that he followed the instructions of his tutor and academic advisor in preparing the paper he submitted in his Swahili 403 class, and that prior to its submission the paper was reviewed and approved by both the academic advisor and the tutor, who were at all relevant times employees of UNC and under the ultimate supervision of Chancellor Thorp.