Last fall, the University vigorously appealed to the NCAA its decision to rule Michael McAdoo permanently ineligible to play football at UNC. The appeal was denied.
On July 13, UNC sat at the defense table alongside the NCAA in Superior Court in Durham County, fighting McAdoo’s lawyer’s motion for an injunction to enable him to play this fall while his lawsuit against the NCAA and the University seeking reinstatement moves through the courts.
Judge Orlando Hudson ’75 denied the motion, disagreeing with the claim that McAdoo was likely to suffer irreparable loss if he is not allowed to play another season for Carolina.
McAdoo sat out the entire 2010 football season as part of the NCAA investigation into the UNC program. The NCAA’s decision was based on its concurrence with the UNC Honor Court that he had committed academic misconduct.
Noah Huffstetler ’73 contends on behalf of McAdoo that McAdoo was punished unfairly for receiving academic assistance from Jennifer Wiley ’09, a former tutor in the athletics department who is at the center of some of the NCAA allegations against the football program.
The suit accuses the NCAA and UNC of “gross negligence” and seeks unspecified damages.
The lawsuit says that McAdoo went before the Honor Court on three separate charges of receiving improper help with academics. The suit says the court, whose proceedings generally are not made public, ruled in October that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges in the first case and that McAdoo was not guilty in the second. In the third case, the suit said, the court ruled McAdoo had received improper assistance.
McAdoo had been assigned to work with Wiley as his tutor. According to the suit, this relationship continued after Wiley had graduated from UNC; McAdoo had been assigned a new tutor, but he liked working with Wiley and she agreed to continue working with him.
On July 13, an attorney for the NCAA asserted that McAdoo wanted to continue working with Wiley because he knew Wiley would do things for him that other tutors would not.
Huffstetler claims that “there’s every reason to believe that Mr. McAdoo didn’t know what the tutor was doing for him crossed over the line into improper assistance.”
The suit says that the Honor Court ruled in the third case that McAdoo was suspended for the spring 2011 semester, but could be reinstated in the fall of 2011 and eligible to play football. UNC’s attorney pointed out on Wednesday that the Honor Court does not have the final say on a player’s eligibility.
McAdoo’s suit led to the public release of a paper he submitted for a class that appeared to show multiple instances of plagiarism. The News & Observer of Raleigh published comparisons of excerpts from the paper alongside the text of multiple original sources, in which the two matched word for word.
The newspaper reported that the comparison appeared on a website devoted to N.C. State University athletics, in which commenters on a message board pointed out the plagiarism.
Plagiarism has not surfaced in McAdoo’s court proceedings. The newspaper’s reports indicated that plagiarism had not been among the charges brought to the honor court by the student attorney general and therefore would not have been considered.
The N&O also reported that the athletic department has offered McAdoo a position as a student-coach with the team this fall.
At the start of the 2010 season, McAdoo was held out by the football program after it was determined he received $110 in improper benefits, related to a trip he took with teammates Marvin Austin ’11 and Greg Little ’11 — both of whom later were dismissed from the program for violating NCAA rules on improper benefits. The suit says McAdoo repaid that amount to charity; it also stated that the typical NCAA punishment for such a violation is a two-game suspension.