Former UNC football player Michael McAdoo has filed a lawsuit against the school and the NCAA seeking reinstatement after being declared permanently ineligible for academic misconduct. He is also seeking unspecified damages from the school and the NCAA in a lawsuit accuses of libel and “gross negligence” in ruling him ineligible based on inaccurate information.
According to the complaint, the NCAA ruled McAdoo ineligible for receiving improper assistance from tutor Jennifer Wiley “on multiple assignments across several academic terms.” But McAdoo’s lawyers argue that the school’s Honor Court found him guilty of only one infraction: Representing another’s work as his own after Wiley had formatted in-text citations and the “works cited” page for websites used to prepare his research paper.
The school’s Honor Court decided to suspend him from school for the spring semester, but allow him to re-enroll in the summer and then return to the football team this fall. It cleared him in a second case and the student attorney general decided there was insufficient evidence to pursue a third against him.
He had also received $110 in improper benefits. Most of that was connected to a trip to the Washington, D.C. area with teammates Marvin Austin and Greg Little, prompting the school to hold him out for the first three games of last season.
“All told, McAdoo has been declared permanently ineligible to play intercollegiate athletics because he received $110 in improper benefits (which he has since paid to charity), and because his university-assigned and trained tutor provided McAdoo with too much assistance … for one class in the summer of 2009,” the complaint states. “This punishment is grossly disproportionate to the facts of McAdoo’s case, and is inconsistent with the punishment meted out by the UNC Honor Court.”
The 6-foot-7, 245-pound lineman from Antioch, Tenn., turns 21 on Saturday.
The lawsuit seeks to compel chancellor Holden Thorp to reinstate McAdoo while also preventing the NCAA from interfering in the process or punishing the school if McAdoo returns. A hearing on that request is scheduled for July 15.
A school spokeswoman said the university is reviewing the lawsuit but had no further comment.