A judge has denied former UNC defensive end Michael McAdoo’s request for injunction against the NCAA, and will not allow him to regain eligibility to play football at this time.
McAdoo is suing the University and the NCAA for reinstatement to the football team, as well as unspecified damages.
In his opening remarks, McAdoo’s lawyer Noah Huffstetler said that the NCAA had made a “serious mistake” by failing to consider the UNC Honor Court’s ruling that McAdoo was only guilty of a single violation. The Honor Court ruled in October 2010 that McAdoo would be eligible to play football again in fall 2011.
Huffstetler also said that the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, which governs the Honor Court, is “an enforceable contract between the University and Mr. McAdoo”
Huffstetler said that McAdoo brought litigation now in order to preserve what would be his final football season at UNC. If McAdoo’s case is reviewed in October at the NCAA hearing for the UNC football program, he would lose almost the entire season, he said.
“How do you put a price on depriving a young man of playing college football?” Huffstetler asked the court.
NCAA lawyer Paul Sun opened his remarks by saying that the NCAA is a voluntary organization comprised of its member institutions. He said that courts only grant mandatory injunctions on NCAA rulings in extreme circumstances.
In McAdoo’s case, “It just comes down to cheating. And that’s what happened here,” Sun said. “The facts establish that Mr. McAdoo knew exactly what he was doing.”
Sun also addressed new allegations of plagiarism that have recently come to light, saying that they suggest there were more instances of cheating than were initially found.
In her remarks, a lawyer for the University said that the University was concerned about the possibility for injunction in this case, saying, “Our position is that an injunction is not appropriate.”
The University lawyer also stated that the purpose of an injunction is to maintain the status quo, and right now the status quo is ineligibility for McAdoo.
She also stated that the University does not see the Instrument as a contract, and “even if the Instrument were a contract, it’s not applicable and there has been no breach.”
After the decision, Huffstetler stated, “We do think the NCAA has tremendous authority to affect the lives of young men and women who play intercollegiate sports and what happened today I think illustrates how much power the NCAA does have and how difficult it is to challenge one of its decisions.
“It’s going to be a very tough thing… to get relief for Mr. McAdoo in time for him to play this fall. That’s the chief significance of what happened today.
“It is not the end of the case… we continue to believe Mr. McAdoo was unfairly treated.”
There is not set trial date at this time.
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