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Sunday March 7th

McAdoo suing UNC, NCAA despite NFL’s eligibility ruling

Former player permitted to enter supplemental draft

Despite permission from the NFL allowing him to enter the supplemental draft, former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo is still seeking damages in a lawsuit against UNC and the NCAA.

McAdoo is suing for unspecified damages after he was declared permanently ineligible to play college football during the NCAA investigation into the UNC football program.

The NCAA ruled McAdoo permanently ineligible in November, alleging that he received impermissible academic benefits multiple times during the course of several months, among other violations.

In the lawsuit, McAdoo claims he is only guilty of only a single academic violation, receiving impermissible help on a works cited page. In December, Honor Court found him guilty of only that single violation.

After the lawsuit was filed, an area blogger found that one of McAdoo’s papers may have been largely plagiarized.

On July 13, Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson denied McAdoo’s request for preliminary injunction, which would have let him rejoin the UNC football team for the 2011 season.

On Aug. 12, the NFL granted McAdoo eligibility for today’s supplemental draft, giving him the opportunity to sign with a team if selected or to pursue free agency.

“If he is drafted in the supplemental draft, or if he signs as an undrafted free agent, either way it would have no immediate impact on our lawsuit,” Noah Huffstetler, McAdoo’s attorney, said. “We would continue our case which asks for damages against both the University and the NCAA.”

Huffstetler said McAdoo chose to enter the draft because Hudson’s ruling “pretty much eliminated any realistic chance of his returning to play football at Carolina.”

Athletic director Dick Baddour confirmed last month that McAdoo had been offered the chance to remain on scholarship as a student coach.

“We want to be a part of him progressing towards his degree … we’re going to honor his scholarship in that way,” he said.

Huffstetler said he can’t say whether McAdoo plans to complete his degree at UNC but said his client is ready to leave the University and explore other options in order to play football.

“He decided to move on and to follow his hope to have a professional career,” he said.

The NCAA and the University have until Aug. 30 to file a response to McAdoo’s claims. An attorney for the NCAA declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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