Since signing with the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 23, it appears that former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo’s career at the University has come to an end.
His lawsuit against the University, the NCAA and Chancellor Holden Thorp, however, will continue.
In July, McAdoo filed a lawsuit in Durham Superior Court, claiming that the NCAA made an erroneous decision in ruling him ineligible because it did not respect the UNC Honor Court’s findings and did not respect precedence from similar cases.
The University and Thorp filed a motion to dismiss the suit Tuesday.
Asked Wednesday about the lawsuit by WRAL.com, McAdoo said, “I feel I was done wrong. I should go on with this.”
McAdoo is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit.
In its motion to dismiss, the University states that because McAdoo opted to participate in the NFL supplemental draft, and has now signed with the Ravens, that his claims against them no longer matter.
“(McAdoo) signed a contract with an NFL team and is no longer a student at the University. As a result, (he) voluntarily forfeited his NCAA eligibility, and all of (his) claims against the University are now moot,” the motion states.
The motion also states that McAdoo’s argument fails as a matter of law, because “the Instrument (of Student Judicial Governance) is not a legally enforceable contract,” and because “a student athlete … has no constitutionally protected right to play college sports.”
On Wednesday afternoon the NCAA filed a separate motion to dismiss the case.
Bernard Burk, a professor in the UNC School of Law, said the case might prove complex moving forward, in light of McAdoo’s contract with the Ravens.
Burk said in an email that McAdoo will have to show how he specifically was hurt by the NCAA and the University’s actions in order to recover damages.
“He might try to prove that his career would have been better if he hadn’t been suspended and lost his eligibility, but he’s going to have to prove that with actual facts,” Burk said.
“It’s not going to be enough for him to speculate, ‘Well, maybe I would have gotten a better deal in the NFL if I hadn’t been suspended’ or, ‘Maybe I could have played for a better team.’ ‘Maybe’ doesn’t cut it in lawsuits.”
Noah Huffstetler, McAdoo’s attorney, said this action from the University was not unexpected.
“A motion to dismiss is fairly common in a case like this — it was not a surprise to us,” Huffstetler said. “We believe we have good reasons to cite to the court why our lawsuit is a good one and should not be dismissed.”
The next hearing in McAdoo’s case is set for Oct. 11 at the Durham County Courthouse.
Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
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