Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson dismissed former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo’s lawsuit against the University and the NCAA Monday, effectively closing another chapter in UNC’s ongoing football woes.
But McAdoo might not be ready to stop fighting just yet.
“(McAdoo) and his family feel very strongly that students who are caught up in NCAA investigations such as the one that took place at Carolina don’t have adequate protection with their rights,” said Noah Huffstetler, an attorney representing McAdoo.
The case was first brought up in July when 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 heed precedence from similar cases.
Huffstetler, who said that he believes McAdoo will seek to appeal the decision, added that several issues in the case — such as the use of the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance as a binding legal contract — have no precedent in North Carolina law.
“Should we take an appeal, which I believe we likely will, it would be determined for the first time by North Carolina appellate courts,” he said.
Huffstetler presented potential testimony from an agent Monday, claiming that had McAdoo been allowed to complete his collegiate career, he could be making more money in the NFL.
In dismissing the lawsuit, however, Hudson agreed with attorneys representing the University and the NCAA that McAdoo’s decision to enter the NFL supplemental draft and sign with the Baltimore Ravens rendered his claims moot.
According to the Associated Press, Paul Sun, attorney for the NCAA, argued Monday that the court wouldn’t be able to award “speculative” damages based on McAdoo failing to improve his draft position by missing his senior season.
In order to appeal Hudson’s decision, McAdoo would have to show that Hudson did not correctly apply the law in dismissing the lawsuit.
Bernard Burk, a UNC law professor, said that might be a tall task for McAdoo.
“Mr. McAdoo did seem to be asserting some rights that don’t exist,” Burk said. “Even if there were some legal right to play football here, it’s very hard to see how he’s worse off today given what’s actually happened.”
Burk said that McAdoo would have to rely on too much speculation about what may have happened his senior season to prove he would have been drafted.
“Given the fact that Mr. McAdoo gave up any right to play college ball, claiming he should be rewarded … seems like trying to eat your cake and have it too.”
The best-case scenario for McAdoo now is that appellate judges will decide to allow his lawsuit to go to trial. But Burk said that may not come easy.
“His claims are just not very attractive legally. And leaving the legal issues aside, they’re just not very attractive practically or emotionally either,” he said. “For heaven’s sake, the guy has a contract to play with the Baltimore Ravens. He’s living the dream.”
Contact the Sports Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.