UNC asks that student-athlete suit be dismissed
Posted April 23, 2015
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Lawyers for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday asked that a lawsuit filed by former student-athletes be dismissed, laying out a number of legal arguments that, in essence, questioned the validity of the students' right to sue.
Four men and women who played for the Tar Heels are suing the university for breach of contract, among other things, arguing that it failed to provide them with a promised education.
Michael McAdoo, a former football player, and Kenya McBee, a former basketball player, filed the suit in November, seeking class-action status for other athletes who would join their case.
In a 38-page memo submitted Thursday to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, UNC lawyers detailed five reasons they believe McAdoo and the other do not have standing to sue.
They questioned first whether the case had the right components to be considered in federal court.
"Plaintiffs have brought six claims arising under state law, and the case presents no questions of federal law," the attorneys wrote.
They also argued that North Carolina, as represented by the state university system, has immunity from such claims and that the former students had waited too long to file suit.
McAdoo and the others base their suit on the claim that coaches and others, in the athletic recruiting process, promised them an education. Then, once the students enrolled, "the University allegedly funneled student-athletes into non-rigorous classes 'designed to provide virtually no education,'" according to the lawsuit.
The former student-athletes are asking both that the university reimburse them for their losses and that it guarantee future scholarships for four years. They are also asking the court to provide oversight of the curriculum and course selection for all student-athletes for five years.