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N.C. ruling sets back college athletes' ability to challenge removal from teams

(01/16/13 5:06pm)

There's an intriguing new ruling out from North Carolina's Court of Appeals that, while not directly related to free expression, portends difficulty for the inevitable legal challenge as more college athletes are punished for what they say on social media. The court of appeals decided Tuesday that a former Tar Heels football player has no claim against either the University of North Carolina or the NCAA for the loss of earnings he believes he suffered when he was barred from the team for his senior season, leaving him to enter the NFL as an undrafted free agent receiving the league's minimum salary. Michael McAdoo was kicked off the team after being accused of accepting inappropriate help from a tutor in completing a term paper for (yes, really) his Swahili class, leading the NCAA to declare him ineligible to play. On top of the NCAA disqualification, UNC suspended McAdoo for a semester and put him on academic probation, but did not take away his athletic scholarship entirely. It's worth perusing the entire opinion, but the bottom line is that, in the view of the three-judge panel in North Carolina, McAdoo has no case because he lost only playing time, not his scholarship, housing and other tangible university benefits.


Public records in CNN investigation show many college athletes read well below college literacy levels

(01/07/14 7:00pm)

Sara Ganim, the reporter who helped break the Jerry Sandusky story at Penn State, has a new story today looking at the literacy of college athletes at public schools around the country. It's an easy story for student journalists to localize through records requests of their own. Ganim targeted public schools that are subject to open records laws and asked for athletes' SAT and ACT entrance exams.