RALEIGH, N.C. -- The NCAA will defend the process for determining penalties for academic misconduct after a former North Carolina football player filed a lawsuit against the organization and the school.

NCAA spokesman Christopher Radford said in a statement Wednesday that academic integrity "is critically important to intercollegiate athletics and something that is expected from all student-athletes."

Attorneys for defensive end Michael McAdoo filed a lawsuit last week seeking to have him reinstated for his senior season. McAdoo's complaint says the NCAA declared him permanently ineligible based on erroneous information that he had received improper assistance from a tutor "on multiple assignments across several academic terms."

He was only found guilty by the school's Honor Court of receiving too much help on a research paper in 2009, according to the complaint.