Chapel Hill, NC, United States (4E Sports) – A key player in North Carolina’s national title run in 2004-2005 claimed that he took bogus classes to stay academically eligible and head basketball coach Roy Williams was aware of it.
Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer on that team, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers and he rarely went to class for about half his time at UNC.
McCants also revealed that he could have been academically ineligible to play during the championship season had he not been provided the assistance.
He added that Williams knew about the “paper-class” system, which did not require students to go to class and were simply required to submit only one term paper to receive a grade.
McCants also made it to the Dean’s List in Spring 2005 despite not attending any of his four classes for which he received straight-A grades, adding that advisers and tutors who worked with the basketball program encouraged him to take the paper classes within the African-American Studies program.
Recently, the NCAA sanctioned UNC’s football program for improper benefits and academic misconduct involving a tutor, but the athletic department’s sports programs largely emerged from the academic scandal penalty-free.
“It is disappointing any time a student is dissatisfied with his or her experience. I welcome the opportunity to speak with Rashad McCants about returning to UNC to continue his academic career — just as we have welcomed many former student-athletes interested in completing their degrees,” UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said.
Cunningham said the university hired former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein in January to conduct an independent investigation into past academic and athletic irregularities.
“While these are the first allegations we have heard from Mr. McCants, I encourage him to speak with Mr. Wainstein,” he said.
“I strongly disagree with what Rashad (McCants) has said. In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says and I think the players whom I have coached over the years will agree with me.” Williams said.
“I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the University or me,” he added.