North Carolina

McCants: So many scared athletes

Posted June 11, 2014

Rashad McCants, the former University of North Carolina basketball player who revived the discussion about so-called "paper classes" with an interview with ESPN's "Outside the Lines" last week, returned to the airwaves Wednesday with a rebuttal to his coach and teammates' claims that he was an outlier in getting prohibited academic help. More audio clips: McCants talks academics, athletics with ESPN

"How is it you’re not accountable for the things your players do off the floor?" McCants said he would ask coach Roy Williams.

McCants said Williams and other athletic department representatives "knew 100 percent" that he rarely went to class, took bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible and had tutors write his term papers.

In a follow-up interview, Williams, with members of the 2005 championship team sitting just outside the camera's view, said he was in "shock" and "disbelief" about McCants' claims.

Wearing a shirt with "N$AA" on it, McCants said Wednesday, "The truth is there in the transcripts."

Jalen Rose, a star in the early 1990s for the University of Michigan and current ESPN NBA analyst, joined McCants for the discussion. He said, given the ratio of coaches to players on a college basketball team, "It's almost hypocritical to say you didn’t know."

Both men acknowledged the responsibility of student-athletes in going to class and getting the education that is offered them. McCants said his understanding of that role has changed since he was a player. 

"As a 17-year-old," he said. "I had no idea that this was part of exploitation of student athletes."

“There are adults there to usher you along the way,” Rose said.

McCants seemed determined to turn the spotlight away from UNC to a national conversation. He told host Andy Katz that he asked Rose to join that conversation.

"He can sympathize with the fact that student-athletes don’t get the proper care,” McCants said.

NCAA Basketball - graphic McCants: NCAA system is corrupt

"This is not the only place that this happens," he said. "There’s just so many scared athletes.”

Sixteen of McCants teammates issued a statement Friday that said, "With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work."

To that, McCants said he'd urge them to release their transcripts.

"They’re going to protect the university; I want to protect the student-athlete,” he said.

"It's not about UNC. It's not about me. It's about the future generation of all student-athletes."

McCants said it's wrong for the media to point the finger only at Williams, the current head coach. He pointed out that Williams' predecessor, Matt Doherty, was the person who brought him to Carolina. 

Doherty quickly responded Wednesday afternoon on Twitter. "I did not see any problems while I was at UNC as a player or a coach. I feel sorry for Rashad," he wrote.

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  • ncausncazconc Jun 12, 3:04 p.m.

    This reminds me of professional cycling a few years ago. There was a collective effort to cover up systemic doping througout the rank and file in the cycling world...they were all in it together. Then a few "name" cyclists (i.e. Tyler Hamilton) starting spilling the beans. The rest of the cycling world turned on Tyler, but over eventually the truth came out, culminating in having Lance Armstrong stripped of his Tour de France wins. It feels like we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg, both regarding UNC and college revenue sports in general. Maybe ol' Roy is just stalling so he can schedule a pathetic public guilt statement on Oprah the way Lance did.

  • TTSCP Jun 12, 2:31 p.m.

    McCants is not lying.

  • dogsturningonyou Jun 12, 11:20 a.m.

    Wayne Walden.......

    May just turn out to be the golden key that will unlock Roy's door to the basketball program as it relates to academics. After all, Walden would have first hand knowledge of a system he was involved with.

  • Alex25 Jun 12, 10:53 a.m.

    Alex25:
    Interesting post. Just out of curiosity, will you provide a link to that Charlotte radio... View More

    — Posted by dogsturningonyou

    link at bottom already

  • dogsturningonyou Jun 12, 10:50 a.m.

    Alex25:
    Interesting post. Just out of curiosity, will you provide a link to that Charlotte radio station WFNZ on Aug. 15, 2012, (as reported by ESPN) material?

  • Alex25 Jun 12, 10:48 a.m.

    This must be related -- from 2 years ago:

    CHAPEL HILL — Confidential student records were stolen from a UNC-Chapel Hill building which houses the Honor Court.

    At 8 a.m. Monday, UNC-CH officials discovered that the student judicial system office in Student and Academic Services Building North had been broken into and 31 students’ confidential records stolen, according to a news release.

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/01/1383848/unc-ch-investigating-break-in.html#storylink=cpy

  • LuvsThePack Jun 12, 10:42 a.m.

    Scared athletes? Yeah, the mafia can be pretty scary -- even the UN*C mafia.

  • Alex25 Jun 12, 10:30 a.m.

    Wayne Walden...

  • dogsturningonyou Jun 12, 10:25 a.m.

    TVs_Deceit posted:
    "With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work."

    Notice the players conspicuously left out the - "all" - in their statement.
    e.g.
    "With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended [all of our classes] class and did [all of] our own academic work."

    I thought the Carolina Way was dead.........

  • Alex25 Jun 12, 10:07 a.m.

    To Charlotte radio station WFNZ on Aug. 15, 2012, (as reported by ESPN):

    “No question about it,’’ Williams told “The Drive.” “Our track record is pretty doggone good. And our track record has been pretty doggone good for 15 years at Kansas, nine years at North Carolina. And we know how much we emphasize the academic side in the basketball office. We know what our guys are majoring in. We know – every day we’re in touch with those kids.

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