banner
Caulton Tudor

McCants wanted limelight from the start

Posted July 7, 2014

Rashad McCants congratulates team mates during the UNC Alumni game, Friday, September 4, 2009 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

Photo by Todd Melet

— Three things we know for certain about Rashad McCants:

1.He wants center-stage.
This part of his personality was obvious from his earliest days in the North Carolina basketball program. That was during the summer and autumn of 2002, when McCants joined Raymond Felton, Sean May, David Noel and Byron Sanders in a Matt Doherty-recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 nationally by some of the services.

McCants, Felton and May were all ranked among the top 10 individuals, but only McCants arrived with an aloof, self-centered personality. Only 18-years-old at the time, he had the demeanor of a snooty superstar.

Now almost 30, and long removed from any hope of a successful NBA career, McCants’ actions during the past month smack of his lingering need for attention.

In a way it’s almost as though McCants still sees himself as the villain emeritus of the Tar Heels program and is jealous of the role P.J. Hairston assumed last season as McCants’ heir apparent.

That said, it is entirely possible McCants is being truthful in his allegations that the school’s administration, Roy Williams, Doherty and high-ranking athletic department officials knew about -- and condoned -- academic fraud.

Williams strongly denies those charges and he has a lot more credibility than McCants.

When McCants says he’s taking these actions for the “betterment” of children, to “save lives” and save “future generations,” it comes across as scripted, near-laughable rhetoric.

Maybe he’s being honest when he says he’s seen a “light at the end of the tunnel.” Maybe he’s changed. Maybe he’s become a caped crusader for academic reform in athletics.

But it’s just as likely that the “light” he’s talking about is the spotlight he wanted back.

2.UNC could not have won in 2005 without him.
As much as many Carolina fans may dislike McCants today -- as at a lot of them did during his college career -- the Heels never would have won the 2005 NCAA title without his offense.

McCants didn’t invest a lot of energy on defense and it caught up with him fast in the pros. But as Williams’ second Carolina team went 33-4, 14-2 in the ACC and defeated Oakland, Iowa State, Villanova, Wisconsin, Michigan State and finally Illinois en route to the title, McCants’ perimeter shooting was instrumental.

May was the best player during the Final Four and Felton was easily the most important piece in the team’s success, but McCants’ 16-point scoring average made the offense click in transition and from the perimeter against half-court defenses. His late free throw was crucial in a controversial 67-66 third-round win over Villanova at Syracuse in the East Regional.

Doherty, given a recruit mulligan today, probably would have focused instead on Julius Hodge or Jarrett Jack. Both were interested in Carolina as high school players, but McCants was from Asheville and deemed a better talent. As it turned out, Hodge won an ACC Player of the Year award at NC State and Jack had a fruitful college career at Georgia Tech and evolved into a much better NBA player. 

McCants’ ego could get too big for the locker room and sometimes too big for the playing court. But credit is due where it’s due and he was vital in 2005, when Williams won his first national title and made Carolina basketball a national headliner again.

3.No retreating now.
Whether McCants will be remembered as a champion for reform, a self-centered scoundrel or perhaps both as the UNC saga plays out, he’s stitched himself into the fabric of the story now.

There’s no way for him to fold tent and run and it’s for sure he can’t go home again if he considers Carolina a home in any definition of the word. He’s not merely a part of the narrative, he’s talked himself into a lead role. This part of his life story will follow him for many years and his potential impact on the school and its sports could be more dramatic and longer lasting than memories of his jumpers against Michigan State and Illinois in St. Louis.

McCants the basketball player is gone. McCants the activist spokesman is the life he’s chosen.

69 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jcwolf75 Jul 9, 2014

    View quoted thread


    My thoughts exactly, but I do think McCants is after a book deal or some kind of payoff. Either way, get the popcorn it should be interesting to see what happens.

  • 903 Born To Be Hated Dying To Be Jul 9, 2014

    View quoted thread



    So funny how UNCheat fans absolutely LOVED McCants when he was averaging 16 PPG in the NCAA tourney, but now they HATE him because he's blowing the whistle on YEARS of academic fraud that included the b-ball program, which UNC Athletic Dept (including 'Ole Roy) thought they had covered up


    It certainly proves McCants' point that UNC and its fans just exploited him while he had eligibility to play ball in the UNC uniform... Now that he doesn't, all loyalty and respect is out the window...

  • fbguru Jul 9, 2014

    So funny how UNCheat fans absolutely LOVED McCants when he was averaging 16 PPG in the NCAA tourney, but now they HATE him because he's blowing the whistle on YEARS of academic fraud that included the b-ball program, which UNC Athletic Dept (including 'Ole Roy) thought they had covered up. Is he telling the truth about everything? Probably not. Is he seeking attention and money? Probably. Does that negate the facts on the transcripts and the records of b-ball players from the same era taking the same bogus AFR-AMER courses as the football players? NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  • LuvsThePack Jul 9, 2014

    I think he just believes they have an open-and-shut case against the Holes and the NCAA. He's basically saying, "get ready to write me a fat check".

    I don't think he meant the $300 million would go to him, personally. Probably more of a punitive amount the NCAA would have to pay toward programs that help these athletes and/or go toward education about vile programs like UN*C that only want to use the athletes to line their own pockets before throwing them out with the bathwater.

  • heelsforever Jul 9, 2014

    Alex confusing needs and wants like so many children.

  • Alex25 Jul 9, 2014

    Banners need to come down.

  • Alex25 Jul 9, 2014

    UNCCH: worst cheating scandal ever. This isn't about McCants....he's the hero.

    www.unccheats.com/facebook

  • dave437 Jul 9, 2014

    right on cue, here come the columns to trash McCants.....because of course nobody at UNC has done anything wrong....

  • vile garbage Jul 9, 2014

    It's for the kids, not money. UNC owes ME $10,000,000.00. I never went to class. It is like prison here where all I do is go to class and to practice. I sucked in the NBA and wasted millions of dollars and now I am a nobody. Oh wait, that part is true.

  • fbguru Jul 9, 2014

    "Heels never would have won the 2005 title without his offense"...This is true, and if this investigation reveals academic fraud in the b-ball program as it did in the football program, with b-ball players taking the same AFR-AMER studies, it is not far fetched to wonder if banners will fall (be not dismayed, they have so many in the Smith Center, you probably won't notice!)

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia at Syracuse

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL Hurricanes at Chicago

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
FIU
 
1:05pm Today
DET
FLASO
 
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
Final
LAL 101
OKC 108
Final
DEN 92
NOP 99
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NOP
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
Final
WAKE 69
PITT 66
Final
STAN 70
OREG 73
Final
OSU 65
PURD 61
Final
COL 87
ARST 81
Final
UCLA 72
WASU 67
7:00pm Tonight
TEX
BAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
UVA
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COOK
 
7:30pm Tonight
SHSU
CARK
 
7:30pm Tonight
DELST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
HOW
NORST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
INCWORD
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
LAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
NICST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
JST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
PVU
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
TXSOU
 
9:00pm Tonight
VT
BC
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
OKLA
 
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
Final
WAS 4
TOR 0
Final
DAL 1
ANA 3
Final
VAN 6
STL 5
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NAS
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
MON