banner
Caulton Tudor

McCants wanted limelight from the start

Posted July 7

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

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jcwolf75 Jul 9, 3:20 p.m.

    right on cue, here come the columns to trash McCants.....because of course nobody at UNC has... View More

    — Posted by dave437

    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, 1:47 p.m.

    So funny how UNCheat fans absolutely LOVED McCants when he was averaging 16 PPG in the NCAA... View More

    — Posted by fbguru

    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, 10:41 a.m.

    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, 9:33 a.m.

    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, 8:59 a.m.

    Alex confusing needs and wants like so many children.

  • Alex25 Jul 9, 8:49 a.m.

    Banners need to come down.

  • Alex25 Jul 9, 8:47 a.m.

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

    www.unccheats.com/facebook

  • dave437 Jul 9, 8:22 a.m.

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

  • vile garbage Jul 9, 7:31 a.m.

    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, 7:26 a.m.

    "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...

 

 

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Thursday at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Baltimore at New Orleans

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Wednesday at 5:00 pm on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Wednesday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
Final
LAL 94
DEN 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
Final
MISS 80
NARZ 74
Final
WASH 76
PAC 69
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
Final
ILLST 64
ODU 45
Final
UCLA 77
LBSU 63
Final
SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
1:30pm Today
WEBER
NEV
 
2:30pm Today
FRES
EVAN
 
2:30pm Today
KYST
PURD
 
4:00pm Today
LSU
CLEM
 
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
DILL
 
4:30pm Today
CHIST
UGST
 
4:30pm Today
DET
MDES
 
5:00pm Tonight
ARZ
MIZZ
 
5:30pm Tonight
INDST
PEAY
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
 
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
XAV
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
NICST
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
 
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
 
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
 
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
 
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
 
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
Final
ANA 2
ARI 1
Final
VAN 4
CHI 1
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Final
NYG 28
DAL 31
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL