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North Carolina

Williams denies telling McCants to 'swap classes'

Posted June 7
Updated June 9

University of North Carolina head basketball coach Roy Williams responded again Saturday to claims made by former UNC basketball player Rashad McCants. 

In an interview with ESPN Saturday Williams said he was in "shock" and "disbelief" after McCants told the network that tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class and that he took bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible. 

The coach denied that he discussed with McCants swapping any classes in order to remain academically eligible to play and said he did not recall such a meeting "at all."

"I don't have any idea what swapping out would be," Williams said to ESPN. "That's not in my vocabulary. You can't take a course and get another one thrown out at the college level. All of your courses count. So I know I would not have that kind of conversation. I don't know what swapping out means, and I have never suggested that anybody take any course."

Eleven former players attended the interview with Coach Williams as a show of support. Several players, who did not wish to be on camera, echoed Williams' thoughts and disagreed with the comments made by McCants.

Sixteen of McCants teammates from the 2005 National Championship team signed 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."

McCants’ allegations are the first direct claim involving the Tar Heels basketball program and the 2005 National Championship team. The other UNC athletes on that team, and those who issued the statement were: Sean May, Jesse Holley, Melvin Scott, Raymond Felton, Charlie Everett, Reyshawn Terry, Jackie Manuel, Quentin Thomas, Jawad Williams, Wes Miller, Marvin Williams, Damion Grant, David Noel, C.J. Hooker and Bryon Sanders.

"Our personal academic experiences are not consistent with Rashad's claims," the statement continued. "We know that Coach Williams did not have any knowledge of any academic impropriety, and further that Coach Williams would not have tried to manipulate a player's schedule."

The full interview with Williams will air Monday at 3 p.m. on ESPN's "Outside the Lines."

77 Comments

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  • joeBob Jun 10, 6:42 p.m.

    From ESPN..."According to the UNC athletic department, McCants had university property that had never been returned." And this is the official reason UNC has given for not releasing McCants grade granscript...really!

  • Gunnstigator Jun 10, 4:00 p.m.

    I have to admit this doesn't look good. What I don't understand is why McCants is coming out... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    Gunny, whether RM is telling the truth or not doesn't change the obviousness of his sickness.... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    Agree about McCants being a head case, Heels. I put more credence in his transcripts than I do in what he said. I also believe Roy didn't know the details of his players' academic situation, but I do believe he would be aware that one of his star players was on the verge of being academically ineligible. AFAM classes didn't raise the red flags back then that they did after the football scandal.

  • heelsforever Jun 10, 9:35 a.m.

    I have to admit this doesn't look good. What I don't understand is why McCants is coming out... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    Gunny, whether RM is telling the truth or not doesn't change the obviousness of his sickness. The man has some serious psychological issues that he needs to seek help for, but like most with those problems he thinks he is just fine and everyone else is screwed up. I believe that explains his actions then and now.

  • heelsforever Jun 10, 9:27 a.m.

    Well it's not like ol' Roy owned a safe house where the guys could go to smoke pot. Oh... View More

    — Posted by modukev5saysbyebye

    Too bad they didn't let JJ use the safe house.

  • censorbait Jun 10, 8:12 a.m.

    McCants was an ignorant loose cannon when he played and has not improved with age.

  • Alex25 Jun 10, 8:02 a.m.

    Ol Roy is gone.

  • fjsmss2099 Jun 10, 6:34 a.m.

    Williams states shocked and in disbelief to Bilas about tutors writing papers LOL. Bilas is either the worst interviewer in the world or Williams golf buddy. Bilas did not follow up with "Well Roy it has been proven the football players had tutors write their papers, did not attend classes and given grades. Aren't they in the same dorms and have the same tutors and yet you are shocked"???

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Jun 9, 10:52 p.m.

    Huck, I'd refrain from doing interviews about this if I were you. McCants may be bending the truth a tad, but you denying it on camera did not look too convincing.

  • hiker40diver Jun 9, 7:40 p.m.

    Did anyone expect roy to agree? He will lie to keep the 2005 banner, but it's still meaningless.

  • Objective Scientist Jun 9, 11:55 a.m.

    McCants is not a paragon of virture, and if all we had was his "word" - I'd be paying llittle attention to what he has said or is saying. Sad fact is that we have his trancript - if it is authentic - and I have no reason at this time to believe it is not - documentation that supports at least some of what he said. We've also seen the transcript of Julius Peppers, and at leasst part of Marvin Austin's... maybe some others? We know that a professor - the Dept Chair no less - in AFAM apparently gave away class credits and grades like candy via "paper only" classes for over a decade... and I'll bet not much rigor was required to get a good grade on the papers that he likely never read. This is - plain and simple - a very sad state of affairs for UNC. UNC is "my school". Even though I had great high school grades, I went from an uneducated NC countryboy to a highly educated NC countryboy at UNC while earning 3 degrees... and I cannot defend this no matter how many banners come down!

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