Rashad McCants, who led his UNC Tarheels basketball team to the big win of the 2004-2005 national title, has shocking news. During Rashad McCant’s 90-minute interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines, he admitted to having tutors write his term papers. McCants also admitted he rarely showed up for class for at least half the time he was at UNC.
Based on Rashad McCants’ confessions, he remained capable to play basketball due to “bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible,” per Outside the Lines.
McCants tells CBS Sports that coach Roy Williams knew that the player needed assistance in order to be able to play in the championship season, which oddly enough, was coach Williams’ first championship. And Rashad McCants, being the second leading scorer for the UNC basketball team with an average of 17.6 points, was desperately needed for his team to win. It was vitally important to keep McCants playing.
Rashad McCants went on to discuss with Outside the Lines his participation in what he called the “paper-class” system within the African-American Studies program at UNC. This “paper-class,” according to McCants, allowed him to submit one term paper and never actually attend a single class. Rashad had tutors write his term papers while he received straight A’s in the four classes he never showed up for.
To make matters worse, McCants tells ESPN that he made the Dean’s list during the championship season (2005) without even attending a class. Can you say farce?
Rashad McCants remembers those who worked in the basketball program urging him to take the paper classes. Rashad actually thought that “tutors writing papers for athletes was to be expected” and never even questioned it at the time. McCant continued, “I thought it was part of the college experience… when you get to college, you don’t go to class, you don’t do nothing, you just show up and play.” Based on that quote, it’s obvious McCants didn’t take an English course.
McCants added, “You’re not there to get an education, though they tell you that. You’re there to make revenue for the college. You’re there to put fans in the seats. You’re there to bring prestige to the university by winning games.”
CBS Sports reports that accusations of academic fraud have surrounded the University of North Carolina’s athletic department since 2011. However, it’s been mostly focused on the football program and not basketball. Penalties have been given to the UNC football program, and their African-American Studies program was the hub of the scandal. McCants took eighteen such courses, based on his transcript.
As Rashad McCants was approaching the 2004-2005 championship season, he was worried because he had failed algebra and psychology, which McCants tells ESPN “accounted for half his credits.” Alongside those two F’s, he had two A’s from his African-American classes. McCants said coach Williams informed him that there were issues with his grades. But that the coach assured him he would figure something out.
McCants reveals that Williams told him, “We’re going to be able to change a class from, you know, your summer session class and swap it out with the class that you failed, just so the GPA could reflect that you are in good standing.”
Bubba Cunningham, North Carolina’s athletic director, gave a retort regarding McCant’s statements to Outside the Lines. “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,” Cunningham stated.
Rashad McCants says he is preparing himself for the backlash from UNC fans, but stands by his decision to come forward.
Outside the Lines quotes McCants saying, “If there are Carolina fans that don’t like what I’m saying and don’t like what’s happening right now, they need to look in the mirror, see that it’s a bigger picture.” He added, “I’m putting my life on the line for the younger generation right now, and I know that nobody else wants to step up and speak out because everybody’s afraid, fear, submission, especially the black athletes.”
McCants says he is doing it for the younger generation, but what is intriguing is that McCants will be writing a book about his basketball and collegiate experiences. Could it be he is looking for another means of revenue? If so, Rashad McCants is sure to get his 15 minutes.
[Photo Credit: ESPN.Go.com]