Ex-Tarheel Star Claims he Took “Paper Classes”
(NEW YORK) -- Rashad McCants, a junior on North Carolina's 2005 national championship men's basketball team, says that he barely went to class and tutors wrote his papers so he would remain academically eligible.
McCants told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he made the dean's list in the spring of 2005 without ever attending one of the four classes in which he received A's. The second-leading scorer on the '05 title team further accused Tarheels head coach Roy Williams of knowing about such "paper classes". Those so-called classes were part of the African-American Studies Program at UNC.
The allegations come just a couple of years after the Raleigh News & Observer began reporting about widespread academic fraud on the North Carolina campus. An investigation published in 2012 found that 15 members of the national championship basketball team accounted for enrollments in the courses.
An independent investigation by the university found 54 classes in African and Afro-American Studies were "irregularly" or "aberrantly" taught from 2007 to 2011. While the NCAA sanctioned the Tarheel football team for improper benefits and academic misconduct, the athletic department as a whole was largely unpunished.
Although McCants claims that it was the norm for tutors to write papers on behalf of student-athletes, members of the UNC athletic department have painted other pictures.
"I have gotten to know some of Mr. McCants' teammates, and I know that claims about their academic experience have affected them deeply," said UNC's athletic director Bubba Cunningham in a statement to "Outside the Lines". "They are adamant that they had a different experience at UNC-Chapel Hill than has been portrayed by Mr. McCants and others."
"With respect to the comments made today, I strongly disagree with what Rashad [McCants] has said. In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says and I think the players whom I have coached over the years will agree with me," said men's basketball coach Roy Williams in a statement released on Friday. "I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the university or me."
A copy of McCants' unofficial transcript shows that he obtained 10 A's and six B's in African-American classes, but received six C's, one D and three F's in non-African-American Studies courses.
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