The second-leading scorer on North Carolina’s basketball team that took home the 2004-2005 national title, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers and he rarely went to class.
Rashad McCants’ confession comes amid a scandal involving the University of North Carolina’s unfair practices when keeping athletes academically eligible.
McCants told “Outside the Lines” that he could have been academically ineligible to play during the championship season had he not been provided the assistance. Further, he said head basketball coach Roy Williams knew about the “paper-class” system at UNC. The so-called paper classes didn’t require students to go to class; rather, students were required to submit only one term paper to receive a grade.
McCants also told “Outside the Lines” that he even made the Dean’s List in Spring 2005 despite not attending any of his four classes for which he received straight-A grades. He said advisers and tutors who worked with the basketball program steered him to take the paper classes within the African-American Studies program.
McCants’ allegations are similar to many others made public in 2011, when the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer started reporting the news of widespread academic fraud at UNC.
The investigation was centered around African-American studies classes in which athletes were enrolled in. In 2012, it revealed that the classes were either “aberrant” or “irregularly taught” from summer 2007 to summer 2011.
The school’s football program was sanctioned by the NCAA for improper benefits and academic misconduct involving a tutor. Despite the sanction, the athletic department’s sports programs emerged from the scandal penalty-free for the most part.
In a statement to “Outside the Lines” on Thursday, UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said: “It is disappointing any time a student is dissatisfied with his or her experience. I welcome the opportunity to speak with Rashad McCants about returning to UNC to continue his academic career — just as we have welcomed many former student-athletes interested in completing their degrees.
[…] “I have gotten to know some of Mr. McCants’ teammates, and I know that claims about their academic experience have affected them deeply. They are adamant that they had a different experience at UNC-Chapel Hill than has been portrayed by Mr. McCants and others.”
McCants was drafted in 2005 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He currently plays professional basketball in Brazil.
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