UNC’s McCants: ‘Just Show Up, Play’

Steve Delsohn, ESPN, June 6, 2014

Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer on the North Carolina basketball team that won the 2004-05 national title, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class for about half his time at UNC, and he remained able to play largely because he took bogus classes designed to keep 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 mirror and amplify many of those first made public in 2011, when the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer began to report about widespread academic fraud at UNC. The scandal has centered on the African-American Studies classes that many athletes took in order to remain eligible. The newspaper reported in December 2012 that basketball players on the national championship team accounted for 15 enrollments in the classes. A UNC internal investigation found that 54 classes in the department of African and Afro-American Studies were either “aberrant” or “irregularly” taught from summer 2007 to summer 2011. That investigation only went back to 2007, according to the school’s review, because the two senior associate deans who conducted the probe were told by Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to focus on that time frame.

The NCAA sanctioned the football program for improper benefits and academic misconduct involving a tutor, but the athletic department’s sports programs largely emerged from the academic scandal penalty-free.


Williams also issued a statement, saying: “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. 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’ university transcript, labeled “unofficial” and obtained by “Outside the Lines,” shows that in his non-African-American Studies classes, McCants received six C’s, one D and three F’s. In his African-American Studies classes, 10 of his grades were A’s, six B’s, one a C, and one a D. {snip}.


McCants, who said it was common for basketball players to major in African-American Studies, said he assumed tutors writing papers for athletes was to be expected and he didn’t question it while he attended UNC.

“I thought it was a part of the college experience, just like watching it on a movie from ‘He Got Game’ or ‘Blue Chips,'” McCants said. “. . . when you get to college, you don’t go to class, you don’t do nothing, you just show up and play. That’s exactly how it was, you know, and I think that was the tradition of college basketball, or college, period, any sport. 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.”

McCants said his first year he did go to class and took several legitimate, core-curriculum courses. But overall, his transcript shows he ended up with more than 50 percent of his courses being AFAM classes.

McCants said he was headed toward ineligibility during the championship season because he had failed algebra and psychology, which accounted for half of his credits, in the fall of 2004. He had two A’s in AFAM classes in addition to the F’s. He said coach Roy Williams informed him of his academic troubles during a meeting ahead of the spring semester.

“There was a slight panic on my part . . . [he] said, you know, we’re going to be able to figure out how to make it happen, but you need to buckle down on your academics.”

He said 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.”

McCants ended up in four AFAM classes in the following semester, earning straight A’s. He said he didn’t know what Williams was getting at with the summer school class replacement reference, and he never talked with Williams about it again. The transcripts show he had received one A in an AFAM class in the summer of 2004.

“I remained eligible to finish out and win the championship, his first championship, and everything was peaches and cream,” McCants said.

He said he is sure Williams and the athletic department as a whole knew “100 percent” about the paper-class system.


Mary Willingham, a former UNC learning specialist who is often described as a whistleblower about the UNC academic fraud scandal, said she believes McCants’ allegations.

“What he is saying absolutely lines up with what I have found: tutors writing papers for players, and advisers and tutors steering players to AFAM,” she said. “I think the coaches knew about the paper-class system. Of course they did.

“The system will only change when our athletes have a voice and begin to step forward, and that’s what Rashad is doing. It was the adults who failed the athletes.”


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  • MekongDelta69

    Was “maff” his major?

    • Pro_Whitey

      Close. It must have been AFAM, which is an anagram for MAAF.

    • Magician

      *pounding on his desk laughing*

  • Oil Can Harry

    Whites are named McCann because they “can” do things.

    Similarly Blacks are named McCants.

  • Joque Strop

    What a shocker!! Bogus classes and grades just to keep an athlete playing. What will they think of next?

    • Publius Pompilius Quitus

      I’m in the Honor College, so I don’t often have classes with athletes, but they always have a sense of entitlement whenever I’ve had a class with them. They seldom show up for class, don’t do the readings, are rude to the professors if called on in class, and, for this, they expect an A+.

  • r j p

    I would love to see this interview written in McCant’s vernacular.

  • Mary Willingham, a former UNC learning specialist who is often described as a whistleblower about the UNC academic fraud scandal, said she believes McCants’ allegations.

    Mary Willingham didn’t so much expose the fraud, that was already known well before she said what she said. Her great “sin” was almost coming right out and saying that black scholarship athletes are dumber than a box of rocks and that they’re not even qualified to look at a college much less be admitted to one. IOW, it was her noticing things about a certain race of people (even though she actually stopped short of saying race, the implication was clear), is why she had to be destroyed and her character assassinated.

    One of these days, we’ll quit pretending that big money college sports isn’t the farce that it actually is.

    • bilderbuster

      Does that mean we can quit pretending that the African American Studies Programs have any academic or intellectual worth too?

  • r j p

    Maybe the student who designed this is going to UNC (from Second City Cop):

  • I’ve seen it first hand. American higher ed is rotten to the core. Only a TOTAL housecleaning will do. Being a nice guy, I would like to see my former colleagues at the university remain employed–cleaning toilets, mowing lawns, cooking cafeteria slop, etc.

    • newscomments70

      Sounds like appropriate prison jobs for left wing traitors.

  • Dirk_Pitt

    Dumbing down of the west continues. 50 years time everywhere will resemble Africa.

    • newscomments70

      At this rate, you’re right…but there are too many of us who won’t let that happen.

  • Diversity Fatigue

    Keep worshipping the black sport thug, whitey. They laugh all the way to the bank.

    • Yeahbut, a lot of them go bankrupt a few years after they retire from thugball. We get the last laugh.

      • Diversity Fatigue

        Mike Tyson comes to mind. He made millions and squandered it all away.

        • IstvanIN

          I always thought Don King cheated him out of it.

          • MBlanc46

            And then Don King pissed it away.

          • adplatt126

            The narrative of the evil white man always ends up the same, whether adopted by a black celebrity or a young white woman. Forlorn, bitter or disillusioned young white women change teams only to discover the other side is a magnitude of order more criminal, corrupt, racist, vicious and backward. By the time she hits her mid to late 30s, she’s doing everything she can to get back on the right team, but alas, it’s often too late. The only reason Tyson has any money today is because a few white film producers decided to give that talentless hack gigs in recent years out of sheer altruism and because he was an incredible boxer at one time, despite being a piss poor excuse for a human being. And if it wasn’t for Cus D’Amato who knows what he would have amounted to in the first place. If it was up to his own people on the other hand, he’d be sleeping under a bridge. F’ing Don King. The Lloyd Blankfein / Hank Paulson / Hank Greenberg of boxing. They all pretend to be legitimate businessmen, but deep down they’re really just amoral thieves/parasites.

        • r j p

          Mike Tyson was a mental midget who married Monica Turner, a pediatrician, who was the sister of Michael Steele – former RNC committee chairman who now writes for The Root – yeah, he was a true Republican.
          My question, what kind of pediatrician (Monica Turner) has a sexual relationship with someone (a convicted rapist no less) who is no more mentally developed than their average (pediatric)patient?

        • shmo123

          300 million from what I’ve read. Imagine making 300 million dollars and not having the presence of mind to stash away even a small portion of it. Every penny squandered on bling, furs, houses, his homies, lawyers to cover your rape trials, etc. Absolute mind boggling stupidity.

      • Dale McNamee

        ” Thugball “… I like that term !

        • Einsatzgrenadier

          N****rball is an even better and more accurate term.

  • Tarczan

    It only makes sense that African-Americans would do better in African-American studies than in say, particle physics. You know, personal experience, life stories, etc.

    • r j p

      You make it sound like they could excel in Cockroach & Rat Studies.

  • MBlanc46

    There might be institutions in the US more corrupt that big-time sports, but it’s hard to think of one that leaves such a stench in the nostrils.

  • Dale McNamee

    Athletic scholarship… Oxymoron…

  • Albert

    notice that noyone even dares to point a finger at the players.

  • Evette Coutier

    When I was in school playing sports, we were taught sportsmanship, how to both win and lose with dignity, and how to give your best effort every play of the game. It was about character building first, how to be competitive, and it taught us valuable personality traits. Now it teaches dishonesty, to cheat to get ahead, and money is king over everything else. Integrity and dignity are things of the past, from white culture, and have been replaced with being black. It’s why they destroy everything they touch.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    This is stunning information. I’m beyond shocked – who would have imagined such things taking place in America? :::there really needs to be a sarcasm font:::

    • r j p

      I have black friends.

  • Magician

    Just for your information, UNC is the name of the school Eve Carson went to before she was forever taken away from us by two black animals.

    Following the murder of Eve Carson, ( I am rather surprised that the two men did not sexually assault her) I noticed that most people and the liberals were mostly emphasizing how wonderful Eve was while she was alive, in order to distract everyone from paying attention to the actual criminals. who are currently serving their life sentences with no chance of a parole.

    But we had to see George Zimmerman’s face on TV every hour every day for several months, even before any verdict was made on him, and for a couple more months after the trial.

  • adplatt126

    How fitting! African-American studies… no wonder no one learns anything. What irony! Mccants learned chaos and ignorance, which is exactly what he studied. Studying African American society is like studying a vacuum, as it’s mostly noise. African American “culture” is the only thing you can study and actually come out more ignorant, anti-intellectual and less cultured than before.

    • Ngati Pakeha

      I’m just imagining being given an assignment in an Afro American studies paper: “Write 2000 words on black achievement in science since the emancipation”. Would I get an ‘A’ for turning in a blank piece of paper?

  • somecallmealiberal

    Collegiate sports have outlived their usefulness… ban them.

    • MBlanc46

      Rather than ban collegiate sports, reserve them for real students. Let the NFL and NBA finance their own minor-league teams.

  • JohnEngelman

    Student bodies and alumni love their football and basketball teams. There is nothing that can be done to put an end to this charade. The only thing that can be done is to keep exposing what a fraud it is. In the process one can clandestinely point out that it is the black athletes who are not authentic students. Most of the whites can actually do the course work.

  • cecilhenry

    YOu know what makes me most disgusted?

    The idea that these are ‘allegations’.

    These reflect first and foremost badly on the player, who is a cheat, incompetent and should not be in College by his own admission and lying. He let this happen for his own benefit. No excuses.

    He’s cheating so that he can be around and play basketball which is his only skill and use.

    So he should be slammed out of college and have his degree taken away, any scholarships and be forced to pay tuition for attending his fake classes.

    Enough of this BS.

  • Jacobite2

    Is this guy playing in the NBA? Lotsa money, but what would you think if they’re rolling you into the OR and the last thing you ever see is his face looking down at you?

  • The Final Solution

    The quality of America’s universities continues to decline to unthinkable levels. I may just be nostalgic but it seems like in the glory days men strived for excellence in athletics and academics. Then again, they weren’t named Rashad either.

  • WR_the_realist

    “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.”

    Be fair. We can all agree that Rashad McCant had no real business being in a university. But he’s telling the truth while the administration is lying. Can I really blame a man of limited prospects for taking advantage of a corrupt system that others had set up for people like himself?