Rashad McCants’ Comments On UNC Academic Scandal Make All Parties Look Bad

On Thursday’s “Outside the Lines” episode, the University of North Carolina’s skeletons were once again yanked out of the closet. Former basketball player Rashad McCants opened up about his time at UNC and the school’s academic fraud investigations.

“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.

McCants even went as far as to implicate Roy Williams, suggesting the head coach knew about the scholastic impropriety.

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

“I mean, you have to know about the education of your players and … who’s eligible, who’s not and … who goes to this class and missing that class. We had to run sprints for missing classes if we got caught, so you know, they were very aware of what was going on.”

During his tenure at UNC McCants was often viewed as a malcontent. He was often described as mercurial, has long been associated with pushing for Matt Doherty’s firing, and butted heads, both privately and publicly, with Williams. During one local interview McCants equated college athletics to being in jail, saying , “You’re not allowed to do certain things, you’re not allowed to say certain things.”

Since washing out of the NBA and NBA D-League, McCants has tried his hand at everything from running a limo service to rapping under the stage name King Suni Blac. He is hardly the prototypical alumnus UNC’s blue blood program came to expect under the tenures of Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge.

Given his enigmatic reputation, McCants’ statements about the hallowed program have been taken by some with a grain of salt. Former Tar Heel and current Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson took to Twitter to question McCants’ credibility.

On the other hand, former UNC professor Mary Willingham asserts that everything McCants told “OTL” aligns with her whistle-blowing research.

“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.”

The university has recently employed independent investigator Kenneth L. Wainstein to look into the academic scandal.