It’s no secret that college athletes, especially the good ones are given free passes in school. Considering their hectic schedules and inability to attend classes regularly, schools often break the rules by forging grades and more. Although we know it happens, athletes clearly aren’t supposed to talk about it and former Tarheel Rashad McCants has broken that unwritten rule.
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.
“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 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 left school after his junior season and was selected 14th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He last played in the NBA during the 2008-09 season.
Williams responded in a statement Friday:
“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.”
McCants’ comments will no doubt lead to further investigation into UNC which was previously investigated and sanctioned after their football program was found to have improper benefits and academic misconduct involving a tutor.
Read more on ESPN and here’s a clip of the video: