Former North Carolina basketball star Rashad McCants went on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Thursday and revealed why it was easy for him to help the Tar Heels win the national championship in 2005: He never went to class. He also said he made the dean’s list in Spring 2005 despite not attending any of his four classes for which he received straight A's.
“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 that at one point in his college career, he was afraid he might be kicked off the team after failing an algebra class, but Coach Roy Williams told him it would be taken care of.
“[Williams] 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,] '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' allegations are similar to those made three years ago, when the Raleigh News & Observer reported about academic fraud at the school, mainly involving athletes.
In a statement to "Outside the Lines", North Carolina Athletic 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.
"The university hired former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein in January to conduct an independent investigation into past academic and athletic irregularities. While these are the first allegations we have heard from Mr. McCants, I encourage him to speak with Mr. Wainstein."