Rashad McCants Discusses Alleged Academic Fraud During Time at North Carolina / BallTribe
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Rashad McCants Discusses Alleged Academic Fraud During Time at North Carolina

The University of North Carolina's men's basketball team has been a perennial championship contender under head coach Roy Williams, but former Tar Heels star and NBA player Rashad McCants claims the school didn't play by the rules academically.
According to Steve Delsohn of ESPN.com, academic fraud helped keep McCants eligible and allowed him to be a huge part of North Carolina's national championship team in 2004-05. A 6'4" shooting guard, McCants averaged 16.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game that year.
He told Delsohn that he benefited from tutors writing papers for him and a "paper-class" system that didn't require students to attend classes within the African-American Studies program.

I thought it was a part of the college experience, just like watching it on a movie from 'He Got Game' or 'Blue Chips.' ... 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 claims that Williams helped him swap a class from his summer session with one that he was failing in order to remain eligible. He also believes that Williams and the rest of the athletic department were "100 percent" aware of the fraud that occurred.

"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," McCants said. "We had to run sprints for missing classes if we got caught, so you know, they were very aware of what was going on."
According to Luke DeCock of the News & Observer, Williams' potential involvement in the situation takes it to an entirely different level:
The alleged issue runs even deeper than McCants simply keeping his eligibility. Per Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Delsohn, McCants was honored for his academic accomplishments despite not attending class:

Even with McCants' jarring and specific accusations against UNC, the university's athletic director, Bubba Cunningham, views McCants' claims as an outlier compared to other student-athletes, per Delsohn.

"I have gotten to know some of Mr. McCants' teammates, and I know that claims about their academic experience have affected them deeply," Cunningham said. "They are adamant that they had a different experience at UNC-Chapel Hill than has been portrayed by Mr. McCants and others."
Although McCants is aware that his claims could alienate him from North Carolina and its fans, he believes that coming forward is important in terms of forcing change.

If there are Carolina fans that don't like what's I'm saying and don't like what's happening right now, they need to look in the mirror, see that it's a bigger picture. ... I'm putting my life on the line for the younger generation right now, and I know that nobody else wants to step up and speak out because everybody's afraid, fear, submission, especially the black athletes. ... College was a great experience, but looking back at it, now it's almost a tragedy because I spent a lot of my time in a class I didn't do anything in.

This is far from the first academic fraud accusation to be levied against a top collegiate athletic program, but it isn't often that a legitimate star like McCants comes forward. He was a dynamic scorer with the Tar Heels and was drafted with the No. 14 overall selection by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2005 NBA draft.

McCants has since gone on to play overseas after playing in the NBA for four seasons (Uberlandia Tenis Clube in Brazil for 2014), but he is still an influential name within the North Carolina basketball community.
Not only could McCants' accusations shake the UNC basketball program to its core currently, but it could potentially lead to the school having to forfeit its 2005 national championship over Illinois if any type of hard evidence of fraud is discovered by the NCAA.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.Read more College Basketball news on BleacherReport.com 147 days



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