North Carolina coach Roy Williams and players from the 2005 national championship team deny they were involved with academic wrongdoing alleged by former teammate Rashad McCants.
In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” McCants – the team’s second-leading scorer – said tutors wrote papers for him. He also said he believes Williams knew “100 percent” about players taking no-show classes popular with athletes in a department later linked to fraud in a long-running scandal.
In a statement Friday, Williams said he “strongly” disagreed with McCants’ comments.
“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,” Williams said.
After flunking two classes in fall 2004, McCants said he met with Williams, who told him he could swap a failing grade from one class with a passing one from another to stay eligible.
McCants said Williams told him to “buckle down on your academics” and things would work out. The next semester, McCants said, he had A’s in four courses from the formerly named Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) despite not attending classes.
He then entered the NBA draft as a junior.
McCants also said tutors provided him with test answers in some AFAM classes, and that teammates sometimes carpooled to pick up already-written papers from tutors.
In a joint statement Friday, sixteen players from the 2005 team – including NBA players Raymond Felton and Marvin Williams, and Final Four Most Outstanding Player Sean May – defended their coach. McCants’ allegations are the latest levied against UNC in an academic fraud scandal that began as an offshoot of an NCAA probe into the football program in 2010.