On Friday, Rashad McCants, a key piece to North Carolina’s 2005 national championship team, dropped heavy allegations that he took bogus, no-show classes to remain eligible.
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams released a statement later that day, denying McCants’ accusations. The following day, he sat down with ESPN analyst Jay Bilas for a 35-minute interview for Outside the Lines where Williams specifically addressed McCants’ claims.
McCants failed half of his classes in the Fall 2004 semester, but received straight A’s and earned Dean’s List honors the following semester. The Tar Heels won the NCAA tournament during his academic turnaround.
That spring, McCants took four African Americans Studies (AFAM) courses, which known as “paper class” system, which required no attendance and just one paper handed in at the end of the term. McCants’ claimed Williams knew about these no-show classes.
“I thought that meant that a class was on paper but it didn’t really exist, and then come to find out people are using that terminology ‘paper classes’ to signify independent study courses that you do papers,” Williams said. “… I’ve been told by people that some of those are really, really good. It shows a lot of discipline because you’re self-directed. If my players took independent study courses that were offered by this university for a reason that the university thought they were valuable, my players, if they took those courses, did the work, and I’m proud of that part of it.”
Another one of McCants’ allegations against his former coach was that Williams helped steer him into these courses after learning McCants’ was close to becoming academically ineligible. Williams refuted that accusation.
“I don’t have any idea what swapping out would be,” Williams told Bilas, referring to the phrase McCants’ claimed Williams used. “That’s not in my vocabulary. You can’t take a course and get another one thrown out at the college level. All of your courses count. So I know I would not have that kind of conversation. I don’t know what swapping out means, and I have never suggested that anybody take any course.”
Williams has been the head coach of his alma mater since 2003. McCants played three seasons for the Tar Heels. He went on to play four seasons in the NBA before bouncing around in leagues overseas.