A couple hours after it was reported that former North Carolina guard Rashad McCants admitted to taking phony classes in order to remain eligible for competition while in college, head coach Roy Williams denied any wrongdoing on his part. Among McCants’ statements was his assertion that Williams knew about the courses, some of which required nothing more than a single term paper (attendance wasn’t required) in order to be completed.
In a statement released by North Carolina, Williams had the following to say about McCants’ claims:
“Our players have been deeply hurt over the last couple of years, and again today, by the comments and innuendo concerning their academic achievements,” Williams said. “The young men who accepted scholarships to play basketball at this University have done so expecting a world-class basketball experience, in addition to a world-class education. Obviously, we pride ourselves on being one of the top basketball programs in the country, but equally important, in helping our players grow academically and socially, as we promised their parents we would.
“Our student-athletes understand the value of a degree from the University of North Carolina and accept their academic responsibilities in earning that degree,” Williams continued. “They take seriously their efforts to, in some cases, become the first member of their families to graduate from college.
“I love them for all they have meant to UNC and to me, and I will continue to believe in and support them.
“With respect to the comments made today, 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.”
In the hours following the McCants story released by ESPN’s Outside the Lines many former Tar Heel players have rushed to defend their school, and even some athletes who played against North Carolina have questions McCants’ motivation for making these claims. According to the Outside the Lines report, McCants plans to write a book about his basketball career in the near future.