Ex-UNC guard Rashad McCants averaged 16 points a game for the 2005 national title team. (AP Photo/Grant Halverson)
Former North Carolina guard Rashad McCants told ESPN that while he was in school he barely went to class, tutors wrote his term papers and that he took bogus classes in order to stay eligible.
McCants was on the Tar Heels basketball team that won the national title in 2005 and was the team's second leading scorer.
He also says that coach Roy Williams knew about the bogus classes, some of which didn't require students to attend class and some where only one paper was required to receive a grade.
"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."
Williams, in a statement, denied that he knew anything about the allegations.
"Our players have been deeply hurt over the last couple of years, and again today, by the comments and innuendo concerning their academic achievements. 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," Williams said. "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."
McCants left school after his junior season and was selected 14th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He last played in the NBA during the 2008-09 season.
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McCants' allegations mirror and amplify many of those first made public in 2011, when the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer began to report about widespread academic fraud at UNC. The scandal has centered on the African-American Studies classes that many athletes took in order to remain eligible. The newspaper reported in December 2012 that basketball players on the national championship team accounted for 15 enrollments in the classes.
A UNC internal investigation found that 54 classes in the department of African and Afro-American Studies were either "aberrant" or "irregularly" taught from summer 2007 to summer 2011. That investigation only went back to 2007, according to the school's review, because the two senior associate deans who conducted the probe were told by Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to focus on that time frame.
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