The statement reads: "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."
McCants said Williams knew the classes that didn't require students to attend and/or classes in which students were required to submit only one term paper to receive a grade. McCants alleged that tutors often wrote those papers in an interview with ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that aired on Friday.
"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' statement continued. "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."
After McCants' interview aired, the other players from UNC's 2005 national championship team also issued a statement.
"We are proud of our accomplishments both on and off the floor at UNC," the statement read. "With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work. We want to thank our advisers and counselors who supported us, while also maintaining the integrity of the institution. We also want to make it clear that Coach Williams and his staff operated with the highest level of ethics and integrity within their respective roles. We are forever grateful for the lessons we learned on the court, in the classroom and during our time in Chapel Hill.SI WIRE: Kentucky head coach John Calipari agrees to extension through 2021
"In light of the comments made by Rashad on ESPN 'Outside the Lines,' we want to state that our personal academic experiences are not consistent with Rashad's claims. We know that Coach Williams did not have any knowledge of any academic impropriety, and further that Coach Williams would not have tried to manipulate a player's schedule. Rashad will always be our teammate and we wish him well on all of his future endeavors."