The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

The former guard sat down with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on June 6 and claimed that he took many paper classes in the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies, in which widespread academic fraud was later discovered by the independent investigation of Kenneth Wainstein, who was hired by the University.

McCants, who played on the 2005 national championship team at UNC, said in the ESPN interview that he rarely had to go to class and was given papers already written by his tutors — and he claimed that head coach Roy Williams knew about the paper class system.

“It’s hard for anybody not to know about the fact that we’re taking African-American studies courses and we don’t have to go to class,” McCants said in the interview.

“That’s very obvious, especially when (Williams) has his coaches checking our classes and checking our schedules and checking our grades. It was something that was a part of the program.”

On Oct. 29, Williams told journalists at ACC Basketball Media Day that he had always emphasized academics as a coach. He told Wainstein during the investigation that he was unaware of the fake classes orchestrated for athletes.

In interviews with Wainstein, Williams also denied McCants’ allegations against him. He said that he knew McCants was taking AFAM classes in his last semester at UNC and that he had spoken with McCants about taking his final semester seriously.

According to the Wainstein report, McCants did not respond to requests to assist the investigation, which left Wainstein’s team with no evidence to support his claims.

“You’re not there to get an education, though they tell you that,” McCants said in the “Outside the Lines” interview.

“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.”

Following the interview, other members of the 2005 national championship team issued a statement and said collectively that they were proud of their achievements at UNC, where they said they did their own academic work.

Wainstein’s team interviewed seven of the players who had played with McCants between 2002 and 2005. They said the classes they took, though easy, were not in any way fraudulent.

Following McCants interview with ESPN, the University announced its plans for the Complete Carolina program, which allows former athletes to come back and complete their degree at any time for no additional charge. The program will begin during the 2015-16 academic year.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.