Earlier this morning, ESPN, Bleacher Report & other companies reported on former North Carolina guard Rashad McCants coming out & saying that he took fraud exams & classes during his time there, including during the 2005 National Championship season. He also noted that head coach Roy Williams knew about these scam classes.
McCants noted that he even made the Dean’s list while taking bad classes. If these allegations are true, yes it is a black eye on college sports, especially on North Carolina, one of the most revered institutions in college athletics.
What it also looks at is the issue of college sports, & how it has become strictly a business & that the NCAA does not care about its athletes. While many people ask questions about McCants credibility, a North Carolina professor, Mary Willingham, was a whistleblower in that she noted that many football & basketball players were taking scam classes to stay eligible for NCAA play.
McCants could very well be looking for financial gain from all of this publicity, especially with recent news on North Carolina academic issues over the last few years, but where he may not realize he could be in trouble is that if there is massive academic fraud, the players that received degrees would lose those degrees, due to the academic instructors being frauds. McCants’ actions could end up being far more reaching than he ever thought they would be.
But, before the public starts ripping McCants for blowing the whistle in this situation, people have to realize that this doesn’t just happen at North Carolina. My best bet would be that most of the top athletic programs in the country have some kind of shady business going on, whether its in recruiting, benefits, academics & more.
Many people think McCants is just looking for attention or is upset about his career not panning out the way he wanted to, but I call that bull. If he was that upset, he would not want to jeopardize his accomplishment of being a part of the 2005 NCAA Championship team & having that taken away. Yes, McCants isn’t an NBA player & he may be very bitter about that, which is something that he has to look at himself about. It just so happens that this issue is something that he could latch on to & do more with in the media & general public, especially because he has so much stroke still at Chapel Hill.
The part of this that could be even more shocking is that Williams possibly knew about this situation. If Williams endorsed this in any way, even with his Hall-of-Fame resume, he has to go, or be forced to retire. No way could you have an administrator or coach endorsing the kids to not go to class in order to benefit the university. It sends a terrible message to people & its a bad look for recruits looking for a school to play for. While there are some athletes who can’t always get into universities based on their grades, more needs to be done with those athletes in grade school to do more, not enable them once they get to the college level.
We hear about how so few athletes ever get to go pro in their respective sports, but if you are a football or basketball player at a program such as a North Carolina, your chances are significantly better of at least being drafted if you are even halfway good. McCants has played overseas & is currently playing in Brazil, which is better than probably his other options, & apparently he didn’t think about his education while being at Carolina where he could have an actual career path that he could do something with.
McCants did have an NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves & Sacramento Kings before being out of the league, so its not as if he can say that he didn’t have a chance to do something in the NBA. It looks as though once he was out of the NBA, he may have gotten the wake-up call that he doesn’t have the skills to do anything else because he didn’t take his education time seriously.
The NCAA has to look at North Carolina hard, even though McCants might be a bit of a rat. Sometimes even the rats have something good to spew out to the public. For North Carolina’s sake, they have to hope that Williams wasn’t feeding the rat some cheese on the side.