North Carolina could be in serious trouble soon in light of recent allegations from former Tar Heels forward Rashad McCants that he took fake class to stay eligible while at UNC. In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” with Andy Kaz, McCants reiterated his accusations of tutors writing papers and players receiving high grades in classes where they were never required to show up.
Now, ESPN is reporting the NCAA has opened up an investigation into the alleged academic fraud, and it looks bad:
North Carolina coach Roy Williams denied the charges, telling ESPN he was in “shock” and “disbelief” over the allegations. However, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported that McCants was not the only member of the 2005 team who was enrolled in no-show classes to stay eligible.
The newspaper gathered data that showed “five members of that team … accounted for a combined 39 enrollments in classes that have been identified as confirmed or suspected lecture classes that never met.”
In the wake of the scandal, the university has instituted several academic reforms based on findings from earlier reports.
“We remain committed to learning from our past so that we can move forward to building a stronger university,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement.
McCants’ college transcript, which was obtained by “Outside the Lines,” looks fishy to say the least. The transcript shows that he received six C’s, one D and three F’s in the 10 non-African American studies classes (classes which students didn’t have to show up to but still received passing grades for) that he took.
In his 18 African American studies courses, McCants received 10 A’s, six B’s, one C and one D.
The alleged academic fraud has been investigated since 2012, and CBS Sports’ Greg Doyel wrote a compelling article as to why banners needed to come down at UNC if this fraud did in fact occur.
Answers are coming, but already we know this: The scandal spanned the decade from 2001-11. Know what happened that decade? The UNC men’s basketball team played in three Final Fours. It won national titles in 2005 and ’09.
Did any players on those NCAA championship teams attend bogus classes? According to the News & Observer, almost 67 percent of the students in those 54 classes were athletes. Most played football, but the newspaper reported that UNC records showed “basketball players had also enrolled. In two of the classes, the sole enrollee was a basketball player.”
The longer this investigation continues, the more likely the NCAA will find enough evidence to punish UNC for it’s misdeeds. Or, they’ll continue to turn a blind eye as they have before.
For whatever reason, they appear to be favoring the UNC basketball program, and don’t want to damage the reputation of it or head coach Roy Williams.