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Rashad McCants: There was academic fraud at UNC

Rashad McCants: UNC Academic Fraud Scandal

By Sam Spiegelman
XN Sports

Student-athlete is a touchy term. It always has been, and unless there's change, it always will.

Rashad McCants personifies that notion all too well.

In an interview with ESPN's "Outside the Lines," the former North Carolina standout admitted that tutors wrote his term papers, that he rarely attended class and he remained eligible largely because he took "bogus classes" to keep his grades high.

McCants made the Dean's List in the spring of 2005 despite not going to any of his four classes that semester, according to the report. Still, he received straight A's. In addition, his tutors steared him toward African-American Studies courses where papers largely determined the final grades.

These accusations justify a 2011 report from the Raleigh News & Observer about widespread academic fraud at UNC. According to the investigation, the 2005 NCAA champion Tar Heels team accounted for only 15 enrolments.

In one year alone, when the team won the 2005 NCAA championship, basketball players accounted for 15 enrolments, university records show.

Two years later, members of the team all but disappeared from those classes, which did not meet and typically required a paper or research project at the end. UNC-CH records show just one basketball player took an independent study from the department in the past five years.

The NCAA reprimanded the UNC football program for allotting improper benefits and the use of academic misconduct involving tutors.

UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham issued the following response to the "Outside The Lines" report, calling the report "disappointing."

"It is disappointing any time a student is dissatisfied with his or her experience. I welcome the opportunity to speak with Rashad McCants about returning to UNC to continue his academic career - just as we have welcomed many former student-athletes interested in completing their degrees.

"The university hired former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein in January to conduct an independent investigation into past academic and athletic irregularities. While these are the first allegations we have heard from Mr. McCants, I encourage him to speak with Mr. Wainstein. ...

"I have gotten to know some of Mr. McCants' teammates, and I know that claims about their academic experience have affected them deeply. They are adamant that they had a different experience at UNC-Chapel Hill than has been portrayed by Mr. McCants and others."

McCants added he was close to being academically ineligible during the Tar Heels' championship season after failing algebra and psychology. He had two A's and two F's, and when discussing the issue with coach Roy Williams, McCants said Williams made it seem like "we're going to figure out how to make it happen."

Of course, McCants remained eligible and finished as the team's second-leading scorer. He's expected to write a book about this experience.
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.

Join the discussion

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John June 06 2014 at 1:42 PM

That's why many gave credit to Notre Dame for kicking off their star QB last year for academic reasons. Not many universities would have done that.

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1 reply
hohohoazhohoho John June 06 2014 at 9:39 PM

on the other hand, not many universities would have covered up a sexual assault by one of their football players than led to the suicide of a young woman either.

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1 reply
wnagle53 hohohoazhohoho June 07 2014 at 5:06 AM

Please don't believe that. They ALL do , would, and will.

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kentfreeland June 06 2014 at 1:48 PM

"steared him"? "enrolment"? Talk about academic fraud...

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1 reply
APerfectGentlman kentfreeland June 06 2014 at 10:38 PM

Bad writers need good copy editors.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
headbangerou812 June 06 2014 at 1:46 PM

This happens at all schools from High schools to colleges. It has always been that way. Why is anyone shocked. It is a common practice, why do you think when you interview these athletes they always have a common often used responses. Most don't even know how to spell college. No one will do anything about it either.

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2 replies
juststeve35 headbangerou812 June 06 2014 at 2:39 PM


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pengwen888 headbangerou812 June 06 2014 at 10:27 PM

AMEN! If you take a guy who has never had two nickels to rub together, a car to drive, an apartment, expensive clothes and a woman to fulfill his EVERY personal need plus attend classes and do his homework, just what is expected? Unless it is in the plan! Ask guys who don't follow the script how much play they get and/or how long they are on the team. It's a question of for how much you'll sell your soul.

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1 reply
ribuad pengwen888 June 07 2014 at 2:32 AM

LOL, really? It's all that, right? That's what they all get or is it just certain ones?

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Elliot C. Reiff June 06 2014 at 1:37 PM

Athletes receiving grades for not attending classes at UNC was reported a long time ago and is not limited to just the basketball program. The NCAA has known about this and not done the necessary investigation yet they let the University of Miami off the hook with a slap on the wrist and unjustly ruled on Penn State before anybody went to trial and administered pretty severe sanctions against The Ohio State University for minor infractions. The NCAA is a sham, but until there is another alternative, college athletics is stuck with it. It is all about the money and the NCAA sits on top of all of it and it is out of control. Follow the money trail and you will find corruption.

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cleverheel June 06 2014 at 1:26 PM

"his tutors steared him toward African-American Studies courses where papers largely determined the final grades"
Tell us, what courses did your tutors "stear" you to?

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1 reply
wardenls cleverheel June 06 2014 at 2:28 PM

Do blacks not test well?

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7 replies
smitty5006 June 06 2014 at 1:35 PM

There was academic fraud for athletes at most large Universities in the United States.

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2 replies
juststeve35 smitty5006 June 06 2014 at 2:40 PM

Subtract WAS, insert IS and you are even more correct.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
MarkandTami juststeve35 June 07 2014 at 6:23 AM

To the gentleman posting about being correct. YOU can drop the "try and" as that would be two separate actions. Doesn't it suck even more, when you smugly correct someone about their incorrect correction and you are incorrect yourself?

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hohohoazhohoho smitty5006 June 06 2014 at 9:41 PM

please share all of the real proof you have with the ncaa...

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2 replies
jburner09 hohohoazhohoho June 06 2014 at 10:16 PM


Drops the mic and walks

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NoShark hohohoazhohoho June 07 2014 at 1:08 AM

don't volunteer to fix the world in this country, unless you are ready to watch your own progress circle the drain...the forces that be are too great. You want to have any sort of success, keep your head down...totally

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billymills341 June 06 2014 at 2:09 PM

Coach should be fired, why not they've fired coaches for less. There is NO such thing as a student athlete

Flag Reply +5 rate up
4 replies
starkman88 June 06 2014 at 1:37 PM

UNC already got busted for the classes he's describing and was part of their major probation a few years back...this is old news being rehashed to sell a book.

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2 replies
mpsperre starkman88 June 06 2014 at 2:00 PM

Let's spell "steared" correctly as "steered"... or is the writer an ex- UNC athlete?

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3 replies
aainsser starkman88 June 06 2014 at 2:17 PM

But it was previously only about the football team. Now we know it was also about the basketball team. Let's hope the book sells well, because something needs to be done and it should start with the UNC alumni taking a stand against all this .

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2 replies
cherylmar16 aainsser June 06 2014 at 2:31 PM

let's hope the book bombs! I'm guessing this person had a scholarship which meant a free college education & he didn't take advantage of his opportunity. Instead now that he is out & uneducated he is trying to make a buck by whining & complaining. there are so many of these athletes that do it AFTER they are out & it won't affect them. he had his chance & blew it.

Flag +1 rate up
meepstein aainsser June 06 2014 at 3:39 PM

The alumni is usually behind these things.

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tneill1031 June 06 2014 at 1:37 PM

Can't write, someone else will have to.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jfusco316 June 06 2014 at 2:44 PM

This is news???? Tell me something I didn't know.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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