Saturday McCants Updates

The original Outside the Lines feature on Rashad McCants (ESPN):

The Flagship’s response (WRAL):

Leaders in the University of North Carolina athletic department closed ranks Friday after the latest attack on their academic integrity.

“With respect to the comments made today, I strongly disagree with what Rashad (McCants) has said,” Williams said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

McCants’ 16 teammates signed a statement that said, “With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work.”

McCants’ allegations are the first direct claim involving the Tar Heels basketball program and the 2005 National Championship team. The other UNC athletes on that team, and those who issued the statement were: Sean May, Jesse Holley, Melvin Scott, Raymond Felton, Charlie Everett, Reyshawn Terry, Jackie Manuel, Quentin Thomas, Jawad Williams, Wes Miller, Marvin Williams, Damion Grant, David Noel, C.J. Hooker and Bryon Sanders.

“Our personal academic experiences are not consistent with Rashad’s claims,” the statement continued. “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.”

However, there is evidence that contradicts this collective statement.

Mary Willingham’s findings (N&O):

Rashad McCants was not the only UNC men’s basketball player from the 2005 national championship team who relied heavily on African studies classes that didn’t meet, according to whistleblower Mary Willingham, who tutored athletes during that period.

Data she provided to The News & Observer show that five members of that team, including at least four key players, accounted for a combined 38 enrollments in classes that have been identified as confirmed or suspected lecture classes that never met. The data also show that the five athletes accounted for 13 enrollments that were accurately identified as independent studies.

Don’t forget a 2010 Indianapolis Star report on The Flagship’s “clustering” (

North Carolina, which has the most Final Four appearances and players during the time measured, had the fourth-highest graduation rate of its Final Four players — 79 percent.

But the university’s graduates — and most notably its 2005 NCAA championship team — raise questions about “clustering.”

Simply put, clustering is when a high percentage of teammates receive the same degree. Among North Carolina’s graduates, communications and Afro-American and African studies stand out as the majors of choice.

From the 2005 team, all seven Tar Heels who graduated had the same major — Afro-American and African studies.

That includes Sean May of the Sacramento Kings, the Bloomington prep star and son of former IU star Scott May. Sean May entered the NBA after three years in college, capped by an NCAA title in 2005. He graduated last summer.

May said he started as a double major with communications, but dropped it so he could graduate faster after leaving for the NBA.

Afro-American and African studies, May said, offered “more independent electives, independent study. I could take a lot of classes during the season. Communications, I had to be there in the actual classroom. We just made sure all the classes I had to take, I could take during the summer.”

Otto, the head of the Drake Group, said her concern with clustering is that it raises questions about whether athletes are being directed to a path of least academic resistance.

“I’m fascinated at the longevity of North Carolina’s clustering,” Otto said. “It’s unbelievable.” Lennon of the NCAA declined to comment, saying it’s a campus issue.

John Blanchard, senior associate athletic director at North Carolina, said it’s reasonable that people in a peer group might gravitate to the same major. He said clustering “just doesn’t bother us here.”

“The question is whether they are getting a good education,” he said, “and the answer is a resounding yes.”

SFN agrees that McCants seems easily discredited, but the transcript speaks for itself. And SFN wonders, if McCants’ other teammates were so focused on academics, then how many of them either graduated or left UNC in good academic standing?

Dan Wetzel (Yahoo!):

Another thing happened that spring, though. Rashad McCants, despite the grind of a lengthy NCAA tournament and a spring preparing for the NBA draft, came off a semester where he flunked half his coursework to post straight A’s in all four of his classes, winding up on the Dean’s List.

This would be considered the academic version of a No. 16 v. No. 1 upset. This was a guy who showed little interest in education, who was prickly and overconfident, and listened to almost no one even before he became a champion, at least according to the UNC basketball program itself. This was someone whose disposition and work ethic made scouts wary despite his prodigious talent even back in high school.

And then he miraculously became a dutiful and indeed perfect student during the one semester of college where it would actually be quite understandable if he didn’t work so hard since he was focused on the Final Four and the NBA draft.

Rashad McCants? Four A’s?

Williams denies that charge and denies knowing much about anything, which may or may not be true but certainly isn’t a surprise. Head Coaching 101 says deny everything. Always.

It doesn’t matter what anyone says though – not Williams and not even McCants.

The story is in the transcript, which ESPN says it has verified and UNC hasn’t taken issue with.

Rashad McCants – the Tar Heel player who demanded the most attention to remain on the straight and narrow, the Carolina star who was least likely to become a straight-A student – pulled off an all-timer of an academic comeback. Yet when the grades came through the system, apparently no one in the athletic department in general and basketball office in particular said, “wait, what?”

The issue with Roy Williams and a host of others in Chapel Hill isn’t even whether they knew McCants was effectively cheating during the spring of 2005. Yes, that’s a big charge McCants is leveling, but unless some old, incriminating emails are found, good luck with that sticking.

The deal is that when the grades came in, they didn’t immediately investigate how exactly this guy got them.

Did he indeed take no-show classes without their knowledge? Did he cheat on his own, maybe submitting someone else’s work? Was there a rogue professor out there? Was this a positive story – did a star tutor work with him, someone who clearly had a magic touch and deserved a promotion? Anyone? Anything? No curiosity?

If Roy didn’t know something was potentially problematic here, then maybe someone should look into his old UNC academic work because there is no way someone that clueless could have possibly earned a degree from such a fine university.

I mean, dadgummit. Rashad McCants? Four A’s? Ha.

Carolina fans can spend as much time as they want pointing to other players who say they did their own work, which is nice but not relevant to this case. They can blast McCants as a problem child and a liar and a rat and a desperate idiot who deserves the blame for blowing a great chance at an education.

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    The original Outside the Lines feature on Rashad McCants (ESPN): The Flagship’s response (WRAL): Leaders in the University of North Carolina athletic
    [See the full post at: Saturday Morning McCants Updates]


    McCants’ 16 teammates signed a statement that said, “With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work.”

    Once again, plausible deniability for UNC. Later, they’ll just be able to say, “No, we didn’t lie. No one who signed it actually understood what it said.” Always one step ahead. Geniuses. I hope the tutoring department didn’t have to stay up late crafting one more masterpiece for the boys. Anyone check to see if the signatures were all in the same writing?


    If this had been up earlier, I would have not posted on the OTHER article.
    For a humorous side…with some sarcasm and also reality, I recommend He has TWO columns….the “What he say/said?” and “The Aftermath”. Today’s “Stop the Presses” is pretty good.

    The comments are some rehash….

    However, the one GEM of wisdom hidden here is “Where is Wayne Weldon”. He has become the Dick Cheney and is currently in an undisclosed location.

    Bob chided me to start a Pack Pride Person Posse for Wayne. I do NOT do that.

    For those that might have done the Cliff’s notes reading.

    Dean brought AFAM into UNC….a direct copy or CLONE of the KU department.
    Swoff (I control the ref’s) of ACC Comissh fame was the AD that greased all the skids and plied (Booze, drugs, hookers, whatever…KIDDING…) the BOT and the BOG and the Faculty Senate and got it installed.
    Uncle J and his chief Whiz Banged assistant were carefully selected for their “ethics and duplicity and creativity…”.
    Dickie DO Nothing (Mr. Shagging Tassle Loafers) was Dean’s hand picked person and made SURE that nothing changed.
    Billy G and Matt D probably did NOT have a high enough security clearance to actually know (or understand) what was happening.
    ORW DID….ORW (who the KU folks say was the PERSON that was the Inspiration for the Cartoon Character, Deputy Dog, was WELL SCHOOLED in it.
    ORW brought the chief Academic Controller (er, Advisor) from KU. He put in his book (or his ghostie did….) that Wayne Weldon was MORE valuable that all of his assistants.
    When the feces hit the fan….WW was out of here faster that Bandit with Jackie Gleason closing in. WW “resigned” and has (at least to me) been seen since. The reasons were multiple and he is reported to have a secret Swiss bank account and will purchase the Hornets from Jordon.
    WW or Wayne “keeps ORW WINNING” Weldon is TRULY the key.

    It would interesting to see if someone can FIND him and ASK him….


    Even though I know in my heart if hearts that nothing will ever come of this, this is just too much fun. I love getting to see a unx fan squirm over every new “enlightening” story. I get giddy just seeing how they can no longer deny the truth about their program.

    All this said, I’m not sure we’re using this opportunity correctly. This seems like the perfect opportunity to show the ineffectual leadership of the ncaa and how it’s led various universities into various forms of impropriety in the name of the almighty sports buck. Since we know unx is gonna walk away from this twisted wreck unscathed maybe we ought a go after the really big fish.


    Quick! Somebody locate Chris Washburn! Just wait…


    The hilarity continues. The full text is here. I decided to point out my favorite portion below:

    “I thought that meant that a class was on paper but it didn’t really exist, and then come to find out people are using that terminology ‘paper classes’ to signify independent study courses that you do papers,” Williams said. “… I’ve been told by people that some of those are really, really good.

    I took a ‘paper course’ that was really good. It gave me my Ph.D. from the University of Phoenix in Hypoallergenics. Roy (pronounced ‘Wah’ in French) is a comic genius.



    You sir have a gift...

    If you say Washburns name three times, does he go away?


    Reminds me a lot of the giant denial culture surrounding Lance Armstrong for so many years. Issues themselves majorly different but Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton became pariahs for being the “whistle blowers”(after they themselves were caught) and were marginalized and disgraced for years until the USADA investigation and findings. Turns out all the denials, attacks on accusers, and proclamations of innocence from the Armstrong side were unfortunately(IMO) all lies. Again here we see the big powerful side defending itself making those who step forward seem like rogue attention seekers…. just a thought:)


    Is Washburn’s restaurant still open?


    They are soooo predictable. Razz a UNC fan with this latest revelation and just after they say everyone else is doing it, they trot out Chris Washburn.


    Is Washburn’s restaurant still open?

    It didn’t look open a few weeks ago.


    Washburn co-owned a restaurant, Washburn’s Wings and More, that opened in Hickory in May 2011. Washburn said the Hickory location was closed around April 2013 to open the restaurant at a larger location in Conover. The new Washburn’s Wings and More location closed in February 2014.


    I hope that my sarcasm about Chris Washburn somehow surfacing didn’t get perceived as a UNC fan responding to razzing. Noooooooooooooooooooo…

    He just seems to be located whenever something bad is found in Chapel Hill. In true Nostra-dumbass fashion, i did call it.


    A few unaffiliated non-NC natives seem to think the 2005 banner coming down is a given. My oh my do they have no idea how hard that might be.


    Nothing is going to happen with the academic scandel at UNC. Unless a document falls out of the sky and into the NCAA’s lap that was signed by Roy Williams and states that “I am sending you to this crap class just to get an A and stay eligible” then the NCAA won’t touch this.


    “Nothing is going to happen with the academic scandel at UNC. Unless a document falls out of the sky and into the NCAA’s lap that was signed by Roy Williams and states that “I am sending you to this crap class just to get an A and stay eligible” then the NCAA won’t touch this.”

    Still wouldn’t happen then. Folt would say that “there is not a smidgen of evidence this was from Roy” and then the document would crash before it could be given to the NCAA. Later it would be chalked up to some overzealous learning assistants that came from Cincinnati.

    Standard PR spin control these days seems to “rogue” personnel acting on their own along with “our story is believable because … well … just because it is more believable than a conspiracy”.


    Suggest that anyone interested in “THE REST OF THE STORY” visit

    BobLee has TWO columns or pieces on what he calls The Great Unpleasantness (TGU).

    The Jun 13 Column is a recap of his lunch interview with Dr. Jay Smith….one of the Dynamic Duo of Whistleblowers at UNC. VERY interesting and insightful… much so that Dr. Jay told Mary about him and they ALL had lunch yesterday.

    The comments are also interesting as they are a mix of UNC, NCSU, ABC and Don’t Really Care…

    One person went to high school with Dr. Jay and provided some background…

    Perhaps there IS hope…but who knows….

    These columns fill in some gaps and also provide some tidbits….such as Investigator Wainstein HAS interviewed Wayne Weldon. THAT was a little bombshell…



    The UNC Scandal is now entering chapter LXXVIII of Officer Barbrady’s chant. Link. Wainstein began investigating in ‘February’ and expects to be done with the investigation by the fall. Anyone want to find out how much Wainstein is making on this ‘investigation’?


    The UNC Scandal is now entering chapter LXXVIII of Officer Barbrady’s chant. Link. Wainstein began investigating in ‘February’ and expects to be done with the investigation by the fall. Anyone want to find out how much Wainstein is making on this ‘investigation’?

    I heard $922/hr.

    It would take me years to crack a case like this at $922/hr.


    If you do the math….Wainstein has TWO associates. Their combined hourly rate is almost $2,000 per hour. SO, they work 16 hours….or $32,000….TWO DAYS…..that would be ENOUGH money (in scholarships) for ONE deserving student to attend (Tuition, books, supplies, food, housing, etc….no booze) UNC for a FULL YEAR.

    Think about that….Wainstein commented on the number of emails….this boy is going to have some tax issues next year.


    I read that none of this comes from the taxpayers (and for good reason).

    Roy looked silly on that espn interview with Bilas. Just keep playing dumb…


    ESPN did yet another OTL on this but more from the angle of the loss of control head coaches seem to have as it relates to academics. Katz had a panel of Izzo, Greenberg, Herb, Jamie Dixon and the coach at Fresno State. The consensus was that they have been stripped of control (by their schools and the NCAA) and they have no contact with professors. They weren’t defending Roy, just saying they can see how you wouldn’t know everything about your players. Izzo and Greenberg agreed that there are rogue academic advisors at many institutions that are out for personal gain. It was an interesting conversation. What does peeve me is nobody took a shot at Roy (like Jalen Rose did). They didn’t take up for him either, just kind of skirted the issue. I would have expected Izzo to be the guy as he is rather uncensored.


    ^ Did they mention when they were stripped of control. Perhaps something precipitated said stripping?


    Nothing specific. Just that this has been the trend in the past 20 or so years – to isolate athletic departments from academic units. The academic advisors are the middle men.

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