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Rashad McCants: I made Dean’s List at UNC without going to class

Rashad-McCants-UNCFormer North Carolina basketball star Rashad McCants helped the Tar Heels win a national championship in 2005. Had he actually been required to go to class and not been allowed to take bogus courses, he may not have even been academically eligible that year.

McCants, who has been playing in the NBA D-League since 2009, gave ESPN’s Outside the Lines a deeper look into the UNC athletics academic scandal this week when he revealed that he took the infamous “paper classes” that were designed to keep athletes eligible. He also said he made the Dean’s List in 2005 without ever attending class.

“I thought it was a part of the college experience, just like watching it on a movie from ‘He Got Game’ or ‘Blue Chips,'” McCants explained. “… when you get to college, you don’t go to class, you don’t do nothing, you just show up and play. That’s exactly how it was, you know, and I think that was the tradition of college basketball, or college, period, any sport. You’re not there to get an education, though they tell you that.

“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.”

McCants said it was common for athletes to take African-American studies courses, much like the one we showed you earlier this year where a student athlete wrote a 150-word term paper and allegedly received an A-. McCants also said that UNC coach Roy Williams is “100 percent” aware of the paper class system.

During the championship season in 2004-2005, McCants said he thought he might be kicked off the team after failing algebra and psychology. He said Williams instructed him to “buckle down” but assured him it would be taken care of. McCants later made the Dean’s List.

“There was a slight panic on my part … [Williams] said, you know, we’re going to be able to figure out how to make it happen, but you need to buckle down on your academics. [He said] we’re going to be able to change a class from, you know, your summer session class and swap it out with the class that you failed, just so the GPA could reflect that you are in good standing.”

In a statement to Outside the Lines, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said a former federal prosecutor is currently investigating the alleged academic misconduct and that McCants and any other former or current athletes are encouraged to speak to him. UNC whistleblower Mary Willingham also confirmed that what McCants is alleging “absolutely lines up” with her findings.

You would have to be incredibly naive to think that this stuff is only going on at North Carolina.

Whistleblower says this 150-word paper got North Carolina athlete an A-

UNC-athlete-Rosa-Parks-paper

For several years now, the University of North Carolina has been accused of going well beyond special treatment when it comes to educating student athletes. A report that was published in The News & Observer a little less than two years ago claimed UNC football players took phony classes that lacked instruction and involved forged signatures.

Many of the classes in question were from the African-American (AFAM) studies department. Former UNC employee Mary Willingham, who has researched the studies of student-athletes at UNC, spoke with ESPN recently and shared some of what she found. Her findings included the paper you see above, which was allegedly written by a student-athlete for a class that never met and required just one final paper.

“Athletes couldn’t write a paper,” Willingham said. “They couldn’t write a paragraph. They couldn’t write a sentence. Some of these students could read maybe at a second or third grade level. Really, for an adult, that’s considered illiterate.”

Here is the text from the paper that was written for a class called AFAM 41, courtesy of Sports Illustrated contributor Bryan Armen Graham:

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Belmont fan sings Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ to distract UNC free throw shooter (Video)

James-McAdoo-free-throwBelmont came away with an 83-80 win over No. 12 North Carolina on Saturday as part of a wild college basketball weekend that was filled with upsets. The game brought us a very exciting finish, but the highlight came within the first 11 minutes when some dude started belting out a Miley Cyrus song to distract a UNC free throw shooter.

Tar Heels forward James McAdoo strolled to the free throw line with 9:58 remaining in the first half, and per usual the fans in Chapel Hill were silent. But there had to have been at least one Belmont fan in the stands.

“I came in like a wrecking ball!” some guy could be heard screaming. “You never knew how loud I yell!”

And of course, McAdoo missed the free throw. McAdoo was just 11-for-19 from the charity stripe on the day, so it’s not like he’s a fantastic free throw shooter. Still, we’re going to give credit to the Miley guy here. Creativity should always be acknowledged.

H/T For the Win

Larry Drew II says he never really wanted to go to North Carolina

larry-drew-uclaLarry Drew II is finally starting to live up to the potential that made him a top recruit coming out of high school in Los Angeles.

Drew is averaging 8.4 assists per game and shooting .452 percent from the field in his first season with the UCLA Bruins. He spent two and a half seasons playing for North Carolina until he quit midway through his junior season. Formerly known as “Turnover Jesus” with the Tar Heels, Drew is only averaging 1.6 turnovers per game with the Bruins. Now that he’s enjoying some success with UCLA, the truth about his early college career is emerging.

According to a story from the Los Angeles Times’ Baxter Holmes, Drew, who played high school ball for Taft High School which is less than 20 miles from the UCLA campus, wanted to come to UCLA out of high school. The problem is that coach Ben Howland offered him a scholarship but gave him just a week to accept it. Though Drew says he wanted to attend UCLA, he wasn’t ready to accept the offer at that time.

“I just wanted to keep my options open and weigh everything out, even though UCLA was my favorite,” Drew told the Times.

Howland admits he made a mistake by applying the deadline.

“I take full responsibility for him not being here as a freshman,” Howland said Monday.

With the deadline to accept UCLA’s scholarship expired, Drew decided to go to one of the other top programs in the country — North Carolina. But he says he went with mixed feelings.

“I never really wanted to go there,” Drew said.

Drew also said he “never really liked” North Carolina, which helps to explain why he quit the team and left so abruptly.

Some may wonder “What could have been?” had Drew come to UCLA straight out of high school, but things probably worked out for the best. Maybe Drew needed the North Carolina experience in order to mature. Whatever the case, at least he has finally found a good home, even if it is only for one season.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

UNC fundraiser, Tyler Hansbrough’s mom reportedly took personal trips with improper funds

University of North Carolina’s chief fundraiser, former quarterback Matt Kupec, resigned on Sunday after an internal investigation revealed that he and another university fundraiser took personal trips with the school’s money. The other university fundraiser is Tami Hansbrough, the mother of Tyler Hansbrough.

According to the News & Observer, UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said a review of Kupec’s travel with Hansbrough showed that they took trips that were not university related, including ones to destinations where Tyler’s brother Ben Hansbrough was playing basketball for Notre Dame.

“It was difficult because Matt has been such a great person for the university and has raised billions of dollars for us,” Thorp explained, “but I had to share with him what we had been finding and it didn’t look good and that it’s likely that this sort of personally driven travel was unacceptable, and we are going to need to do a pretty thorough investigation of it.”

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North Carolina players motivated to prove Doug Gottlieb wrong

Many pundits declared North Carolina’s chances of winning the NCAA Tournament over when point guard Kendall Marshall got hurt in the team’s second-round game last weekend. ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb was as definitive as possible speaking about the Tar Heels’ chances of winning the tournament.

“They will not get out of St. Louis. They will not go to New Orleans,” Gottlieb said on SportsCenter Tuesday.

North Carolina’s next two games would be in St. Louis and if they win both, they would advance to the Final Four in New Orleans. Obviously Gottlieb doesn’t think they’ll win both games. Many Carolina players heard his prediction and referenced it when speaking with the media.

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UNC store selling shirts commemorating Duke’s loss to Lehigh (Picture)

It was certainly shocking when 15th-seeded Lehigh knocked off No. 2 seed Duke in the round of 64 on Friday night, but should a UNC store be bragging about it? Obviously Tarheel fans hate the Blue Devils and are thrilled they fell flat on their faces, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to be selling shirts that commemorate Lehigh’s win over Duke. If UNC gets knocked out in the next round, Duke’s loss probably won’t be as funny. Anything to make a buck and anything to highlight a lowlight for the Blue Devils, I suppose.

Thanks to Darren Rovell for the picture