Williams also issued a statement, saying: "With respect to the comments made today, I strongly disagree with what Rashad [McCants] has said. 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. I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the university or me."
A copy of McCants' university transcript, labeled "unofficial" and obtained by "Outside the Lines," shows that in his non-African-American Studies classes, McCants received six C's, one D and three F's. In his African-American Studies classes, 10 of his grades were A's, six B's, one a C and one a D. The UNC registrar's office declined to send McCants an official, signed transcript because of a May 2005 hold on its release. According to the UNC athletic department, McCants had university property that had never been returned.
A second copy of his transcript obtained from a different source by "Outside the Lines" is identical to the first and is also not signed by the registrar but does not contain the label "unofficial."
McCants, who said it was common for basketball players to major in African-American Studies, said he assumed tutors writing papers for athletes was to be expected and he didn't question it while he attended UNC.
"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 said. "... 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 his first year he did go to class and took several legitimate, core-curriculum courses. But overall, his transcript shows he ended up with more than 50 percent of his courses being African-American Studies classes.
McCants said he was headed toward ineligibility during the championship season because he had failed algebra and psychology, which accounted for half of his credits, in the fall of 2004. He had two A's in African-American Studies classes in addition to the F's. He said coach Roy Williams informed him of his academic troubles during a meeting ahead of the spring semester.
"There was a slight panic on my part ... [he] 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 Williams told him "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."
McCants ended up in four African-American Studies classes in the following semester, earning straight A's. He said he didn't know what Williams was getting at with the summer school class replacement reference, and he never talked with Williams about it again. The transcripts show he had received one A in an African-American Studies class in the summer of 2004.
"I remained eligible to finish out and win the championship, his first championship, and everything was peaches and cream," McCants said.