Former Tar Heel basketball player Rashad McCants talked to ESPN's Outside the Lines again on Wednesday. It was his response to Roy Williams' response to McCants' allegations on Friday regarding academic fraud at UNC and Williams' knowledge of it. Unlike the previous interview which was taped, this was done live with Andy Katz asking the questions.
Not surprisingly the most recent chat with McCants was long on spite and sound bites but short on anything resembling specifics. McCants said he wasn't going to name any names or offer anything concrete.. He called on his former teammates to release their transcripts putting the burden of proving him wrong on them(and UNC) instead of offering evidence(aside from his own transcript) to validate his allegations. McCants tossed out a favorite Mary Willingham talking point by saying the "truth is in the transcripts" which clearly shows he's more coachable now than he was nine years ago.
Jalen Rose made an appearance for reasons that pass all understanding except McCants had asked for him to be there. Rose said he respected Williams then proceeded speak in a manner that would indicate otherwise. McCants said Williams must be "getting old" since he didn't remember a meeting between the two from 2004, alleged Matt Doherty knew all about "the system" and even threw Dean Smith's name out there for good measure. And he did all of this while fancying himself as the latest crusader for student-athlete rights.
Meanwhile in Chapel Hill, former Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein is presently engaged in a now months long probe into the AFAM classes and possible connections they may have had to the athletic department. Wainstein has been given a mandate by Chancellor Carol Folt to "go where the evidence leads" which presumably means finding the kind of malfeasance McCants has alleged happened during his stay in Chapel Hill. The problem is McCants doesn't seem interested in talking to Wainstein and apparently didn't know much about him. When asked by Katz about the possibility of talking to Wainstein, McCants responded by saying his sixteen former teammates should talk to Wainstein instead. That's an odd response to say the least given that McCants' teammates are not the ones alleging tutors wrote their papers or the head basketball coach meddled in their academics with full knowledge of bogus classes.
Going on television and spouting accusations is easy, especially when there are neatly prepared talking points and an interviewer who isn't necessarily pressing for details. In this case it also reeks of someone who, at best is being used by others with an agenda and at worst seeking another 15 minutes in the limelight. Couple that with McCants' long-standing grudge against Roy Williams what you get is a rambling interview that is at times vindictive and other times just plain weird.
The bottom line is this: Unless McCants sits down with Wainstein, shares the specifics of what he knows and answers some real questions from a seasoned investigator then this is little more than "a tale...full of sound and fury signifying nothing." He has leveled some serious charges, ones that deserve more than just ESPN's drive-by journalism and a bevy of hot sports takes from blowhards like Rose. So for the sake of everyone involved, McCants should dispense with the ESPN appearances, photo-ops with members of Congress and have a sit down with Mr. Wainstein.
McCants claims that all he knows is "the truth" then he should share that "truth" with the Wainstein probe as soon as possible. Otherwise, stop wasting everyone's time.
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