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June 09, 2014

Screamingly funny or tragic: you decide

In the last three days, Rashad McCants, star of the 2005 UNC-CH NCAA men's basketball champions and latest to accuse Chapel Hill of grave academic malpractice, has been accused of being a borderline psychotic, a thief, broke and trying to write a book, and possessing a deep, longtime grudge against his Chapel Hill coach, Roy Williams. (Go to the comments here for some of the allegations, especially the comment by "postreader118".)

All of which may be true.

But amid the charges, countercharges, screaming, and shouting, the best article I've seen--not coincidentally one I agree with 100%--is Dan Wetzel's "Rashad McCants' academic fraud claims put UNC's Roy Williams under scrutiny".

Wetzel argues that McCants's transcript--which though "unofficial" no one at Chapel Hill currently seems to dispute--and Chapel Hill's apparently utter lack of interest in then, and now, is sufficient to damn. Key paragraphs (but read the whole thing):

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?" . . . 

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.

But wait, you say, where's the "funny"? Go to the (NC State) Wolfpack fans' site or to the Chapel Hill fans' site. At those places there is an enormous amount of humor, both intentional and unintentional. 

Good for a laugh--or several--is the NCAA's vaunted enforcement

And, of course, Hitler has learned about Rashad McCants.


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Am I the only one underwhelmed by this story? Does anybody believe the average football or basketball player at their university is from the middle of the academic bell curve. I think the average SAT scores for most men's basketball teams (especially if you only consider the starters) will be significantly below the school average. If the university is a competitive one with a normal distribution of grades, then isn't it a logical leap to think that, left unaided, the average basketball player will not be competitive in the classroom? Therefore, aid is needed - be it AFAM classes, tutors, special grading, etc. It seems naive to think that star athletes follow the same rules as all the other students.

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