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Williams ‘shocked’ by McCants’ interview on UNC academics

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/06/20/24/931-56tA9.Em.156.jpeg|227
    Ethan Hyman - Ethan Hyman
    UNC coach Roy Williams talks with Rashad McCants during a game at Duke.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/07/21/48/1a6PBj.Em.138.jpeg|333
    Robert Willett - AP
    North Carolina head coach Roy Williams grits his teeth as he clutches the ball after a turnover by his team during the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Maryland, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett)

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams told ESPN on Saturday night that he was in “shock” and “disbelief” when he heard the details of Rashad McCants’ interview with the program “Outside the Lines.”

McCants, a key player on the 2005 national championship basketball team, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Friday that Williams had to be aware of academic improprieties and that tutors wrote McCants’ papers, that he went to classes about half the time at UNC-Chapel Hill and that no-show courses in the Afro- and African-American Studies Department, or AFAM, kept him eligible.

In an interview with ESPN on Saturday, Williams, who was accompanied by 11 former basketball players, reiterated his denial of McCants’ claims. Williams had released a statement on Friday addressing the allegations.

“Every one of those players that are sitting over there, and every player I’ve had, make me feel like they did their work, and we emphasize that and we push them towards that all the time,” Williams said.

According to ESPN, Williams did not directly answer a question about McCants’ claim that Williams knew about the no-show classes.

“First of all, how does anybody know what somebody else believes, but I know what I believe,” Williams said.

“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. ... I’ve been told by people that some of those are really, really good. It shows a lot of discipline because you’re self-directed. If my players took independent study courses that were offered by this university for a reason that the university thought they were valuable, my players, if they took those courses, did the work, and I’m proud of that part of it.”

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