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UNC asks McCants to meet over academic allegations

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Former UNC basketball standout Rashad McCants appears on the ESPN program “Outside the Lines.” Former UNC basketball standout Rashad McCants appears on the ESPN program “Outside the Lines.”

North Carolina's compliance director reached out to former men's basketball player Rashad McCants last month asking to meet and discuss his allegations of academic misconduct at the school.

Senior associate athletic director Vince Ille sent a letter dated June 6 after McCants told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that tutors wrote papers for him and he took no-show classes in a department plagued by fraud. Ille provided The Associated Press with a copy of the letter and a tracking slip showing it was delivered June 9.

The school also sent text messages June 8 and June 11 to McCants, a top player on the 2005 NCAA championship team. Ille said Monday the school has not received a response.

The former UNC player spoke out about the allegations during an interview on Sirius XM Radio.

“It’s tremendously disturbing because you’re trying to reach the masses with a message bigger than a UNC or a Rashad situation and it’s immediately thrown under the rug,” said Rashad.

McCants says his intent isn’t to bash his school, but to expose a nationwide problem facing student athletes.

But he says even his own coaches have turned against him

“To me it doesn’t make any sense for these father figures to discredit someone who’s pointing out a major education flaw in one of the biggest institutions in America, and then basically convince your followers ‘don’t pay attention to this guy he’s crazy’” he said.

McCants says he doesn’t want to bring up a problem without solutions.

He is pushing to create sports education programs and to separate the athlete from the student when it comes to their education.

“Seventeen-year-old athletes are signing invisible contracts in which we know nothing about what it means and we’re forced to perform for these universities and make them money and we get nothing,” he said.

Whistleblower Mary Willingham who brought these issues to the forefront was also on the radio show and said she agreed.

“I believe in profit sharing and I think these young men deserve a piece of the pie,” said Willingham.

There are two ongoing investigations into academic irregularities at UNC. The NCAA has reopened an investigation because new information is available in a case that began amid an improper benefits probe into the football program that started in summer 2010.

Former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein is investigating fraud in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department, including lecture classes that did not meet and were treated as independent studies requiring a research paper at semester's end.

Wainstein, who is sharing information with the NCAA, said last month that McCants declined to talk when contacted in May before ESPN aired his interview. Wainstein said he has sent another letter asking McCants to meet.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. WNCN contributed to this article.

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