ESPN analyst Jay Bilas says he believes Roy Williams’ accounts that refute his knowledge of Rashad McCants getting help to remain eligible while at UNC.
“I find him to be credible, and I believed what he was saying,” Bilas says. “The idea, somehow, that a coach—especially when you go back to 2005—would know about the players’ choices in classes and electives when they’re juniors, I don’t believe that’s the case, and I believe Roy Williams.”
Those comments were made on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Monday after airing a longer segment of the interview between Bilas and Williams, which originally aired Saturday. Bilas joined Andy Katz on the phone following the taped interview, giving his reaction to Williams’ remarks.
***Listen to Bilas’ Complete Reaction***
“I’ve known Roy Williams for a long time,” Bilas says. “I have known him not only to be a coach but a man of the highest integrity.”
On Friday, Former UNC basketball star Rashad McCants told ESPN that tutors wrote papers for him, he remained eligible only because of phony “paper classes” – and that his coaches, including Roy Williams, were fully aware of what was going on. He made those comments – and more – on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”
Before the weekend began, 16 of McCants’ former teammates from the 2005 national champion UNC men’s basketball team issued a statement to the Associated Press regarding McCants’ comments. A number of those players, and others, were in the room during the interview between Bilas and Williams to continue to show their support for their coach. Among them were Sean May, Tyler Hansborough, and Tyler Zeller.
Less than 24 hours after “Outside the Lines” aired the McCants interview, Coach Williams responded with the interview with Bilas.
Bilas went on to say the allegation that Williams knew of the specific classes McCants took or any of the players were taking was hard to believe, especially giving the timing.
“The issue really was, McCants declared to go pro in the middle of that (junior) semester and was gone by the time his grades came out,” Bilas says. “So, to expect the coaching staff, somehow, to have their antenna up for that in 2005, I think, is asking a little too much, and I think the context of that time period is very important.”