UNC School of Journalism Professor Charlie Tuggle says Rashad McCants’ teammates, who made a statement in support of men’s basketball head coach Roy Williams, can clear allegations of connection to the academic scandal with one simple action.
“Former athletes, if you want to help clear this up, release your transcripts,” Tuggle says.
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McCants gave the University permission to release his transcript to ESPN, which showed he took 18 African and Afro-American Studies classes in the three years he attended UNC.
Tuggle says that fact alone is curious.
“That’s a lot of courses in one particular area of study in three years,” Tuggle says. “In the school of journalism—perhaps it’s different in other areas of the university—there’s a limit in how many classes you can take within your major area of study. During this period, the time period in question, it was 40 hours; a student could not take more than 40 hours. This unofficial transcript show that McCants took 54.”
UNC Vice Chancellor for Communication Joel Curran told WCHL that the University is not going to comment on the academic scandal anymore until the conclusion of the investigation being conducted by attorney Kenneth Wainstein. Curran said it is best not to create “a concurrent review of every claim that arises,” but that once the findings of the investigation are made public “we will be very interested in sharing our plans for moving forward.”
The Martin Report, an external review of the AFAM department conducted by former North Carolina Governor Jim Martin, stated that the academic scandal at UNC had no connection to athletics.
“Why is it that only people in the athletics department are responding to the McCants’ allegations?” Tuggle asks. “Of course Roy Williams should respond; McCants named him. Obviously and absolutely he should have responded. But, other than a brief statement from the athletics director, Bubba Cunningham, should Coach Williams be the only person to respond to something that’s been labeled an academic scandal? Why has the University decided to clam up?”
Tuggle says that action has damaged the University because of the public’s perception.
“I don’t think it’s a very good idea,” Tuggle says. “I think any time you are quiet about something of this magnitude—again, what is the public perception—why are you being quiet? Because you have something to hide. Is that reality? I don’t know. Is it the perception? Without a doubt it is the perception.”