“Release Your Transcripts”

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.”

The He-Said-He-Said


ACC MBB Championship Moved To Saturday

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game will now be played on a Saturday evening, a change that kicks off the tournament a day early.

The ACC regular season will now end on the preceding Saturday, with the 62nd annual tournament starting on Tuesday, four games on both Wednesday and Thursday and the Friday semifinals preceding the championship on Saturday.

Sunday afternoons have been the host of the championship game since the 1982 tournament, and ACC Commissioner John Swofford said he believes the conference’s players, coaches and fans will enjoy the switch.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Swofford said.

All 14 tournament games will continue airing nationally on ESPN and the ACC Network.

The 2015 tournament will again be held in the Greensboro Coliseum, a host to the event for the 26th time in conference history. The 2016 tournament will be held in Washington, D.C.; the 2017 and 2018 tournaments will be held in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.


ACC Men’s Basketball Tourney To NC In ’19, ’20

GREENSBORO — The Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament will return to North Carolina in 2019 and 2020 after its two-year stay in New York.

Commissioner John Swofford said at a news conference Thursday that Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena would host the event in 2019 followed the next year by the Greensboro Coliseum, located a short drive from the league’s headquarters.

The announcement came one day after the league said it would hold its 2017 and 2018 tournaments in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which marked a shift from the tournament’s Southern roots after waves of league realignment. The tournament has been held in North Carolina for 50 of 61 years, including in Greensboro earlier this month.

Greensboro will host again next year, followed by Washington, D.C., in 2016.


Midnight Madness Available Earlier This Fall

INDIANAOPLIS, IN – The NCAA announced last week that season-opening practices can be moved up two weeks for men’s basketball beginning this fall.

The Division I Board of Directors announced teams can hold 30 days of practice in the six weeks leading up to their regular-season opener. Previously, practice was roughly only four weeks long.

The first practice was also not allowed to take place before 5:00 p.m. under the old guidelines, but that stipulation has now been dropped.

For more on the rule changes, click here.


ACC Excitement Runs High On Franklin Street

CHAPEL HILL- Downtown Partnership Executive Director Meg McGurk says the energy level is high on Franklin Street during the ACC tournament.

“I think that the biggest thing that happens is that people want to be out and celebrating when the Heels are playing in the Tournament,” says McGurk. “In the evening people want to go out and eat and drink downtown before and they want to get a good spot for watching on TV, and that’s a great boost for our downtown businesses.”

And she says that enthusiasm extends beyond restaurants and bars.

“People also like to get new Carolina gear, a new t-shirt, a sweat shirt or a hat. That’s a boost for our Carolina fan gear shops as well.”

McGurk says fans come downtown seeking more than just a spot in front of the many flat-screened TV’s broadcasting the game. They come for camaraderie.

“I think when it is a tournament like this, there’s a little more excitement. People want to be on Franklin Street when the Heels win, because that’s where the celebration is that’s where the camaraderie is, and that’s where you find the stranger who becomes a friend because they’re also a Carolina fan.”

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Men’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Semi-final games tip off Saturday at 1 p.m and 3 p.m. Sunday’s championship game gets underway at 1 p.m. You can catch the Learfield Sports pre-game coverage on WHCL starting at noon.