On Saturday, Williams sat down with Jay Bilas and answered questions about the allegations McCants has been making. It’s pretty sad to see a hall of fame coach — a person who’s proven himself again and again over decades to be an honorable and decent person — be put onto the hot seat by someone who played at Carolina for three years, has not accomplished anything since and has shown himself to be not exactly a team player.
Williams discussed the “paper classes,” in which McCants alleged were no-show gigs.
“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.”
The coach also addressed the allegation that he “swapped out” a class McCants failed for one he passed in summer school, so that the player could retain his eligibility. (Huh?)
“I don’t have any idea what swapping out would be,” Williams said. “That’s not in my vocabulary. You can’t take a course and get another one thrown out at the college level. All of your courses count. So I know I would not have that kind of conversation. I don’t know what swapping out means, and I have never suggested that anybody take any course.”
Accompanying Williams at the interview were former Carolina players Wes Miller, Sean May, Damion Grant, Marvin Williams, Wayne Ellington, Byron Sanders, Jackie Manuel, Bobby Frasor and Tyler Hansbrough. They all disputed McCants version of the story.
The players, who spoke passionately about Williams and against the allegations, called McCants a “loner” on and off the court. They said they wrote their own papers and were never steered to any courses by Williams or the coaching staff (McCants had alleged it was academic advisers who did the steering). They deemed simply untrue the McCants allegations that players went to study sessions together after their freshman year or that they went by car in groups to pick up papers written for them by tutors.
Williams’ former players at Kansas have also come forward to defend their former coach.
Oh, and one other note. The ESPN article says McCants is writing a book about his time at Carolina. Sounds great. It’s not like someone pushing a memoir has ever lied in order to sell copies.