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Jay Bilas Interviews Roy Williams Regarding the McCants Allegations

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The video speaks for itself and was conducted with numerous former players present including Sean May, Tyler Hansbrough and Tyler Zeller.

Jay Bilas' questions deal directly with allegations from former player Rashad McCants claiming academic fraud and Roy WIlliams knowledge of it.  In a classic example of his loyalty, Williams refers to McCants' as still being part of "the family" though, as he notes, it appears the former player is trying to divorce himself from that family. Many of Williams responses give the impression that he is fairly insulated from the academic aspect of his players' lives leaving that up to the academic advisers and support to address. He also says he never talked about "swapping" McCants' classes since such a thing is not possible. As Williams told Bilas, all the classes count so there isn't really any way to shuffle classes around to produce a different result for eligibility purposes.

Following the interview with Williams, Bilas answered questions from Andy Katz regarding his conversations with the players present as well as his take on Williams himself. Bilas said every player there disagreed with McCants and also did not buy the idea of Williams knowing about the things alleged.The players all said they did their work and Williams echoed this point that regardless of whether the AFAM classes were improper, if they required work to be done(and they all did, something the "narrative" often fails to mention) then the players would have done the work.

One interesting point is the refuting of McCants' allegation that players car pooled to a tutor's house to pick up papers. The only time the players went to a tutor's home was as freshman and it was to see the now deceased Burgess McSwain who was sick and could not come to campus to work. McSwain passed away in the summer of 2004 after a battle with cancer. Prior to that, McSwain told Adam Lucas that McCants was, " of the easiest kids I've had to work with. He is very polite and very bright." McSwain's influence on McCants was enough that he wrote "Burgess RIP" on his shoes during his junior season. Clearly it only lasted for a season since McCants is perfectly willing to trample on McSwain's memory with his allegations that certainly imply she acted improperly.

Bilas also said that McCants' teammates, including his roommate Damion Grant, regarded him as a loner and really did not interact with him much off the court. To that point, none of the players Bilas questioned could speak to anything McCants may or may not have done.

Another interesting point Bilas was fairly persistent on is the fact there was no reason for anyone to be suspicious in 2005 regarding the nature of the AFAM classes or even a player turning their grades around from one semester to the next. It is also pointed out that McCants was eligible for the 2005 season and the four straight As in the spring of 2005 would not have impacted is eligibility one way or the other since he was heading to the NBA. Williams said he was not notified of McCants being named to the dean's list and only knew about McCants' grades and classes after the fact. He also says such a turnaround wouldn't necessarily be that unusual since a player could have trouble in one semester then get their act together for the next.

For what it's worth, Bilas says he found Williams credible and considers him to be a man of integrity. He has also known Williams for many years, likely dating back to Bilas' days at Duke which coincided with Williams time as an assistant coach at UNC.