CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina coach Mack Brown is calling out the NCAA for dragging its heels on the case of transfer wide receiver Devontez Walker, who has not yet been ruled eligible.
Walker, the Tar Heels’ presumed No. 1 receiver, transferred from Kent State, where he played two seasons after a year at North Carolina Central when he did not play because the season was canceled. NCAA rules generally allow players to transfer freely once. Brown said Walker had enrolled at UNC in January, just days before the NCAA revised rules to limit waivers for two-time transfers for evaluation on a case-by-case basis.
The NCAA denied the waiver for Walker to play immediately and UNC appealed.
The Tar Heels open the season against South Carolina on Saturday night.
“The NCAA’s unwillingness to provide clarification over the last few weeks has left us in this position,” Brown said in a statement released by the school. “At this point, everyone knows the details of Tez’s journey to North Carolina, and the overwhelming opinion of those around the country is that he should be playing tomorrow and this should have been resolved months ago. I can’t express my disappointment in the NCAA strong enough.”
Walker is from Charlotte and transferred to be closer to family, including an ailing grandmother who played a large role in raising him but has been unable to travel out of state to see him play.
“They say they’re about helping kids, but all they’ve done is add to the very mental health issues Tez has been dealing with that made him want to get closer to home to begin with,” Brown said. “You can’t say you’re about helping kids and then show a total disregard for the kids you’re supposed to be helping. It’s clear they are about process and not people.”
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