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North Carolina WR Tez Walker denied appeal, ineligible for 2023

Jul 27, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; UNC head coach Mack Brown answers questions from the media during the ACC 2023 Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina wide receiver Tez Walker’s most recent appeal to the NCAA to regain his eligibility has been denied.

The NCAA announced the decision on Thursday, much to the chagrin of Tar Heels coach Mack Brown. Walker and North Carolina appealed the NCAA’s initial decision to reject his waiver to play, and North Carolina Central and Kent State — his previous two schools — both filed waivers in support of him competing this season.

“We’re absolutely crushed to learn that Tez Walker’s eligibility has been denied for this season and he won’t be able to play,” Brown said in a statement. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been more disappointed in a person, a group of people, or an institution than I am with the NCAA right now. It’s clear that the NCAA is about process and it couldn’t care less about the young people it’s supposed to be supporting.

“Plain and simple, the NCAA has failed Tez and his family and I’ve lost all faith in its ability to lead and govern our sport. They’ve messed so many things up as it relates to college football, and now their failures have negatively impacted the life of one of our own. Just imagine what it is like for Tez to be so excited to come home and have a chance to fulfill his childhood dream of playing for North Carolina in front of all of his family and friends, only to have it taken away despite doing nothing wrong. I can’t begin to understand how this has happened.”

Walker began his career at North Carolina Central but transferred to Kent State after the Eagles’ 2020 season was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Charlotte native then transferred to North Carolina after last season to be closer to his ailing grandmother.

Walker enrolled at North Carolina on Jan. 9. Two days later, the NCAA announced it would be cracking down on permitting waivers for two-time transfers.

“We are deeply disappointed that the NCAA has ruled against Tez Walker’s eligibility when we believe the facts of his situation should obviously permit him to play this season,” North Carolina chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a statement. “There is a time when organizations need to be flexible enough to do the right thing in unique circumstances to be serve the personal welfare of those they serve.”

Walker played the past two seasons at Kent State, catching 58 passes for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022 while earning All-MAC honors.

–Field Level Media

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