The NCAA made its long awaited ruling on North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Devontez “Tez” Walker’s eligibility. In August, the governing body of student athletics denied Walker’s waiver to play immediately as a two-time transfer.
North Carolina then filed an appeal, which was also denied. The case then went to a committee comprised of representative from universities at the Division I level. The committee was tasked with making a decision and then making a presentation to the NCAA.
Walker did not play in the Tar Heels season opener against South Carolina as he awaited a ruling on his eligibility. On Thursday, the redshirt junior learned that he was declared ineligible for the entire 2023.
North Carolina football head coach Mack Brown expressed his displeasure shortly after the NCAA announced its decision.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been more disappointed in a person, group of people or institution than I am with the NCAA right now,” Brown said in a statement.
Brown proceeded to unleash on the NCAA, saying that he no longer believed in the organization’s ability to govern college sports.
“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,” Brown said.
Walker spent the first two years of his college football career at Kent State. He began his collegiate career at North Carolina Central. Therefore, he needed a waiver in order to play right away as a two-time transfer.
Walker, a Charlotte native, decided to transfer to UNC earlier this year. His decision was based partially on his desire to be closer to his family as his grandmother dealt with an illness.
Brown suggested that the NCAA was being inconsistent in its ruling regarding Walker. Quarterback JT Daniels’ situation, may have been one of the cases Brown was referencing in his argument about fairness.
Despite playing at four universities, Daniels’ eligibility has not been denied. Daniels started his career with the USC Trojans before transferring to Georgia. After dealing with an injury during his one year in Athens, Daniels transferred to West Virginia. He is currently in Houston, playing at Rice University.
“The decision makers at the NCAA and the committee should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to a young man,” Brown added.
“Tez should be eligible for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the mental health issues he’s faced during his time in college. And with this decision, the NCAA has placed an unnecessary burden on him.”
Last week, Walker took to social media to share a letter that was addressed to NCAA President Charlie Baker. Walker pleaded his case in the letter, saying in part, “Please, review my situation so I can achieve my dream as a student-athlete.”
He also argued that the NCAA is in the unique position to help student athletes.
“Isn’t that what the NCAA is supposed to do? Help student athletes achieve their dreams?”
North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham also argued that Walker was not treated fairly.
“The decision undermines the fair treatment of student-athletes and further erodes the public’s confidence in our national governing body,” Cunningham said in a statement. “Despite the NCAA’s failure, we will continue to support Tez Walker and his family.”
After sitting out this season, Walker will be eligible to play for Tar Heels beginning in 2024.
Fox News Digital contacted the NCAA to request more information surrounding its decision to deny Walker’s eligibility. The NCAA did not respond to the request as of Friday morning.