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UNC Football: WR Tez Walker denied eligibility for the 2023 season

The Kent State transfer will appeal, as the NCAA once again does everything they can to look horrible.

Syndication: Kent Ravenna Record-Courier Nicholas McLaughlin / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Tuesday, Devontez Walker and the Carolina football team learned that his appeal to be able to become immediately eligible for the 2023 football season had been denied by the NCAA. The decision puts in peril of one of Drake Maye’s potential best targets, and sets up the NCAA to have yet another black eye less than one week as they stood idly by as the PAC-12 crumbled and member institutions decided that having non-revenue sports fly cross country was a good idea.

The news broke shortly around noon, and not too long after UNC football put out a joint statement From Walker:

In it, Walker explains that he knew he was a two-time transfer, but that was due to the fact that his original school, NC Central, had their 2020 season cancelled then his new school, Kent State had a coaching change. While he is a two-time transfer he’s only played for one school, and on top of that his desire to play for Carolina was about allowing his grandmother be able to see him after two years at Kent State.

Walker is also caught up in a weird loop by the NCAA. When he announced his transfer, there was one set of rules in place, but after entering the portal the NCAA tightened up the rules on the two-time transfers, and clearly instead of making it effective to the next class, they expected the current crop of transfers to abide by the rules after they had already decided to leave. You know, like the NCAA does.

UNC was out front on calling for this appeal to be granted, and in more than just words. Multiple reporters around the UNC program broke the news when it happened, with accounts from how Walker handled it, then UNC had the above statement. Finally, they allowed WR coach Lonnie Galloway to speak to the media instead of Mack Brown, emphasizing just how crushed Walker was and what their plans were for how they would handle the news

As one can imagine, reaction in the area was swift and not polite to the NCAA:

The last one is from ESPN’s own college sports insider, meaning the story will have national legs at a time when there really isn’t a lot of actual sports going on.

It’s worth noting that UNC seems pretty confident that their appeal will be successful and Walker will be able to play against South Carolina. Galloway stated as much in his conference, saying that Walker will roll out with the rest of the starters all the way to the opener, and the full court press UNC is playing with the media to get the NCAA to change its mind will certainly help.

That said, nothing is certain since this is the NCAA and they will arbitrarily decide times to draw a fictional line. They are the masters of timing, this organization, but the one thing different this time is that a politician is leading the NCAA, not a college administrator. Politicians at least know when bad press isn’t worth taking on, and this seems like a slam dunk to let go especially when the sport’s biggest brand will the site of the first UNC game on September 2nd.