Tez Walker
2023 Football

Tez Walker denied chance to play for North Carolina in 2023

Despite never suiting up for North Carolina Central, UNC wide receiver Tez Walker has been denied a waiver by the NCAA.

The NCAA has officially denied the appeal of North Carolina football wide receiver Tez Walker and his head coach Mack Brown is furious. 

Walker was requesting an immediate eligibility waiver to be allowed to play for UNC in 2023. He spent the 2020 year at North Carolina Central, which did not play that year due to COVID-19. He later transferred to Kent State University where he played two seasons before the entire coaching staff left. He transferred to North Carolina to be closer to family.

UNC’s head coach Mack Brown wrote the following statement in response to the decision:

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. Idon’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 Te 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. The decision makers at the NCAA and on the committee should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to a young man.

As has been clearly documented, 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. He’s had a rough go of it and this will surely only make it worse. How dare they ever speak about mental health and student-athlete welfare again. We’ve got complete rosters overhauled through the transfer portal, players playing in their 8th year of college, players playing at their fourth school, and the list goes on. Yet, Tez Walker, who has only plaved football at one school, isn’t eligible. It makes no sense and it never will.

Moving forward, our Carolina family is strong and we need to wrap our arms around Tez, lift him up, and make sure we continue to do all we can to support him. He’s continued to work, on the field and off, and remained an amazing member of our program throughout this ordeal. I know that will continue to happen because that’s the kind of person he is. Despite this setback, Tez’s future remains bright and we’ll continue to do everything we can to help him fulfill all of his dreams.

Tez Walker, North Carolina Central

A Charlotte native, Tez Walker started his college career at NCCU back in 2020. He had planned on going to East Tennessee State, but an ACL injury dried up his offers. NCCU came around but timing was against Walker as NCCU didn’t compete in the fall of 2020 or spring of 2021 due to COVID-19, and Walker ended up transferring to Kent State. Waker compiled 63 receptions for 1,045 yards and 12 touchdowns over his two seasons. Most of those came as a sophomore as he caught 58 passes for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022. 

Tez Walker denied chance to play for North Carolina in 2023
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