Reports: North Carolina’s Walker ruled eligible for 2023 season by NCAA 

Tez Walker will get to play football in 2023 after all. 

The NCAA reversed course and ruled the North Carolina wide receiver immediately eligible for this season after “important information” was provided that wasn’t previously, according to NCAA President Charlie Baker and Division I Board of Directors chair Jere Morehead stated via Pete Thamel of ESPN

“I’m so excited and thankful that the NCAA has granted my eligibility to play this season,” Walker stated in a release. “This hasn’t been easy, but I’m looking forward to putting this in the past and moving forward. I always knew UNC was a special place, but it’s proved it over and over again throughout the last few months.”

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The NCAA originally ruled Walker ineligible for the season on Aug. 8, and North Carolina appealed the ruling. 

Walker was then denied eligibility again Sept. 7 after the subsequent appeals. 

“It is unfortunate that UNC failed to provide this important information previously,” Baker and Morehead stated. “While we must be careful not to compromise a student-athlete’s right to privacy when it comes to sensitive issues, we want to assure the Division I membership and everyone watching how the new transfer rules are applied, that this meets the new transfer waiver standards. UNC’s behavior and decision to wage a public relations campaign is inappropriate and outside the bounds of the process UNC’s own staff supported. Had the UNC staff not behaved in this fashion and submitted this information weeks ago, this entire unfortunate episode could have been avoided.” 

North Carolina head coach Mack Brown and athletics director Bubba Cunningham released strong statements in response to Walker’s additional denied appeals for eligibility in early September. 

Cunningham released a statement Thursday in response to Walker’s immediate eligibility ruling. 

“We are happy that Tez Walker is now eligible to play and enjoy doing what he loves to do,” Cunningham stated in a release. “However, the justification provided by the NCAA today is not accurate. The University submitted all necessary information and documentation as it was made available to us at the time and we still believe Tez met all standards for the waiver in early August. It is not clear why the NCAA delayed making the correct decision then, but we are pleased to get to the appropriate resolution now.” 

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North Carolina chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz also issued a statement after Walker was rule immediately eligible. 

“We are elated at the resolution for Tez walker and for all who supported him here at UNC-Chapel Hill,” Guskiewicz stated. “We know that he has been throguh a lot as we pursued numerous appeals with the NCAA. UNC provided all available information at every step of the process. I want to thank everyone at Carolina who worked in support of Tez. In our stated effort to exhaust all avenues, new information about this matter came to our attention and we immediately gathered and submitted it for consideration. The NCAA reached the right decision that restores Tez’s experience as a student-athlete and a Tar Heels.