CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – One day after the NCAA specifically referenced him in a statement that directed aim at University of North Carolina administrators, UNC football coach Mack Brown addressed the criticism on Wednesday.

In a released statement on Tuesday, the NCAA mentioned that committee members have received “violent – and possibly criminal – threats” about recent decisions regarding players getting denied transfer waivers. One of these notable players is Tar Heels’ wide receiver Devontez “Tez” Walker.

“If somebody is harassing the staff, threatening the staff or has wronged the staff, then that’s wrong and that should stop, and it should stop immediately,” Brown said on Wednesday. “You don’t want to create mental health problems for those families and the people that are involved because they’re trying to do their jobs.”

Brown also responded to the claim that NCAA committee members are “troubled” over the public comments from UNC leadership over Walker’s eligibility status.

“I’m not going to apologize for standing up and trying to do what’s best for our young person, and making sure he understands that we’ve exhausted every possibility we can to help him,” Brown said. “Because if we haven’t, then we’re not doing our job. And none of this was to embarrass anybody, to get anybody threats. The only thing we’ve done is take up for our player. And I’m very proud of that. And if I had to do it over again, I’d do exactly the same thing.”

Since Walker’s transfer waiver was denied last week, university administrators have been taking action to work out the next steps for him. On Monday, the UNC Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting to discuss possible options moving forward.

“We are responsible for taking care of our players and making sure we stand up for them and their mental health and their issues in life, and we want our players treated like we would want our sons to be treated,” Brown said. “So when the chairman was standing up for his volunteers and the NCAA staff, that’s all we’re doing. We’re standing up for a player that we feel like was treated poorly.”

Walker, who entered the 2023 season as one of the Tar Heels’ top receivers, transferred from Kent State, where he played for two seasons after spending one year at North Carolina Central when he did not play because the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown said Walker enrolled at UNC only two days before the NCAA changed its rules to limit waivers for two-time transfers.

“There was a lack of judgment because it’s not about the transfer rule,” Brown said. “When you start looking at the transfer rule, we’re not dissatisfied with it. We’re dissatisfied with the committee reviewing the waiver. Because Tez’s situation is different. He should be treated like a one-time transfer.”

Brown said they are still trying to figure out the next move for Walker and his football aspirations.

“There is a difference in my life and some of the other people’s lives that judge because I have to live with the mental health of these kids every day,” Walker said. “I have to tell Tez Walker that he can’t play. I have to try to figure out what to do with him, because so much of his identity is football, between now and the end of the semester, and then try to help him with options moving forward.”