RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The NCAA Division I board released a statement on Tuesday following the criticism it received over the decision to deny immediate eligibility to University of North Carolina wide receiver Devontez “Tez” Walker.

“The NCAA is aware of violent – and possibly criminal – threats recently directed at committee members involved in regulatory decisions,” D-I board chair Jere Morehead and D-I board vice chair Christopher Pietruszkiewicz wrote in a statement. “The national office is coordinating with law enforcement and will continue to do whatever possible to support the volunteers who serve on these committees.”

In the statement, NCAA leadership also said it’s “troubled” over the public remarks made by UNC administrators, including football coach Mack Brown and athletics director Bubba Cunningham.

“Those comments directly contradict what we and our fellow Division I members and coaches called for vociferously – including UNC’s own football coach,” the statement said. “We are a membership organization, and rather than pursue a public relations campaign that can contribute to a charged environment for our peers who volunteer on committees, we encourage members to use established and agreed upon procedures to voice concerns and propose and adopt rule or policy changes if they are dissatisfied.” 

On Monday, the UNC Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting to “help figure out all the best options” for Walker, according to Brown.

This comes after the NCAA appeals committee denied Walker’s appeal for immediate eligibility, which forces him to sit out the 2023 season.

Click here to read the full statement.