CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is trying to figure out its next move in the case of UNC wide receiver Devontez “Tez” Walker, whose waiver to play this season for the Tar Heels was officially denied by the NCAA this past week.
“I’m very, very proud that our university is trying to step up and make sure that we help the young man,” Brown said during a press conference on Monday morning. “So we can see all of our options, get a singular voice and then move forward.”
This comes after the NCAA appeals committee denied Walker’s appeal for immediate eligibility, which forces him to sit out the 2023 season.
During the 90-minute closed session meeting attended by Brown and UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham, they received some legal updates to help inform them of everything that can be done to support Walker, as well as work to find a unified voice.
“We all need to get in the same room and figure out what’s best for the young man,” Brown said. “Because we’ve said in our program we want him treated like I would want my son to be treated, and that’s what the board of trustees is looking at.”
Brown also reiterated his dismay over the NCAA denying Walker the chance to play this year.
“I was so disappointed and surprised in the vote with the committee that they voted down his ability to come back and play,” Brown said. “I think it’s awful, I think it’s very poor, it’s not fair. There was a path for him to be eligible without question.
“This young man totally had his life changed,” Brown added. “And we’re talking about NIL money opportunities. We’re talking about the NFL Draft.”
Brown said he and his coaching staff will need to talk with Walker about his future with the program. Potential options include continuing to practice with the Tar Heels and working out for pro scouts in preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft, or coming back next season to suit up for the Tar Heels. Walker is currently set to graduate in December 2024.
“All these options are things that he’ll need to look at and decide what he wants to do,” Brown said. “He did tell me he wants to stay in school and get his degree, so that is something that is a real positive and something that is good moving forward.”