Tez Walker's appeal denied, North Carolina's top receiving threat remains ineligible
Tez Walker has had his appeal denied by the NCAA, leaving the North Carolina wide receiver ineligible to play for the 2023 season.
Walker received the bad news on Thursday. The Tar Heels opened their season last Saturday against South Carolina in Charlotte.
The unfavorable ruling ended a month-long effort on the part of UNC coach Mack Brown and others both in and out of the university’s administration — including North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper — on behalf of the Kent State transfer.
The junior from Charlotte has been in limbo since August 8, when the NCAA – as part of a crackdown on 2-time transfers – rescinded the waiver it originally granted him to play this season.
It was a decision that drew widespread criticism because of the circumstances surrounding Walker’s 1st transfer.
The Biletnikoff Award candidate originally signed to play at East Tennessee State but never actually attended a class there after suffering an ACL tear that required a full year to rehab. He then enrolled at NC Central but didn’t play a game there, either, because COVID wiped out the school’s 2020 season.
Walker eventually landed at Kent State, where he caught 63 passes for 1,045 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past 2 seasons before entering the transfer portal and returning to his home state to be closer to his ailing grandmother.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that Walker enrolled at UNC on Jan. 9, 2 days before the NCAA announced that it had amended its 2-time transfer rule.
His ineligibility is a major blow to the Tar Heels hopes this season. Walker was brought in to help fill the void left by the departure of last year’s leading pass catcher Josh Downs, the 3rd-round draft pick of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.
Without Walker, fellow UNC’s receiver room was led by Kobe Paysour in the 31-17 win over South Carolina in Week 1. Paysour had 7 receptions for 66 yards and a score.
The Tar Heels also have arguably the deepest tight end room in the ACC. Bryson Nesbit, Kamari Morales, and John Copenhaver combined for 79 catches, 1,097 yards, and 8 touchdowns in 2022. In the opener, that trio had 9 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.