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The NCAA received “violent threats” in the wake of Tez Walker’s eligibility denial

The NCAA received “violent threats” in the wake of Tez Walker’s eligibility denial

Andrea AdelsonSenior writer at ESPNSeptember 13, 2023 at 03:19 am3 minutes to read

The NCAA Division I Board of Regents’ president and vice president said in a statement Tuesday that “violent and potentially criminal threats” were made toward committee members in the wake of a high-profile decision denying immediate eligibility to North Carolina State recipients. Tees Walker.

In the statement, Division I Chairman/Georgia President Jerry Moorhead and Vice President/Evansville President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz also said they were “disturbed” by public statements made by North Carolina leaders on the issue. Both coach Mack Brown and athletic director Bubba Cunningham criticized the decision last week in pointed comments aimed directly at the NCAA.

Moorhead and Pietruszkiewicz said in their statement that the national office is coordinating with law enforcement regarding the threats and “will continue to do everything we can to support the volunteers who serve on these committees.”

A panel of NCAA Division I representatives rejected Walker’s latest attempt to qualify for the 2023 season on Thursday.

“The Division I Board of Regents believes that the NCAA staff and committee are applying the transfer waiver guidelines as intended by member schools and giving appropriate and full consideration to individual cases, including consulting a panel of licensed mental health experts for cases where mental health is cited as a reason for transfer. “Last year the DI Board directed the DI Board to improve its guidelines for transfer waivers and apply those guidelines to the 2023-24 school year. “These new guidelines were unanimously supported by all 32 Division I conferences in January, and prior to that were widely supported by support from member schools and coaches’ associations.”

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Walker, who previously enrolled at N.C. Central and Kent State, believes he should be allowed to play this year for two reasons. He was unable to play at N.C. Central because the pandemic canceled the season and he transferred to Kent State. Walker also cites mental health reasons behind his decision to transfer from Kent State to North Carolina to be closer to his home in Charlotte and his grandmother.

In the statement, Moorhead and Pietroszkiewicz said: “Citing mitigating factors, such as mental health, does not necessarily support a waiver request, but instead may indicate, in some situations, that the student-athlete should focus primarily on addressing those critical issues during the period.” Training. Initial transfer to a third school.”

Their statement goes on to make specific comments directed at North Carolina for waging a “PR campaign” against the NCAA. For more than a month, Brown has been publicly pushing for the NCAA to approve Walker’s waiver.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever been more disappointed with a person or a group of people or an organization than I’ve ever been with the NCAA right now,” Brown said after the final ruling was announced last week. “Obviously, ‘the NCAA is about process and couldn’t care less about the young people it’s supposed to support. Plain and simple, the NCAA has failed Tez and his family and has lost all confidence in their ability to lead and govern our sport. “

“These comments directly contradict what we and our fellow Division I members and coaches — including UNC’s head football coach — have been loudly calling for,” Moorhead and Pietroszkiewicz said in their statement. “We are a membership organization, and rather than pursuing a public relations campaign we can contribute to creating an environment Charged to our peers who volunteer on committees, we encourage members to use established and agreed-upon procedures to voice concerns and propose and adopt changes to rules or policies if they are dissatisfied.”

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North Carolina State’s Board of Trustees met Monday in a closed emergency session to hear from internal and external legal counsel about possible options Walker could take. No timetable has been set for a decision.