We already know that “all my homies hate Ticketmaster,” and the NCAA might be joining that list of things that “all my homies hate” if they continue to making rulings like this.
The NCAA is the governing body over all of college athletics, though many in the industry and college administration have called into question the organization’s leadership, or lack thereof, in recent years.
COVID was certainly a troubling time in college sports, and in an unprecedented time, many universities looked to the NCAA for help and guidance on how to move forward. They basically told colleges to “figure it out on their own.”
And now, in a time of the transfer portal being utilized (and maxed out) and NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) money being thrown around all over the place, colleges again asked the NCAA to help navigate the new athletic landscape, to which they again said that it’s “up to each institution.”
Long story short, the NCAA has had countless opportunities to step in and really be a guiding light for college sports, yet they continue to inadvertently play the role of the villain and turn people, players, coaches, and schools against them. They tend to say that it is up to the universities to figure things out, unless they are stepping in to punish someone or something…
Their recent decision to deny the eligibility of UNC wide receiver Tez Walker has caused an uproar across the country, and not just in North Carolina. Walker has a complicated and chaotic college career, and basically had moved back to be a Tarheel in order to be closer to his family, sighting that he wanted to be closer to an ill family member and that the move would help improve his mental health.
However, the NCAA deemed that he had transferred one too many times, and after sitting out the first game of UNC’s season, they finally informed North Carolina and Walker that he would not be eligible to play for the entire year.
Mack Brown, head coach of the Tarheels, thought the decision was blasphemous, and didn’t hold anything back in a statement that he directed straight towards the NCAA:
“We’re absolutely crushed to learn that Tez Walker’s eligibility has been denied for this season and he won’t be able to play. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more disappointed in a person, a group of people, or an institution than I am with the NCAA right now.
It’s clear that the NCAA is about process and it couldn’t care less about the young people it’s supposed to be supporting. Plain and simple, the NCAA has failed Tez and his family and I’ve lost all faith in its ability to lead and govern our sport.”
They’ve messed so many things up as it relates to college football, and now their failures have negatively impacted the life of one of our own. Just imagine what it is like for Tez to be so excited to come home and have a chance to fulfill his childhood dream of playing for North Carolina in front of all of his family and friends, only to have it taken away despite doing nothing wrong.
I can’t begin to understand how this has happened. The decision-makers at the NCAA and on the committee should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to a young man.”
Head coach Mack Brown has always felt comfortable speaking his mind, and as you can tell, felt strongly against the NCAA’s decision with Tez Walker. Saying that he went “scorched Earth” is almost an understatement considering how blatantly and emphatically he called out the higher ups at the NCAA.
He continued in his statement:
“As has been clearly documented, Tez should be eligible for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the mental health issues he’s faced during his time in college. And with this decision, the NCAA has placed an unnecessary burden on him. He’s had a rough go of it and this will surely only make it worse. How dare they ever speak about mental health and student-athlete welfare again.
We’ve got complete rosters overhauled through the transfer portal, players playing in their 8th year of college, players playing at their fourth school, and the list goes on. Yet, Tez Walker, who has only played football at one school, isn’t eligible. It makes no sense and it never will.”
Moving forward, our Carolina family is strong and we need to wrap our arms around Tez, lift him up, and make sure we continue to do all we can to support him. He’s continued to work, on the field and off, and remained an amazing member of our program throughout this ordeal.
I know that will continue to happen because that’s the kind of person he is. Despite this setback, Tez’s future remains bright and we’ll continue to do everything we can to help him fulfill all of his dreams. Shame on you, NCAA. SHAME ON YOU!”
If you made it through that entire statement (or at least scanned through and got the gist of it), it’s clear that Mack Brown has a point. If you didn’t manage to work your way through Brown’s statement and instead scrolled down here to see if there was just a summary of the whole thing, you are in luck.
Some of the media industry’s biggest names have spoken on the NCAA’s questionable decision as well, so if you consider yourself a “visual learner” (translation: you didn’t want to read all of that), below are Pat McAfee and Jay Bilas’ statements on the Tez Walker story: