COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 30 Duke's Mayo Bowl - North Carolina v South Carolina
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North Carolina announced Friday it still has not received word from the NCAA on the status of wide receiver Devontez Walker. The Tar Heels have been waiting for a decision on Walker's appeal since Aug. 8, when his waiver for immediate eligibility was denied. 

"We're one day away from our highly-anticipated season opener against South Carolina, and unfortunately, Tez Walker remains ineligible," coach Mack Brown said. "Our institution has been pushing for Tez's case to be reviewed by the assigned committee, so that it could be heard prior to our first game. But, the NCAA's unwillingness to provide clarification over the last few weeks has left us in this position."

Walker played the previous two seasons at Kent State, where he amassed 1,045 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 63 catches. He joined the Tar Heels in part to be closer to his grandmother who was having health issues. Walker started his career at NC Central, but transferred to Kent State after NC Central cancelled its season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Undergraduates who transfer twice before graduating need a waiver to participate immediately.

Brown criticized the way the NCAA has handled Walker's appeal. 

"At this point, everyone knows the details of Tez's journey to North Carolina, and the overwhelming opinion of those around the country is that he should be playing tomorrow and this should have been resolved months ago. I can't express my disappointment in the NCAA strong enough," Brown said. "The NCAA has been reluctant to consider the real issues of mental health, Covid and rule changes that have impacted Tez's personal journey. 

"They say they're about helping kids, but all they've done is add to the very mental health issues Tez has been dealing with that made him want to get closer to home to begin with. You can't say you're about helping kids and then show a total disregard for the kids you're supposed to be helping. It's clear they are about process and not people."

No. 21 North Carolina will square off against border rival South Carolina on Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The school is holding out hope that it can get clarity on the situation before kickoff.

"Fortunately, the committee still has a chance to recommend a correction to this egregious error," Brown said. "We look forward to them hearing his case, and recommending the only outcome this case deserves, that Tez Walker should be eligible to play."

Kickoff for the Tar Heels' season-opener vs. the Gamecocks is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.