The NCAA says “violent — and possibly criminal — threats” were directed at committee members involved in recent regulatory decisions. Here’s what you need to know:
- The statement Tuesday comes on the heels of multiple high-profile transfer waiver decisions. This includes North Carolina receiver Tez Walker and Florida State defensive tackle Darrell Jackson Jr., who both had their waivers for immediate eligibility denied by the NCAA on Aug. 8.
- North Carolina coach Mack Brown, in a statement following the ruling, said “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.” He signed the statement, “Shame on you, NCAA. SHAME ON YOU!”
- “The DI Board is troubled by the public remarks made last week by some of the University of North Carolina leadership,” the NCAA’s statement read. “Those comments directly contradict what we and our fellow Division I members and coaches called for vociferously — including UNC’s own football coach.”
- Earlier this year, the NCAA announced it would cut down on the multi-time transfer waivers, which coaches had characterized as “free agency.” The move had unanimous support from all 32 Division I conferences.
- Walker and Jackson were both seeking to play for their third collegiate programs. The NCAA says only three percent of transfers would be multiple-time transfers who would require a waiver to compete immediately.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
How surprising is this?
I can’t say I’m surprised this situation has escalated the way it has. UNC has continued to loudly express its frustrations with the Walker decision and the way it unfolded, and the NCAA has continued to defend its decision to tighten transfer rules based on feedback from administrators and coaches. At some point, the NCAA feels there has to be a line drawn in the sand, and those who transferred before might feel that they were unfairly treated.
But if you move the effective date a month before or later than where it landed, there will always be athletes who believe they have been wronged or believe that they made decisions assuming a different outcome. And that’s what UNC is arguing — that Walker decided to transfer before knowing the rules changed. — Auerbach
We’ve reached a serious level not seen before
Schools and players being upset about waiver denials is not new. It used to be a much bigger issue before the one-time transfer rule was passed — heck, it’s why the one-time transfer rule was passed. But this Walker situation, from UNC’s attacking statements to game broadcasters going after the NCAA, has really escalated it to a new level.
There’s no longer any restraint in public statements from leaders, and social media campaigns can elevate the issue and lead to these alleged threats against people. The temperature on this has to come down on all sides. If this becomes the playbook to get a transfer waiver approved, it becomes a very bad precedent.
Coaches railed against free agency. This dramatic tightening of waivers was the result. If everyone is going to complain about everything and no one accepts new rules, nothing will get fixed. — Vannini
What they are saying
“The DI Board is troubled by the public remarks made last week by some of the University of North Carolina leadership,” a statement read. “Those comments directly contradict what we and our fellow Division I members and coaches called for vociferously — including UNC’s own football coach. We are a membership organization, and rather than pursue a public relations campaign that can contribute to a charged environment for our peers who volunteer on committees, we encourage members to use established and agreed upon procedures to voice concerns and propose and adopt rule or policy changes if they are dissatisfied.”
Brown issued a statement on Sept. 7 about the denial of Walker’s eligibility.
“(The NCAA) 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,” Brown said. “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 happened. The decision makers at the NCAA and on the committee should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to a young man.”
(Photo: Greg Fiume / NCAA Photos via Getty Images)