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ACC Roundup - Tez Walker Denied & More

Lots of conference news going into the weekend

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Greensboro
 GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 16: A detail view a Wilson basketball as it sits beside the ACC logo on the court is seen during a practice session ahead of the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

We normally start ACC Roundup during basketball season, but between basketball and football, there’s enough to do an early edition.

UNC football finally got the word on Tez Walker, who transferred to Carolina from Kent State after transferring from NCCU. However, NCCU canceled their season in 2020 after the pandemic.

Under the new transfer rule, you can move between schools once with no penalty but two transfers require a waiver. As we understand it, Walker transferred to UNC because his grandmother is in poor health. Here’s what she told WSOC-TV: “It hurts my heart that he’s going through this and just to know he did this for me. I had knee surgery, knee replacement, two hip replacements, scoliosis in the spine. When I first had (surgery), he was my caretaker. He washed me, emptied my pot. Cooked me food. Made sure I took my medicine. He cared for me.”

So you can see he has an argument and even Governor Roy Cooper advocated on his behalf.

However, the last time UNC had a sit-down with the NCAA, it was about their massive academic fraud scandal and the university did not behave admirably or with the slightest bit of contrition. Then, as now, the focus was purely on preserving Tar Heel viability on the field of competition.

We’re not saying that the NCAA is giving the university a little bit of payback, but could that be what is going on here? Well, yeah. It might. Fool me once and all of that.

Coach Mack Brown lashed out in a statement, which finishes with this: “Shame on you, NCAA! Shame on you!”

It would be more impressive if this was a third-string receiver or a walk-on instead of a guy who is supposed to make a major difference, you know?

AD Bubba Cunningham was more focused in his response but the basic point remains the same: given recent history, the NCAA is not likely to be very patient with UNLV-Chapel Hill.

Meanwhile, in Clemson, Dabo Swinney continues to get heat after Clemson’s starting loss to Duke. People are not taking that well, not at all. It’s not like he’s going to get fired this weekend (well he might if the Tigers lose to Florida Atlantic Saturday), but if Clemson continues to struggle, the pressure is going to be painfully high.

On the basketball side, Miami has picked up a promising recruit: 6-4 Austin Swartz chose Miami over Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, among others. Jim Larrañaga generally knows what to do with guards, so keep an eye on Swartz going forward.

Meanwhile in Winston-Salem, Steve Forbes has commented on his wife’s stroke, saying this: “As far as stepping away, no — first of all, I don’t think that’s what my wife would want. I don’t think that would help her recover. I think she needs me to be doing what I’m doing. So we just had to work it out, a plan.”

If that’s not coach speak, it’s adjacent to it.

And two last items, both pertaining to expansion.

Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino is not impressed with the latest wave, arguing that basketball and football will charter, but everyone else will fly commercial and be left sitting in the airport, struggling with missed flights and the like. Hard to argue.

And finally, with 10 of the 12 schools leaving the PAC-12, Oregon State and Washington State - the PAC-2 - are arguing that since they are the only schools left, they should be the only ones who retain voting rights. And that’s hard to argue with as well. There is a fair amount of money at stake and it would be quite funny if the remnants of the Conference of Champions managed to keep it all.