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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Trustees holds emergency meeting to receive legal advice on 'athletics matter'

UNC junior wide receiver Tez Walker (9) joins the coin toss as an honorary captain before the football game against Appalachian State at Kenan Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. The NCAA received strong backlash after controversially ruling Walker ineligible for the season.

The UNC Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon to receive legal advice from the University’s counsel on an athletics matter. The meeting marked the first BOT emergency meeting since December 2021.

At his weekly press conference on Monday morning, UNC football head coach Mack Brown said the purpose of the emergency meeting was to “figure out all the best options for Tez Walker.” 

On Thursday, the NCAA ruled that Walker, a wide receiver on the football team, is ineligible for the 2023-24 season.

“I’m really proud of our Board of Trustees that they are standing up to try to figure out what is best, so we can see all of our options, get a singular voice and then move forward,” Brown said at the UNC football press conference. “We’ve got too many people saying, ‘Should he play? Should he do this [or] should he do this? Should this happen?’ We need to all get in the same room and figure out number one, what’s best for the young man.” 

The meeting began at noon with a roll call. Then, a vote was held to move the meeting to a closed session to preserve attorney-client privilege. The closed session began shortly after noon and adjourned around 1:40 p.m.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said the University is keeping "all options on the table" regarding support for UNC athletes and noted the need for legal advice. 

“This was an important meeting where we received some legal updates that will help inform us as we do everything possible to support our student athletes here at Carolina,” Guskiewicz said following the closed session. “That’s all that we can say right now."

Along with BOT members, Brown and UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham attended Monday’s emergency meeting at South Building. Brown and Cunningham did not speak to reporters following the closed session.

“This is a young man that totally had his life changed,” Brown said at his press conference. “We’re talking about NIL money opportunities, NFL Draft, the Senior Bowl took him off the list because he’s not going to play, and now we’re working with him too."

The Daily Tar Heel reached out to UNC Media Relations on Monday afternoon for comment on the content discussed in the closed-session meeting and the rarity of the board conducting emergency meetings. Media Relations noted it received the request, but did not provide information before the time of publication. 

Board chair John Preyer was the only member who spoke to the media after the meeting. 

“I just would underscore what the chancellor said,” Preyer said. “We’re hearing information about legal updates and we’re here to support all of our student-athletes.”

A University official confirmed that no decisions were made on what actions to take. There is no official word on when a follow-up meeting may occur.

Noah Monroe and Abby Pender contributed reporting to this story.

@mdmaynard74 | @carolinewills03

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