Gators Chris Walker still in NCAA limbo
Contrary to multiple reports on Monday, the NCAA has not cleared Florida freshman forward Chris Walker to play for the Gators, coach Billy Donovan said today.
And Donovan said, there has been no indication from the NCAA that Walker will be cleared to play when the Gators host Tennessee Saturday afternoon.
“I would just say this: as it relates to Chris, just listen to us and our school," Donovan said. "I’m not going to address it anymore. Certainly we’re hopeful he gets back soon, but there’s been no indication that there’s any truth to that at all. Whenever he gets cleared, and certainly we all hope it’s soon, believe me, I’m not going to throw a guy in a game and have him pop up and you guys not be aware of it. The minute he gets eligible, cleared and he’s able to play, I’ll let you know. Anything else that’s out there about that is not true.”
Walker was admitted and enrolled at Florida in mid-December, but has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse to play this season. Wlaker's clearance is reportedly being held up due to allegations of impermissable benefits during his AAU playing days, but Donovan said he's not aware of every piece of information the NCAA is reviewing.
“The hardest part for me is I don’t know all the details because it doesn’t involve our institution," Donovan said. I’m just focusing on our team, the guys that are here right now and letting our administration handle it. I have not been privy to any conversations between the NCAA, our school, Chris or any of those other things. The only thing I’ve been trying to do with Chris is each and every day trying to help him get better as a player, provide the resources he needs academically, try to work with him on the court to get better. In terms of all the details and hang-ups, I don’t know all those details because when there’s something going on like this, there’s ethical conduct forms that are signed. That stuff has to be kept confidential, be kept between Chris and the NCAA, kept between our administration and the NCAA. I’m not involved in any of those conversations. I trust our administration and what they’re doing. Hopefully it will be resolved in a timely fashion. I know everyone is involved one way or another to know what’s going to happen.”
In the meantime, the No. 6 Gators will travel to play Alabama Thursday night at 7.