Walker not eligible to play at UF

Holmes County's 6-foot-10 center Chris Walker (No. 23) is not enrolled at UF.

Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner
Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.

Freshman power forward Chris Walker will not be eligible to play for Florida this fall due to academic issues.

The 6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American power forward is not enrolled for fall classes, according to UF’s registrar office. Today was the final day of UF’s drop-add period to enroll for the fall semester.

Walker needed to complete three online courses over the summer to enroll for the fall semester and meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. A source close to Walker said he is taking time with his schoolwork in an effort to enroll at UF in December. If Walker enrolls in December, he could begin practice Dec. 13 and would be first eligible for UF’s game Dec. 17 vs. Memphis in the Jimmy V. Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Walker told ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman on Tuesday that his plan is to enroll in the spring.

"Now I understand how serious high school is, and that you can't take the work lightly," Walker told ESPN.com. "I didn't do as well, and work as hard as I should have early in high school.

"It's a minor setback, and every day I'm working hard to get to Florida. My plan is to definitely be at Florida. I'm working everyday to make sure I get to Gainesville."

Florida coach Billy Donovan could not discuss Walker specifically last week due to NCAA rules because his national letter of intent is now void. During a booster gathering in Tallahassee, Donovan said: “We’ve added two freshmen. Unfortunately one of them is not enrolled right now. We’re hopeful that down the road, he will be.”

Without Walker, Florida still has a deep frontcourt which includes senior center Patric Young, senior forward Will Yeguete, junior center Damontre Harris, junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith and senior forward Casey Prather. Yeguete is recovering from offseason knee surgery and Donovan is hopeful he will be back when practices start in October.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or brockwk@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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