Count ESPN veteran basketball analyst Dick Vitale as one who thinks the saga surrounding freshman McDonald’s All-American power forward Chris Walker is getting ridiculous.
Vitale went on the offensive in discussing Walker’s status during an ESPN conference call on Wednesday. The 6-foot-10 Walker has practiced at UF since Dec. 16 and is enrolled in school but hasn’t been cleared for competition by the NCAA.
““I have a very, very tough time dealing with the NCAA in the unbelievable procrastination in making decisions that affect so many peoples’ lives – players lives, teammates lives, fans, coaches, everybody involved,” Vitale said. “And I don’t understand – we’re not looking for a cure for cancer – we’re trying to find out whether a player can be eligible. And I have a real problem over the years with the incredible delay it takes in determining eligibility.”
Walker’s clearance issues presumably stems from his ties with his former AAU coach, Matt Ramker. In the summer of 2012, Walker was part of Ramker’s travel team that was shut down due its alleged ties with an agent. Also, there are unconfirmed reports that Ramker may have financially assisted Walker on a recruiting visit.
Following UF’s SEC-openeing 74-58 win over South Carolina, Donovan said that Walker’s status hasn’t changed. Walker has sat out five games since joining the team.
“Hopefully at some point he’ll be able to get on the court for us,” Donovan said.