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Jay Bilas on Florida’s Chris Walker’s eligibility: “I don’t think it’s any of the NCAA’s business”

Chris Walker, Jarell Martin

McDonald’s East All-American’s Chris Walker, left, shoots against McDonald’s West All-American’s Jarell Martin during the second half of the McDonald’s All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. McDonald’s West All-Americans won 110-99. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Has there been a more talked about player in college basketball this season who hasn’t stepped foot on the floor other than Chris Walker? Doubtful.

The saga of Walker’s eligibility at Florida continues to grow.

Walker wasn’t officially accepted into the school until mid-December. Yet, despite his enrollment, the NCAA has declared him ineligible to play.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas strongly disagrees with the NCAA’s stance.

“One, I don’t think it’s any of the NCAA’s business. But even if it is, it’s taken way too long. At some point you have to say, ‘You know what? We don’t have it. And until we do, the kid can play.’ They’ve got a clock ticking and the NCAA kind of tends to look at from their own perspective in that, we don’t want somebody else to run out the clock while we investigate. ... At some point you’ve got to say, you know what the delay is unreasonable. It’s hurt the kid, it’s hurt the school and it’s just wrong.”

The crux of Bilas’ argument is that the NCAA doesn’t have a “case” against Walker. In the preceding quote, when Bilas exclaims, “We don’t have it,” it refers to the “case.”

Furthermore, there is no timetable for Walker’s return.

Bilas goes onto say: “I don’t think it should be the NCAA’s determination whether a kid is qualified to attend school. That’s the school’s decision. What that does is implies that there are schools out there whose admissions departments are committing fraud. I don’t believe that.”

Despite Walker’s ineligibility and the off-the-court distractions that accompany it, Billy Donovan has the Gators rolling at 16-2. They are undefeated in SEC play, and haven’t lost since Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier beat them at the buzzer.

Follow @KLDoyle11