Junior forward Derrick Walker, who transferred to Nebraska from Tennessee in 2019, has been suspended for the first 16 games of the 2020-21 season. The Nebraska Athletic Department announced the suspension Wednesday morning, the same day the Huskers are set to tip off their season.
The suspension is for a violation of team and NCAA rules while he was with Tennessee in 2018–19.
“One of the aspects I like most about coaching is the deep personal relationships and impact you have on the development of the people in your program,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said in a statement. “It is my job as the head coach at the University of Nebraska to help mold and develop my players just as much off the court as on the court. I take a lot of pride in building trusting relationships where my players know that they can come talk to me whenever they need something.
“Since arriving at Nebraska, Derrick Walker has been phenomenal at owning up to a mistake he made prior to coming here. He was transparent throughout the recruiting process and acknowledged his mistake. In turn, we told him confidently we would support and fight for him.
“The 16-game suspension Derrick faces is based on a normal 31-game regular season. In our opinion, the penalty should accurately reflect half of the abbreviated 2020–21 season, which is scheduled to be 27 games. We have made that case with the NCAA, but at this point the 16-game penalty stands. A lot of hard work went into this from many people at the University, and I thank them for their efforts.
“Regardless of the outcome of any further appeals, we will continue to support Derrick and get him as ready as possible for when he is eligible to compete. I know Derrick is in a much better place today than when he arrived at Nebraska, and he is a valuable member of our team on and off the court.”
Walker, who is a 6-foot-8, 232-pound native of Kansas City, Missouri, won’t be eligible to play for Nebraska until the Iowa matchup on Jan. 24, 2021.