NCAA clears Florida freshman Chris Walker to play

By: Matt Harris Email
By: Matt Harris Email
NCAA clears Florida freshman Chris Walker to play

Jan 8, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators forward Chris Walker (23) on the bench against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first half at Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida forward Chris Walker, a highly touted freshman from Bonifay, has been cleared to play.

The NCAA cleared Walker on Wednesday, saying he will be eligible to play next Tuesday when the third-ranked Gators host Missouri. Walker will have sat out 12 games, or 40 percent of the season, after the NCAA determined he "received preferential treatment from five people, including two agents." The NCAA says Walker has to donate the $270 received from the agents to a charity of his choice and serve 80 hours of community service.

According to Florida and the NCAA, Walker accepted free cellphones and service, airfare, lodging, meals and apparel while he was a prospect. People close to Walker also received free airfare and lodging for nine different trips.

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