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August 9, 2007Kansas State forward Bill Walker, who played in just six games as a freshman due to injury in 2006-07, received a medical redshirt from the Big 12 Conference on Thursday.
"We are pleased that the conference has given Bill this medical redshirt," said head coach Frank Martin. "In reality, Bill is still a freshman because he participated in less than 10 practices and played in just six games last season, so he deserves the opportunity. We look forward to getting a healthy Bill Walker back to the floor because he will be a tremendous asset to our basketball team."
After an impressive start to his career, Walker sustained a complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee in a game against Texas A&M on Jan. 6. He underwent surgery in mid-January and is nearly back to complete health.
Walker received the medical hardship waiver from the conference office under NCAA Bylaw 14.2.4, which states that a "student-athlete may be granted an additional year of competition for reasons of hardship. Hardship is defined as an incapacity resulting from an injury or illness that has occurred under the following conditions: (1) occurs in one of the four seasons of intercollegiate competition, (2) occurs prior to the completion of the first half of the playing season and (3) occurs when the student-athlete has not participated in 30 percent of the school's scheduled contests."
With the ruling Walker will now be considered a freshman from an eligibility standpoint, along with incoming freshman Michael Beasley, Fred Brown, Jacob Pullen, Jamar Samuels and Dominique Sutton.
Walker averaged 11.3 points on 40.0 percent shooting (26-of-65) in six games in 2006-07 with 4.5 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game. His scoring and rebounding averages ranked third on the team.
After taking an accelerated course to complete his high school degree, Walker became eligible for competition with the Wildcats on Dec. 16, 2006. He scored in double figures in his first four games, including a season-best 19 points against USC in the semifinals of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. on Dec. 23.