Did Herschel Walker lie about college degree? Fact-checking the claims about Ex-NFL star's education status

Herschel Walker's educational qualification is under the scanner | Image: Herschel Walker on Twitter
Herschel Walker's educational qualification is under the scanner | Image: Herschel Walker on Twitter

Former NFL player-turned-politician Herschel Walker seemed tailormade to be a Senate candidate in Georgia. The Republican nominee is currently in a close battle to oust Senator Raphael Warnock. Walker is currently trailing, according to recent polls.

Scrutiny of his past, be it his business ventures or his divorce, has started to unearth stories that are hurting his candidature. One such accusation that has garnered a lot of media attention is that Walker has falsely claimed to have graduated from the University of Georgia.

Furthermore, the former Dallas Cowboys running back has even claimed that he graduated as part of the top 1 percent of his class.

What college did Herschel Walker go to?

Herschel Walker did attend the University of Georgia, where he played football and was even a track athlete. He became a three-time All-American and was the winner of the 1982 Heisman Trophy.

Does Herschel Walker have a college degree?

While Herschel Walker did attend the University of Georgia, he never actually graduated from there. The two-time Pro Bowler left college after his junior season to venture into professional football with the now-defunct United States Football League. Reports suggest that he had a grade of B Average when he left.

The scrutiny into Walker's alma mater became an overnight headline when, back in December, his campaign website falsely claimed that he had graduated from the university.

Greg Bluestein, a political writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, shared on Twitter the multiple instances where Walker's promotional campaign made false claims about his graduation.

After multiple inquiries from the AJC, the campaign was forced to delete the claims. Walker even released a statement to the publication acknowledging that he did not graduate from college.

However, during an interview in May this year with FOX, Walker denied that he ever made claims about his graduation. He said during the interview:

"I never said that. They say that. And I said - that's what you gotta remember. I never, I never have said that statement. Not one time. I've said that I studied criminal justice at UGA."
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However, this seems far from true. During a radio interview in 2017, the 60-year-old openly claimed that he was in the top 1 percent of his graduating class in college.

"And people say, 'Herschel, you played football'. But I said, 'Guys, I also was valedictorian of my class. I also was in the top 1 percent of my graduating class in college'."
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Walker will need to find a way past his false claims and other damning stories about his personal life. He is up against Senator Warnock, who became the first African-American Senator last year.

Warnock rose to prominence thanks to his efforts to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He is also a senior baptist pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. The church was once led by Martin Luther King Jr.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat