MINNEAPOLIS – The NCAA has denied forward Rakeem Buckles' waiver request to play this season after following coach Richard Pitino from Florida International to Minnesota.
Minnesota associate athletic director Chris Werle says the decision came Wednesday. Buckles played three seasons at Louisville under Pitino's father, Rick. But he suffered two torn ACLs and sat out last season after transferring to FIU. Minnesota is appealing the decision.
Buckles was hopeful the NCAA would allow him to transfer without sitting out a season because FIU was recently given a postseason ban for academic issues under Isiah Thomas. Malik Smith was granted such a waiver to play for the Gophers.
The 6-foot-7 Buckles signed a tender and was admitted to Minnesota. But he had yet to enroll while awaiting the NCAA's decision.