The NCAA has denied Rakeem Buckles’ waiver to gain instant eligibility to play immediately for the Gophers, according to multiple media reports.
Buckles was recruited to play at Louisville when new Gophers head coach Richard Pitino was an assistant at Louisville. Buckles transferred to Florida International to play for Pitino and redshirted last season.
The six-foot-eight-inch forward figured to fit in well with the Gophers. They certainly could have used the depth on perceived thin front court. Pitino said earlier this summer that the coaching staff hoped to add another member to that unit. The Gophers still have one remaining scholarship for the 2013-14 season.
Things looked promising for Buckles, who had signed a Big Ten tender and had been admitted to Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune. The NCAA had already granted former FIU guard Malik Smith’s waiver for the upcoming season due to the school’s postseason ineligibility because of their low academic progress report scores.
The Gophers plan to appeal the NCAA’s decision, reports said.