NCAA Denies Appeal, Buckles Won’t Play For Gophers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The NCAA has denied forward Rakeem Buckles’ appeal for a waiver request to play this season after following coach Richard Pitino from Florida International to Minnesota.

Minnesota announced the decision on Tuesday. The school was appealing the NCAA’s initial decision in August that denied Buckles’ waiver petition.

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.

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 is not enrolled at Minnesota and will not play for the Gophers this season.

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