Rakeem Buckles denied transfer

Updated: August 28, 2013, 8:10 PM ET
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN.com

Former Louisville forward Rakeem Buckles, who sat out last season at Florida International, will not be allowed to follow Richard Pitino to Minnesota, Golden Gophers associate athletic director Chris Werle said Wednesday.

The NCAA denied Buckles' waiver request to play right away, Werle said.

Buckles spent three seasons at Louisville and suffered two major knee injuries.

He left the Cardinals and sat out last season at FIU, but decided to transfer to Minnesota and apply for a waiver to play immediately because Florida International was hit with a postseason ban by the NCAA for academic issues dating to the Isiah Thomas regime.

The NCAA denied Buckles' request even though there have been several players in similar positions -- including current Gophers guard Malik Smith -- that were granted waivers to transfer and play immediately in their final seasons because of postseason bans.

Sources told ESPN.com that Buckles likely will appeal the decision, but he may have no choice but to return to FIU as a walk-on because new coach Anthony Evans does not have any scholarships left.

The 6-foot-7 Buckles had become an effective player for Rick Pitino and Louisville before suffering a torn ACL in his right knee in February 2011. He then suffered a torn ACL in his left knee less than a year later.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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