The Gophers' bid to land senior Rakeem Buckles was close to dead last week when his waiver to play immediately at Minnesota was denied by the NCAA.
The last-ditch attempt to revive it -- appealing the decision -- has been denied by the NCAA, meaning Buckles, a power forward, will likely stay at Florida International.
Per a release from the school:
The Minnesota men’s basketball program learned today that its appeal for the immediate eligibility of Florida International transfer Rakeem Buckles has been denied by the NCAA. Minnesota’s original NCAA transfer waiver was denied by the NCAA on Aug. 28. Buckles, who had signed a tender to play for the Gophers in August, is not currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota.
He had followed new Gophers coach Richard Pitino to FIU from Louisville last year but sat out the season while rehabbing a knee injury.
Without a waiver, Buckles would need to sit out another redshirt season. But with this year marking the fifth (and final) year of Buckles' eligibility, he would need to request another waiver for a sixth year to play for the Gophers in 2014-15. Buckles signed a Big Ten tender and was admitted to Minnesota, but had not enrolled due to the uncertainty of the waiver.
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State. Follow Fuller on Twitter @Marcus_R_Fuller.
The 22-year-old former starter at Minnesota looks to redeem himself, more than two years after he was involved in a nightclub fight that left a former Minnesota State-Mankato player with a serious brain injury