Posted: 2:44 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
By Mike Rutherford
The NCAA is ridiculous. You know it, I know it, the NCAA even knows it, which is why today's news that the organization has denied former Cardinal Rakeem Buckles' appeal to play for Minnesota this season should surprise approximately no one.
That doesn't mean it shouldn't disappoint everyone.
Buckles, who left Louisville with a 3.2 GPA after suffering four major injuries including two ACL tears, was hoping to to follow former Cardinal assistant Richard Pitino from FIU to his new gig at Minnesota. Because FIU was hit with a postseason ban for the 2013-14 season, NCAA rules allow any senior in the program to transfer to another school and be eligible immediately. It's an option that former Panther Malik Smith, whose transfer to Minnesota was cleared without issue, opted to take, but apparently not one available for Buckles.
Rick Pitino expressed his frustration with the NCAA's initial decision to block Buckles' transfer last week.
"I'm just blown away by it. It makes no sense. It's amazing the NCAA can do this," Pitino told ESPN.com. "He's a model student-athlete who had a 3.2 GPA when he left Louisville. He just wants a chance to play in another NCAA tournament."
"[Buckles] had no idea that the program wouldn't be able to play in the NCAA tournament when he transferred to FIU," Rick Pitino added. "This is a good kid who has dealt with plenty of adversity over his career. It's completely unfair."
Buckles will now likely play his final season of college ball at Florida International, which is ineligible to participate in any postseason tournament, including its league's.
Congrats on your latest colossal black eye, NCAA.