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Gophers guard Marcus Carr ruled ineligible for this season by NCAA

November 8, 2018

Marcus Carr, a guard for Gophers basketball who transferred from Pittsburgh in the spring, had his waiver request to play this season denied by the NCAA, sources told the Star Tribune on Wednesday.

Carr, who has three years of eligibility remaining, and the Gophers have already appealed the decision, a university spokesman said. Major college transfers have to sit out a season unless their request is approved, per NCAA rules.

Carr on Wednesday afternoon added an emoji of a broken heart on an Instagram post. The rejection came as a surprise, as other players around the country had received waiver approval to play this offseason. Coach Richard Pitino seemed confident after Tuesday night’s season opener that Carr’s waiver would be granted.

“We’re going to assume that something is going to happen soon,” Pitino said after Tuesday’s 104-76 victory against Omaha. “We’re optimistic that he should get the waiver.”

Pitino said the U’s compliance department took care of its end of the waiver process, but the holdup was on Pittsburgh’s side.

When reached for comment, Pittsburgh submited a statement to the Star Tribune: “Pitt has cooperated and submitted the requested information to the NCAA regarding Marcus Carr’s waiver. ... We wish Marcus all the best in his pursuit now and in the future.”

If the appeal is also denied, Carr won’t play this season and join Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis as potential difference-makers sitting on Pitino’s bench.

“I came here because of the environment, coach, and I believe in this team,” Carr said recently. “I believe they have a good chance to compete for a Big Ten title and make it to the NCAA tournament. If I’m not able to play this year, I just hope to get better, work on my craft and just get these guys better every day, because I want to see them succeed.”

The Toronto native averaged 10 points and a team-high four assists and started 27 games for Pittsburgh last season. Carr also was an All-ACC academic team selection. He spent Tuesday night’s opener on the bench not in uniform, while he awaited word.

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