After a drawn-out waiver process that kept Golden Gophers sophomore guard Marcus Carr in limbo, the NCAA officially denied the transfer’s appeal to play immediately on Thursday, shelving him for the 2018-19 season.

Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino had been optimistic throughout the preseason that Carr would be allowed to play following his move from Pittsburgh, where head coach Kevin Stallings was fired after two seasons.

The denied waiver, followed by a denied appeal, leaves the Gophers without a player that the team hoped would contribute this season.

“This whole process, I think that it’s really, really flawed,” Pitino said Friday. “Every waiver, you just don’t know what’s going into what. They really, really opened up a can of worms when they started doing these waivers. I don’t think that the kids are really protected throughout this whole waiver process because you’ve got both schools involved, both schools have got to support it, and there’s so many moving parts that go into it, and I don’t think it’s really, really fair to the kid.

“Marcus had a very, very difficult experience at Pitt … and then the coaches that recruited him that are there get fired, and they’re all gone, and he feels like he shouldn’t be punished. To me, talk about student athlete welfare, that’s it right there.”

See Pitino’s complete reaction below.

The Gophers play in the Vancouver Showcase starting Sunday night as they take on Texas A&M. They’ll then face Santa Clara on Tuesday and Washington on Wednesday.

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