Eric McKnight's transfer from Florida Gulf Coast University to Tennessee was shot down by the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-9 McKnight had hoped to play for the Volunteers next season as a graduate transfer after three years at Florida Gulf Coast that included a Sweet 16 appearance in 2013.
The NCAA granted McKnight a transfer exception, but the SEC rejected the waiver and his appeal because McKnight had received disciplinary action while at Florida Gulf Coast.
McKnight was suspended for the Eagles' first six games of last season because of a school or team policy violation.
"We have been informed that Eric McKnight has been denied the graduate transfer waiver by the SEC," Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall said in a statement. "We pursued this issue through the proper protocol, and I respect the process. Although we are disappointed that Eric will not be joining our program, we are focused on moving forward."
Tyndall was hoping that McKnight, who averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 points for FGCU during the 2013-14 season, would help fill the void left at Tennessee by the departure of front-line players Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon.
The SEC had lifted a ban on graduate transfers in June.