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Tennessee Athletics photo by Maury Neipris / Tennessee forward Uros Plavsic must sit out the 2019-20 schedule but will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

KNOXVILLE — A waiver filed by the University of Tennessee to the NCAA to grant basketball player Uros Plavsic immediate eligibility after transferring from Arizona State in the offseason has been denied, according to a statement from athletic director Phillip Fulmer released Saturday.

Fulmer said the university has already appealed the decision and that has also been denied.

"We are extremely disappointed — quite frankly, stunned — in this outcome, and feel strongly that very compelling facts support clearance for immediate eligibility," Fulmer said. "We are at a loss as to how this decision aligns with a mission of prioritizing the well-being of student-athletes, and we are struggling to provide an explanation to a deserving young man who stands to lose a year of eligibility. We will stand by Uros and support him in every way possible as we exhaust all options in advocating for his competitive opportunity."

The 7-foot-1, 240-pound Plavsic came to the United States from Serbia in 2017, played one season at Chattanooga's Hamilton Heights Christian Academy and redshirted last season at Arizona State. He will have three seasons of eligibility, beginning with 2020-21.

The Volunteers will have only two players with any collegiate frontcourt experience this season — juniors John Fulkerson (6-9, 212) and Yves Pons (6-5, 215), a converted wing. Fulkerson had 11 points and 10 rebounds while playing 20 minutes in a 107-59 exhibition victory over Division II program Eastern New Mexico on Wednesday, when Pons had five points, five rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.

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