Tennessee had announced in May that McKnight planned to play for the Volunteers during the 2014-15 season in his final year of eligibility.
But in a statement released by the university Tuesday, Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall says "we have been informed that Eric McKnight has been denied the graduate transfer waiver by the SEC. 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."
McKnight, a 6-foot-9 forward, averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds for Florida Gulf Coast last season.