Lofton, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard from St. Paul, Minn., transferred from Illinois State and was scheduled to sit out in 2014-15 because of NCAA transfer rules.
"While decisions like this are always difficult, we felt it was in the interest of our program to move forward at this time," Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said in a statement. "We wish Zach nothing but the best in the future."
According to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Lofton was seen arguing with teammates during the team’s scrimmage on Sunday.
Lofton was suspended for three games last season at Illinois State, where he averaged 11.3 points, three rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, while shooting only 34 percent from the field.
Minnesota went 25-13 and 8-10 in the Big Ten last season. The Golden Gophers won the postseason NIT tournament with a 65-63 victory over SMU.
Minnesota starts the regular season Nov. 14 against Louisville and Pitino’s father, Rick.
- Scooby Axson