Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Source On Shabazz Muhammad: ‘Odds Aren’t Great For Him Being on the Court Soon’
UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad was not cleared by the NCAA to play in Friday night’s season opener against Indiana State due to a violation of amateurism rules and there’s no telling when he will make his debut on the court.
“At this point, the odds aren’t great for him being on the court soon,” a source with knowledge of the case told SNY.tv Saturday.
The source pointed out that Muhammad’s is an enforcement case, as opposed to a waiver situation.
“It could be two days or two months and we wouldn’t know either way until the very last second,” the source added. “Until they wrap up the investigation, it’s impossible to know how close they are to a completed case.”
The NCAA has been investigating Muhammad’s relationship with the financial advisers who paid for several of his recruiting trips.
Muhammad is projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
The NCAA and UCLA both issued statements on the case.
Here’s the NCAA’s:
“UCLA student-athlete Shabazz Muhammad is not eligible to compete in tonight’s game due to violations of NCAA amateurism rules. In addition to other pending issues, Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools.“The university and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed on the set of facts in the case, which led to the determination that a violation occurred. NCAA member schools have established standards to determine when an individual may provide financial assistance to student-athletes. These criteria, which were not met in this case, are in place to identify when benefits are provided based on a student-athlete’s athletic ability.“The NCAA is committed to providing thorough, yet timely decisions regarding student-athlete eligibility. The expediency of these decisions can hinge on the level of timely cooperation of all involved parties.“In the case of Muhammad, the NCAA staff requested specific documents on July 31 to assist in the evaluation of Muhammad’s eligibility. However, the NCAA enforcement staff did not receive the majority of the requested documents for review until September 25, followed by more information on October 10, and the staff was granted access to additional critical information on November 1.“After reviewing thousands of pages of information, the NCAA interviewed Muhammad’s parents last week. The staff and the university then submitted the agreed-upon facts the afternoon of November 9. The NCAA then rendered a decision within a matter of hours. As demonstrated by the facts, we are committed to resolving the remaining matters as quickly as possible.
UCLA issued the following statement Friday night.
“The NCAA has finally determined that a violation of the NCAA amateurism rules has occurred involving UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad and his family. As a result, he is ineligible for competition at this time. We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination.”“The University and our compliance staff have fully cooperated with the NCAA throughout this entire period, and we believe the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz. UCLA will expeditiously pursue its options to challenge this determination. When a final resolution has been reached by the NCAA, we will swiftly communicate the news to the entire Bruin family.”
Muhammad’s teammate, former St. Anthony point guard Kyle Anderson, was previously cleared to play after being investigated for potential recruiting violations.
UCLA is due to play in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn Nov. 19-20 along with top-ranked Indiana, Georgetown and Georgia.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.