The tiring circus
freakshow around UCLA's one-and-done mercenary recruit Shabazz Muhammad took another turn today as a new report came out indicating that UCLA is filing an appeal with the NCAA before it reaches a formal decision regarding the scope of penalty on Shabazz. From the LA Times:
UCLA is expected to file a formal appeal with the NCAA on Wednesday afternoon regarding its decision to declare freshman basketball player Shabazz Muhammad ineligible due to a violation of amateurism rules, people close to the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly told The Times.
UCLA's case is expected to be heard before the NCAA appeals committee this Friday, the people said.
If the committee sides with UCLA, Muhammad would likely become eligible immediately.
But if the committee ruled that a violation did occur, the appeal would be denied and Muhammad would have to go through the reinstatement process to regain his eligibility.
Both the appeals and reinstatement processes would be expedited, a person familiar with the situation said, "because the season is now underway," meaning a decision could be reached as early as Friday.
From our understanding this was a two step process:
- Step 1: Ruling on eligibility: NCAA ruled Shabazz ineligible on facts, i.e. guilty
- Step 2: Ruling on penalty: This is where NCAA is going to determine the scope of the penalty as to how many games Shabazz will miss this season. He has already missed 2 games to date. Speculation is that he may be suspended for 10 games, but that was before Shabazz's entourage publicly and somewhat foolishly blasted the NCAA.
So it appears that UCLA is appealing the eligibility verdict itself. We thought UCLA would wait for sentencing. But perhaps this is a pro-active move (OMG!) on the part of Dan Guerrero. However, if there was an option to appeal the eligibility decision all along why the heck did Guerrero wait so long?
If the report is right we could know how this fiasco resolves by this Friday. Either way, UCLA basketball is such a heap of mess under Ben Howland right now is that it's unclear whether one-and-done
mercenary recruit will solve deeper problems rooted in lack of identity, basic defensive foundation in Howland's sick program.
BTW I mentioned Shabazz's entourage above. It looks like his attorney has released another statement to the press. Yes, that is going to be very helpful to the cause (groan). As I said above, this is a total
freakshow circus from all angles.
Shabazz or Shabazz ... no room for excuses for Ben (and Chianti) in what else ... the #NoExcuseTour.