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 member schools are apparently Duke and North Carolina.
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.
Ok, a violation occurred. Fine. The payments for these unofficial visits to OTHER SCHOOLS didn't fall within standards. Fine. What's the penalty?
Oh there's no mention of a penalty. The NCAA decides to blame either UCLA or Shabazz's family for taking forever in coming to a resolution in this case.
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 additional critical information on November 1.
No idea if this is UCLA's or Shabazz's family's fault.
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.
Like I said earlier, the timing on this sucks. The facts were agreed upon today, and the decision HAD to be released TODAY, an hour before our first game of the season, as we re-opened Pauley. Seems like the NCAA might have been trying to stick it to us, when most of us knew Shabazz wouldn't play today. And since when did the NCAA work overtime?
This dragged on way too long. We knew Shabazz would have eligibility issues, but it went on way too long. Kyle Anderson's investigation seems darn speedy compared to this. Overall, he isn't going to play until the NCAA figures out a "punishment."
Still, no excuses this year. While Shabazz not being immediately eligible hurts, we should still be able to compete in the Pac-12.