News is breaking on the NCAA investigation into UCLA basketball and it is not good. While Shabazz seemed to say things were going well a few months back, it turns out the NCAA is not only investigating Shabazz Muhammad but also Tony Parker's and Kyle Anderson's recruitment.
Scout.com first reported the news on Sunday and CBSSports‘ Jeff Goodman later reiterated the news via Twitter:
Two separate stories going on here. First, on Kyle and Tony Parker:
The site said it is unknown if the investigation into Parker and Anderson is directly connected to Muhammad, but reported that sources have indicated another college basketball program "turned in" evidence of violations of all three.
The 6-foot-9 Anderson, a versatile forward with guard skills, went 65-0 in two years at St. Anthony, leading the Friars to a pair of New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles, and was ranked No. 4 by Scout.com in the Class of 2012.
The three freshmen, along with fellow recruit Jordan Adams, were thought to help coach Ben Howland turn the page on the Bruins recent struggles. Scout ranked UCLA's class second nationally and the team was expected to be ranked highly nationally when preseason polls are released in November.
Now, if any - or possibly all three - aren't able to play, it would greatly harm the program, which is in need of a big year for Howland to keep his job.
So really we do not know what is going on with Anderson and Parker yet. Only that their recruitment is being investigated. While being investigated is never a good thing, there is not much to go on yet. However, the news on Shabazz is more definitive and more ominous, which we'll discuss after the jump.
Muhammad, a 6-6, 215-pound small forward, is being investigated by the NCAA for possibly receiving improper benefits during his recruitment, according to multiple reports that first emerged last month. The investigation is focusing on whether Muhammad received help with financing his recruiting visits.
Due to the questions of his eligibility, Muhammad was not allowed to accompany UCLA on its trip to China.
The Scout.com report quotes a source saying Muhammad's eligibility is looking less promising.
You have to think UCLA is very worried about Shabazz considering the China trip ban and this confirms it. Keep in mind the NCAA warned all schools on Shabazz before UCLA took him. Ironically there is a perception that Chianti Dan Guerrero kept Ben Howland as coach for Shabazz. If true, or even partially true, it is looking like another major strike against the embattled AD. Apparently, in Gene Block's universe, you get at least 20+ strikes before being tossed. As we've been saying for a while now, Chianti Dan needs to go. Now.
On Kyle and Parker, the source of the new allegations is a rival school:
Scout.com, which first reported the Anderson and Parker probes Sunday, quotes a source as saying another basketball program "turned in" to the NCAA evidence of violations in the recruitments of Muhammad, Anderson and Parker.
This could mean anything. I will add while CBS Spots' Goodman is a known UCLA hater, Bruin Report Online (Scout.com), the original source is definitely not.
It should be emphasized that more is left unstated than stated. There is a lot unknown out there. But the Shabazz situation is looking more grim than ever before and Anderson and Parker, if true and serious, would destroy the program for years to come. Forget Howland, this is a potential disaster of serious long lasting proportions and Dan Guerrero must be held accountable.
UPDATE [Bellerophon] - It appears that there is an investigation into a link between Anderson and an agent. According to CBS Sports:
Sources told CBSSports.com that one of the issues that the NCAA is looking into the relationship between Anderson and agent Thad Foucher -- who works for Arn Tellem and the Wasserman Group. The NCAA is also investigating whether Parker's family received improper benefits throughout the recruiting process.
Not very surprising given how much a complete and total joke the UCLA Athletic Department has become under Chianti Dan. Ultimately, he's the man responsible for this mess. It's time he's shown the door. Now.
UPDATE II [DCBruins]:
The original story that started this all is no longer behind a firewall.
CBS's reporting is once again being called into question: Zag's Blog is reporting (HT to kyl57es) :
The NCAA investigated UCLA freshmen Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker in early August, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation told SNY.tv.
Anderson and Parker were both cleared to go on UCLA's trip to China later in August, and the source believes the investigation into those two has been completed.
Zag's Blog often has inside information on UCLA and recruits. This is a much more pro-UCLA source while CBS and Goodman have a track record of being anti-UCLA. Not sure who to believe but I think there is more reason to worry about Shabazz now and a reason to be skeptical but not dismissive of the rumors regarding Anderson and Parker.
UPDATE III [DCBruins]
In the good news/bad news category, Tony Parker has been cleared of the allegations from another team of recruitment issues by the NCAA. The bad news is Kyle is still being investigated:
A source who requested anonymity told ESPNLosAngeles that the two who have not yet been cleared are Muhammad and Anderson. Parker had been the subject of an inquiry, but has since been cleared. There are no further details on the nature of the inquiries into Parker and Anderson.
Chianti Dan is upset, maybe about having to work on a weekend but did respond as follows:
"Recently, there have been misleading and inaccurate public reports regarding the initial-eligibility certification of our men's basketball team's incoming class," Guerrero's statement said. "Currently, there are two men's basketball student-athletes who have not yet received final amateurism certification from the NCAA."
We can guess this is regarding the CBS report (that has not been verified) but it is just that a guess. All we can say for sure is that Kyle is being investigated still but Parker has been cleared.