With Ugly National Headlines, Cloud Gathering Over Guerrero’s UCLA Basketball Program

The AP wire headline which is going to hit hundreds of news outlets is ugly for UCLA basketball:

Report: NCAA investigating UCLA basketball recruits Anderson and Parker

By Associated Press, Monday, September 3, 2:31 PM

LOS ANGELES - UCLA says two of its freshmen basketball recruits have not yet received final amateurism certification from the NCAA and is disputing what it calls "misleading and inaccurate public reports" regarding its incoming class.

The article provides the following comment from UCLA spokesman re. the latest mess:

"Recently, there have been misleading and inaccurate public reports regarding the initial-eligibility certification of our men's basketball team's incoming class," school spokesman Nick Ammazzalorso said in a statement Monday.

"Currently, there are two men's basketball student-athletes who have not yet received final amateurism certification from the NCAA. UCLA will not, and cannot, endanger the privacy of our student-athletes or the confidentiality of the process by providing a more specific response at this time to these reports," he said.

Ammazzalorso's comment is exactly the same as Dan Guerrero's statement provided to ESPNLA (noted by DCBruins in the last update of our previous post on this):

"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."

Before you start feeling better based on Guerrero's defensive and vague statement, think again.

Instead of making things clear, Guerrero's statement only raises more questions around one of the major revenue programs of his embattled athletic department. First of all, Guerrero doesn't deny that the NCAA was investigating Shabbazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker. Second, if either Anderson or Parker is still under NCAA investigation and have not received clearance, then what the heck were they doing accompanying the team to its recent trip to China?

Yoon quoted an anonymous source (one can reasonable speculate that the source is someone from Chianti's athletic department) to provide this:

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.

Aah ... that doesn't make me feel any better about the situation. Remember in recent months when we learned that NCAA was investigating Shabazz we were led to believe that he'd miss perhaps 1-3 games at most. Now it looks like there is a chance he may never put on a UCLA uniform. So I am not going to breathe a sigh of relief by reading some anonymous sources assurance that Parker has been "cleared." I will wait for the official word from the NCAA on that front.

The fact is this is ugly and this makes Coach John Wooden's program look real bad. This is happening at a time when Howland needs to put together a monster season which should be a wire-to-wire top-10 season with a dominating run through the Pac-12 conference and a trip to the Final-4. Yet, here we are dealing with ugly national headlines sullying the reputation of Coach's program.

With an incompetent AD in charge there is not a lot of reason for UCLA alums who care about this program to feel comfortable. It underscores the need for why folks should be pressuring the Chancellor to remove Guerrero as soon as possible, so we finally have competent leadership in charge of the two major revenue programs at UCLA.

GO BRUINS.

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