UCLA Student Newspaper Unhappy with NCAA's Handling of Players

By Evan Barnes
Brian Spurlock-US Presswire

A week before the preseason begins, UCLA freshman Kyle Anderson may be finally declared eligible by the NCAA. The LA Times is reporting family members have been told that the 6-9 freshman has been cleared while his father, Kyle Sr., has told another publication he personally has not heard from UCLA or the NCAA on his son’s status.

Meanwhile, Anderson’s fellow freshman Shabazz Muhammad is still waiting to hear on his status from the NCAA.

That status of being limbo has prompted the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, to write an editorial slamming the NCAA for not resolving this matter sooner. The editorial focused more on Muhammad’s case and whether or not he received money from financial advisers connected to his family.

A main issue is the editorial specifically questioning why no family members have been interviewed in the process and the lack of accountability the NCAA has shown in updating everyone in the process.

This is my problem as well. The NCAA sits on high trying to govern their beloved sports while ignoring any type of common sense or transparency in the process. There has been no update on Muhammad’s status and with the preseason coming soon, it’s important that teams know who can play as soon as possible so coaches can prepare in advance without worry.

If the question regards a family connection, then why have no family members been interviewed. Their insight could help the NCAA make a fair decision considering all sides of the issue.

You see this more often with football with players waiting to see if they are academically eligible, often right through the season. It’s a frustrating wait considering that transcripts should have been mailed well in advance and the NCAA should already know if somebody met the requirements.

Yet I have to disagree with the Daily Bruin on one point. While this process has taken longer than expected, it’s better if UCLA waits to hear about Muhammad and Anderson than to have him snatched from their grasps and have games forfeited. That risk is always worth the wait.

As much as I believe that college athletes should be paid and that rules are too strict in what they can receive from family friends/high school coaches, nothing is worse than believing all is well and finding out later it’s not. Ask Memphis if they want that 2007-08 season back on the books after finding out Derrick Rose was ineligible after the season.

The NCAA should take their time to determine if Muhammad and Anderson can play this season yet it should be done a lot faster than it has taken now. They should be more active in interviewing the family as well as updating the school on their process just in a sign of good faith. That’s asking a lot from an organization that thrives on secrecy and hypocrisy but the fans and schools and players deserve better.

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