The UCLA Bruins basketball program has just taken a major hit. The NCAA has declared Shabazz Muhammad ineligible due to a violation of “amateur” status, however, the length of how long he’ll be out hasn’t been released.
While there is still some “pending issues” to be resolved, the NCAA did say Muhammad accepted travel and housing during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member institutions, the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels. So what I’m trying to say is Dick Vitale is having a heart-attack.
Super odd is the timing considering tip-off was REAL close. Here are some statements UCLA released regarding this ruling:
“The NCAA has finally determined that a violation of the NCAA amateurism rules has occurred involving UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad and his family,” UCLA said in a statement. “As a result, he is ineligible for competition at this time. We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination.”
“The University and our compliance staff have fully cooperated with the NCAA throughout this entire period, and we believe the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz. UCLA will expeditiously pursue its options to challenge this determination. When a final resolution has been reached by the NCAA, we will swiftly communicate the news to the entire Bruin family.”
This is also a tread lightly situation. The fact that the ruling did indeed come so close to UCLA’s first game may make some raise their eyebrows. More details from this story are sure to come as the weekend progresses. Until then the Bruins are going to be one super-freshman down and aren’t to happy about it.
Joe covers the Big East for Rant Sports. Follow him on the Twitter machine @JosephNardone