Freshman forward Shabazz Muhammad will not travel with the team for UCLA’s exhibition trip to China while the NCAA reviews his eligibility, according to UCLA Athletics.
Multiple reports came out Tuesday night with the news, but it was confirmed by UCLA Athletics on Wednesday evening in a statement.
“UCLA men’s basketball student-athlete Shabazz Muhammad will not accompany the team on its upcoming trip to China as the NCAA continues its initial eligibility review of Muhammad. Muhammad, his family and UCLA will continue to work with the NCAA during this process. The University is unable to comment further at this time.”
On Tuesday, Scout.com reported that Muhammad would not make the trip. Later, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv used reports from an anonymous source, which said: “Since the investigation won’t be totally clear, they wanted to hold him out for China. He has class. He’s not going to miss that for China.”
The source spoke under the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
If UCLA used Muhammad in the exhibition game, and he was later marked as ineligible, there could be penalties for the Bruins.
According to a report that CBS.com released in February, the NCAA investigation involves financial dealings while Muhammad was being recruited that could possibly jeopardize his amateur standing.
The week-long trip is set to begin Aug. 22. The Bruins’ schedule pits them against two university teams in Beijing, and then against the Shanghai Sharks, a Chinese professional team.
The 2012-2013 Bruin recruiting class was considered one of the nation’s best, and much of the hype surrounding the class centered on Muhammad. The 6-foot-6-inch freshman was ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country by Rivals.com, and No. 2 by ESPN and Scout.com.
Compiled by Emma Coghlan, Bruin Sports senior staff.