Freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad is ineligible to play for the UCLA men’s basketball team after the NCAA found Muhammad and his family violated amateurism rules.
UCLA announced the decision in a statement from athletic director Dan Guerrero as fans began filing in for the first game in the new Pauley Pavilion, 90 minutes before tip-off of the season opener against Indiana State.
It is unclear when or if Muhammad will be ruled eligible. UCLA plans to file an appeal.
Below is the full text of Guerrero’s statement:
“The NCAA has finally determined that a violation of the NCAA amateurism rules has occurred involving UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad and his family. 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.”
[UPDATED AT 8:10 p.m.: The NCAA released a statement of its own, referring to “travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools” as the violation, in addition to “other pending issues.”
For the first time, the NCAA released details of the investigation that has been ongoing since at least February, according to a CBSSports.com report, attributing delays in the receiving of critical information to the lengthy investigation.
The NCAA requested specific documentation for its investigation on July 31, but did not receive it until Sept. 25, the statement says. Last week, Muhammad’s parents were interviewed. Earlier Friday, UCLA and the NCAA agreed upon the facts of the finding, and Muhammad was ruled ineligible hours later.
“The NCAA is committed to providing thorough, yet timely decisions regarding student-athlete eligibility,” the NCAA’s statement says. “The expediency of these decisions can hinge on the level of timely cooperation of all involved parties.
“As demonstrated by the facts, we are committed to resolving the remaining matters as quickly as possible.“]
Compiled by Ryan Menezes, Bruin Sports senior staff