Shabazz Muhammad ineligible: NCAA statement and UCLA response

Stephen Dunn

The Bruins learned on Friday night that star freshman Shabazz Muhammad was not eligible to play. No timetable or date has been set for his return.

After months of investigations from the NCAA, the UCLA Bruins learned just hours before their season opener that heralded freshman Shabazz Muhammad would not be eligible to play. The NCAA did not announce how many games the 6'6 wing would miss, although it seems like a safe bet that he will not be playing in Westwood anytime in the near future.

The NCAA has released a statement on their ruling. You can find it in full here.

"UCLA student-athlete Shabazz Muhammad is not eligible to compete in tonight's game due to violations of NCAA amateurism rules. In addition to other pending issues, Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools."

The two visits in question were to Duke and North Carolina.

UCLA released a statement of their own on Friday night. Here is part of what Athletic Director Dan Guerrero wrote.

"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."

The Bruins are expected to appeal the ruling.

It remains to be seen how much time Muhammad ends up missing. UCLA begins the year with high expectations, although those will be lowered substantially if the nation's No. 2 prospect is unable to play for an extended period.

The Bruins open their season on Friday night against Indiana State.

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