UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad is one of the most anticipated arrivals in college basketball. Unfortunately, Bruin fans will have to wait, at the very least another week before the guard hits the court. The NCAA is continuing to investigate allegations of the suspended Muhammad receiving improper benefits.
While in high school, Muhammad took unofficial recruiting trips to Duke and North Carolina on the dime of financial advisor Benjamin Lincoln. Lincoln is claimed to be a family friend, and therefore, would not be violating the NCAA's policy on receiving benefits. To muddy the waters, it just so happens that Lincoln's brother, Geoff, is an assistant coach on Shabazz's Las Vegas-based high school team.
According to UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guererro, the NCAA determined the relationship between Benjamin Lincoln and the Muhammad famiy, "Would not have allowed ... the family to receive the benefits that they got." Should the NCAA rule against the player, he would be required to pay back the money used to finance the trip and sit out 30 percent of UCLA's season.
Muhammad missed the season opener against Indiana State on Friday and will sit out of upcoming games against UC Irvine and James Madison. A final decision on Shabazz's case could arrive as early as this week.