Shabazz Muhammad's family makes statement
NOV 13, 2012 3:15p ET
“Shabazz and his family have been cooperating with the NCAA for well over a year,” the family said in a statement released to CBSSports.com. “Earlier this year, the NCAA asked Shabazz and his family not to reveal to each other or to the press facts related to the NCAA investigation. Despite the many untrue rumors which were circulating on the Internet, Shabazz and his family dutifully did what they were told. In order to entice Shabazz's family and others to cooperate, the NCAA repeatedly gave assurances that it would keep details of the investigation strictly confidential. As recently as November 2012, the NCAA promised that it would not issue a Press Release.
"Last Friday, the NCAA released a Press Release which not only was wrong in its conclusions but which also inaccurately portrayed the investigation process in this case. For over a year, the NCAA has known all of the relevant facts related to its ruling last Friday. Prior to the unofficial visits in question, Ron Holmes and Ben Lincoln received approval from NCAA (through its member universities) for Mr. Lincoln (who has had a continuous close friendship with Shabazz's family since 2007) to pay for airline tickets and hotel rooms. In 2010, Mr. Holmes openly and honestly revealed to the NCAA the source of the payments on the NCAA's compliance form. Shabazz's family is now faced with the situation where they are concerned that any attempt to tell more of their side of the story will result in further punitive action, as Shabazz is still under the mercy of the NCAA. Shabazz and his family will continue to honestly cooperate with the NCAA in the hopes that Shabazz soon will be allowed to play basketball at UCLA."
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero called the ruling on Muhammad “incorrect and unjust” in a statement following Friday's announcement. The school plans to appeal, however it has yet to file an appeal one, the L.A. Times reports.
Muhammad was on the bench for Bruins' season-opening win over Indiana State last Friday night and is expected to be on the bench tonight when the Bruins host UC Irvine to open the Legends Classic.
Also on the slate for this early season tournament: a trip to Brooklyn and the new Barclays Center for games against Georgetown and possibly No. 1 Indiana. The chance of Muhammad being back in time for those games next week appears slim.
The NCAA says Muhammad received financial assistance for travel and lodging on three unofficial visits and last February alerted all schools recruiting him that they would be investigating him.
No. 13 UCLA has two more home games before heading east to Brooklyn: tonight against the Anteaters at 8:30 p.m. and Thursday night at 8 p.m. against James Madison.