Very Concerned! Even if the NCAA finds no wrong doings in this case nothing good will come from this. Shabazz won't be accompanying his teammates on their trip to China, meaning that he is going to be missing out on quality games that help build team chemistry and such. I know that he allegedly has an ankle injury that wouldn't have put him at 100% for the games, but it is still experience that he is missing.
The NCAA is trying to find out if Muhammad received "improper benefits" before he arrived on campus. "Improper benefits" is a phrase that has been thrown around in NCAA investigations tons of times before. I feel like 95% of current NCAA investigations involve the improper way that these future million dollar athletes receive money before they turn pro. Some brother of the coaches-sisters-boyfriends-sister in laws-nephew gave a kid 5 bucks for a happy meal and that means that he was given money that is considered illegal to the NCAA.
I am not saying that Shabazz is innocent or guilty or anything. I don't know the complete story as of yet, but it seems to me that some of these investigations are completely ridiculous. I think the NCAA should stop worrying about these small monetary infractions for a minute and focus their attention on more pressing matters.
Luckily, for UCLA and Shabazz, the NCAA has a rule that any athlete under investigation can participate in any activities with the team for 45 days. Ben Howland and UCLA have decided that they will hold Shabazz out of action until school starts in late September. Hopefully, the investigation will have been completed by the time UCLA plays its first game on Nov. 9th.
If UCLA is to have a comeback year and challenge for both a Pac-12 title and an NCAA title they must have Muhammad in the lineup. He is a matchup nightmare for any team and all but guaranteed a lottery pick in next years NBA draft. Any kid with that much talent needs to be on the court if that team wants to succeed. Until we know for sure what is going to happen, UCLA is in a limbo period of trying to make things work with Muhammad.
One thing is for certain. November 9th when Indiana State comes to Pauley Pavilion for the home opener, they better be prepared for a brand new UCLA team. These kids seem to be ready to put the Bruins back on the map in college basketball. Shabazz, Kyle Anderson, Tony Parker, Jordan Adams and the rest of the Bruins will be a force to be reckoned with.Back to the UCLA Bruins Newsfeed