Mar 24, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonalds High School All American guard Shabazz Muhammad (15) poses during a photo shoot for the 35th McDonalds High School All American Game to be held at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Shabazz Muhammad of the UCLA Bruins is currently being investigated for improper benefits and is ineligible for the team's trip to China.
Just when it looked like UCLA basketball was about to turn a corner and head back to the light, disaster could be on the horizon. The bottom could be falling out on the Bruins and their number-one recruiting class. The issue stems from the current status of the best recruit from the 2012 recruiting class.
Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog reports that Shabazz Muhammad is currently ineligible for the China exhibition trip and will not be joining the team.
"Since the investigation won’t be totally clear, they wanted to hold him out for China," a source with direct knowledge who requested anonymity because he is not permitted to comment on the ongoing NCAA investigation told SNY.tv.
When Muhammad was being recruited, there were serious questions as to whether he would be eligible to play in college because of his connections to certain individuals. Muhammad's connections with advisers like Benjamin Lincoln and Ken Kavanagh were of serious concern. According to Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports, Lincoln is believed to have paid for two of Muhammad's unofficial visits to college campuses and Kavanagh funnelled money to one of Muhammad's summer teams.
It should be noted that Muhammad has only been declared ineligible for the moment and this is just a preliminary investigation. The family is still hopeful the situation can be worked out before the start of the regular season.
Talk about the Muhammad situation with UCLA fans at Bruins Nation and SB Nation Los Angeles, as well as with Pac-12 fans at Pacific Takes. Check out the SB Nation college basketball hub for more coverage.