Super recruit Shabazz Muhammad has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA because his amateurism was called into question. This has been a saga that has been drawn out far longer than anyone anticipated, and even though Muhammad’s family has continued to defend his amateurism, the NCAA still ruled against him.
Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times reported a conversation overheard on an airplane implied that the NCAA could have had prejudice towards Muhammad, and was going to rule against him no matter what facts were brought forth. This would have to be a new low for the NCAA, without a doubt.
“The conversation came to light in an email from an attorney who said she was seated behind a man who was speaking loudly about the work of his girlfriend, an ‘attorney with the NCAA.’
The girlfriend, whom he identified as ‘Abigail,’ was investigating Muhammad. The man made it clear that the NCAA would find Muhammad ineligible and not allow him to play this season, the email said. Abigail Grantstein, an assistant director of enforcement, is the NCAA’s lead investigator on the Muhammad case.
The attorney, who confirmed her story in a telephone interview with The Times on Wednesday, said in her email that she was concerned with the lack of confidentiality and ‘the cavalier discussion of this young man’s future being tossed about for everyone to hear.'”
This would be another time where the NCAA makes a completely irrational decision without proof of their own, and it makes you wonder if there needs to be a rules change to stop all of this nonsense. How can they make a determination about a kid’s future without hearing the case?
Muhammad is having an appeal heard on Friday, so it will be interesting to see if this new information that has come to light will have enough of an impact to change the NCAA’s mind. The NCAA would never admit to having it’s mind made up before a case, but that is going to be the goal of Muhammad’s defense; to prove they had made a premature decision on Muhammad already.
I’m not sure what to expect with this case, but I truly hope that Muhammad gets a fair shake and is eligible to play at least part of a season at UCLA. I would love to see what this kid can do on the basketball court.