NCAA Holds UCLA's Muhammad Hostage

NCAA Holds UCLA's Muhammad Hostage

The facts: Shabazz Muhammad was the no. 1 or no. 2 basketball recruit in America last year (depending on where you look), and last spring he chose UCLA over Duke and Kentucky. Then last weekend the NCAA declared him ineligible indefinitely.

They issued a press release explaining the ruling:

... Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools. The university and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed on the set of facts in the case, which led to the determination that a violation occurred. NCAA member schools have established standards to determine when an individual may provide financial assistance to student-athletes. These criteria, which were not met in this case, are in place to identify when benefits are provided based on a student-athlete’s athletic ability.

In case you've never followed recruiting, athletes can take up to five "official" visits where schools cover expenses, but for "unofficial" visits, recruits are responsible for covering expenses out of pocket. Which raises the obvious point: If the NCAA wants to start looking at who pays for unofficial visits, it's a wormhole that'll end with dozens of recruits suspended every year. But instead of doing all that work and jeopardizing the product, Shabazz Muhammad gives them a famous name to use as an example for everyone else.

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