College Basketball Recruiting: Will Shabazz Muhammad Play College Basketball?

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2012

The NCAA has informed each of the six schools still recruiting Shabazz Muhammad that they are looking into numerous situations that could negatively impact the nation's No. 1 recruit's eligibility, as reported by's Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish.

What is of highest interest is the relationship between Muhammad's family and two specific financial advisers, Benjamin Lincoln and Ken Kavanagh. While the two have had a connection with Muhammad's family that dates back several years, their financial assistance to the recruit's summer-league team and unofficial recruiting visits are what is being investigated.

Six schools (UCLA, Kansas, Kentucky, UNLV, Duke and USC) are still on Muhammad's short list. The question for each of these programs is whether or not to continue to pursue this young star.

The schools' dilemma is that if they back off now, they will probably remove themselves from the running if Muhammad is cleared to play.

In past years, Muhammad would have likely declared himself for the NBA Draft and not been concerned about this issue. Now, because of NBA rules, he cannot do so for at least one year.

Brandon Jennings, the current starting point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, played a single season overseas, bypassing collegiate ball altogether.

While that is still a possibility for Muhammad, it would likely fall into the "Plan B" category.

Even though Jennings seemed to, in the long run, benefit from his time playing ball in Europe, Jennings' experience was a difficult one.

The NCAA is doing all parties involved a favor in being up front in communicating about their investigation.

But unfortunately, this communication might also simply be the first step toward Shabazz Muhammad never being eligible to play college basketball.

If that happens, this will be one more sad story of where the adults that surround a young star were too selfish to allow for the up-and-comer to move through the basic steps of growing up.