The NCAA recently announced that UCLA’s Kyle Anderson has been cleared to participate fully in the upcoming season. The importance of this recent development cannot be underscored enough, as Anderson will be an important member of Ben Howland’s revival of the recently underwhelming UCLA basketball team.
Anderson had been under investigation by the NCAA for a couple of months. The investigation mostly covered the relationship between Anderson and NBA agent Thad Foucher.
Foucher, who works with wealthy UCLA benefactors, has been friends with the Anderson family for several years.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said (via ESPN LA) that after months of investigating, “the NCAA has found no evidence to substantiate violations in his case."
This is incredible news for UCLA for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, Kyle Anderson is a fantastic basketball player, and UCLA will be lucky to have him on its roster.
ESPN ranked Anderson fifth on its list of the top 100 recruits.
Now 6’9”, according to UCLA's athletics website, Anderson has the length to play either shooting guard or small forward and provides the Bruins with versatility on the perimeter.
Scouts agree that his ability to play point forward makes him a unique talent at the collegiate level. Anderson has a solid jumper, great finishing skills and has also built up a post game.
Anderson’s clearance to play could also be a sign of things to come.
While UCLA’s 2012 recruiting class was highly touted, its luster was lost in the wake of recruiting investigations into Shabazz Muhammad and Anderson.
Even though Anderson’s case is in no way related to that of Muhammad’s, they are in some ways similar. Anderson and Muhammad were both top-five recruits facing probes from the NCAA.
Both players were expected to be acquitted early on in the investigation process, but that didn't happen in either case.
Muhammad is still under investigation by the NCAA, but many believe (via USA Today) that he will likely be cleared soon.
For now, Bruins fans can look to Anderson’s clearance to play and believe that their players are truly innocent until proven guilty.