UCLA Announces Star Freshman Shabazz Muhammad Is Ineligible to Begin Season

Mike HoagCorrespondent IINovember 9, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28:  MVP Shabazz Muhammad #15 of the West team goes up for a dunk during the 2012 McDonald's All American Game at United Center on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

UCLA’s top recruit Shabazz Muhammad has been designated as ineligible to begin the 2012-13 college basketball season for the Bruins, according to a statement from the NCAA on Friday night.

In addition to other pending issues, Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools.

Muhammed was slow to provide the required paperwork leading up to the start of the season but that changed after the NCAA spoke to his family this week.

After reviewing thousands of pages of information, the NCAA interviewed Muhammad’s parents last week. The staff and the university then submitted the agreed-upon facts the afternoon of November 9. The NCAA then rendered a decision within a matter of hours.

This type of violation falls under the amateurism guidelines set for the by the NCAA. But what exactly does a violation of amateurism rules mean?

The NCAA has strict guidelines in place in their system to determine amateurism status for all of their incoming student athletes. Something they found in their investigation raised a flag and led to immediate action.

How long will he be out?

It’s hard to tell in the early stages but there are several possibilities Muhammed could be looking at. Here’s what the NCAA’s official website says about penalties for violations of this rule:

Penalties include repayment of money, sitting out a specified number of games or, in rare cases, permanent ineligibility.

The 6’6” wingman was the No. 2 rated player in the 2012 ESNPU 100 and was ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com. The loss is an early blow to the hopeful 13th-ranked Bruins who were counting on instant production from their top recruit.

"I think he's going to have a tremendous impact," Ben Howland, Bruins’ head coach, said, according to a Dave Telep of ESPN back in April.

He's a special, special talent and has so many attributes that will help our team. He's physically strong enough right now to be an impact player right away. He's a great shooter, scorer, very good foul shooter and rebounder. And he's a winner.

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