Sources: Recruit's fate won't rattle USC

Updated: March 1, 2012, 11:52 PM ET
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com

USC has for many months been aware of potential eligibility issues regarding the recruitment of top prospect Shabazz Muhammad, a high-placed athletic department source told ESPNLosAngeles.com Thursday.

And the Trojans, one of six finalists for Muhammad, will not be backing off their recruitment of the 6-foot-6 left-handed swingman, two school sources said. USC's compliance department is expected to continue monitoring the situation.

CBSSports.com reported Wednesday that the NCAA has warned all of the schools recruiting Muhammad to be wary of "financial dealings that could compromise Muhammad's amateur status," extending to two financial advisors who helped foot the bill for some of the player's unofficial visits to colleges and summer-league fees.

But the USC athletic department source said the school has received no such warning from the NCAA.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because school officials are prohibited from talking about unsigned high-school recruits, said USC was operating as if it was a possibility Muhammad could sit a limited amount of games because of amateur-status violations, not an entire season.

Muhammad, the No. 2-ranked player in the ESPNU 100 for the Class of 2012, is still considering USC, UCLA, UNLV, Kansas, Kentucky and Duke. He has taken official visits to some of those schools and unofficials to all of them, among other schools.

He has visited USC twice -- once on the weekend of the USC-Stanford football game last October. He chose not to sign in the early signing period last November but must sign in the late signing period between April 13 and May 18 to qualify for enrollment in time to play next season.

Muhammad's father, former USC forward Ron Holmes, did not respond to a text message seeking comment left Wednesday by ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLA.com.

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