Shabazz Muhammad to stay home
UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad is not expected to receive eligibility clearance from the NCAA in time for the Bruins' trip to China and will not travel with the team Aug. 22-29, the team confirmed Wednesday.
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The NCAA is investigating whether Muhammad, the crown jewel in UCLA's top-ranked recruiting class, received improper benefits during his recruitment. The organization has not made any determinations on Muhammad's eligibility.
Ineligible players cannot play in exhibitions, so if the NCAA deems Muhammad ineligible the Bruins could face penalties for using him in China.
"Not sure if he will be eligible or not," a source told ESPNLosAngeles on Tuesday. "There has been no ruling and it doesn't look like there will be one before the China trip, so (UCLA is) holding him out."
The Bruins are scheduled to play three exhibition games during their trip.
Last month, Muhammad said he was in contact with the NCAA and that he expected to be cleared by the time UCLA re-opens a refurbished Pauley Pavilion in its Nov. 9 season opener against Indiana State.
"Right now, I think I'm eligible to play," he said in an early July interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I'm in constant communication with (the NCAA) and it's going good so far."
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