|We don't yet know how long Muhammad is going to be forced to miss games. (AP)|
The NCAA has declared Shabazz Muhammad ineligible due to a violation of amateurism rules, but the organization has yet to put an exact length on his suspension.
CBSSports.com first reported that the 6-foot-6 freshman would not be allowed to play in the season-opener on Friday night against Indiana State.
The NCAA, following a statement from UCLA, announced that Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member institutions. CBSSports.com has confirmed that the two schools were Duke and North Carolina. The NCAA also said there were "other pending issues."
The pending issues, according to sources, involve a pair of financial advisors. CBSSports.com documented the concerns back in February. Muhammad was not allowed to play in the team's summer trip to China and the 6-foot-6 wing has missed extensive practice time dealing with ankle and shoulder injuries.
“The NCAA has finally determined that a violation of the NCAA amateurism rules has occurred involving UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad and his family," UCLA said in a statement. "As a result, he is ineligible for competition at this time. We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination.”
“The University and our compliance staff have fully cooperated with the NCAA throughout this entire period, and we believe the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz. UCLA will expeditiously pursue its options to challenge this determination. When a final resolution has been reached by the NCAA, we will swiftly communicate the news to the entire Bruin family.”
There was some thought to the fact that even if Muhammad was cleared in time for Friday night's game, he wouldn't be able to play due to the shoulder injury. However, once source close to the situation said that he'd "definitely give it a go", especially with the scrutiny he's been under for much of the past year.
Muhammad is the cornerstone of a freshman class that is expected to put UCLA back on the national map. Ben Howland and his staff also landed Kyle Anderson, arguably the best passer in the nation, big man Tony Parker and wing Jordan Adams. The 6-foot-8 Anderson was recently cleared by the NCAA.