(UPDATE: No, he can’t.)
When Josh Selby enrolled at Kansas, there were plenty of question marks about his eligibility and just how long it would take for him to don a Jayhawk uniform.
For those that don’t remember, it ultimately took the NCAA until November 19th for the NCAA to finally make a ruling, when they suspended him for the first nine games of the season.
And while the particulars of the case are different, the investigation into the amateur standing of Shabazz Muhammad has a similar feel to it. In other words, don’t be surprised if the Bruins are left in limbo in regards to their star recruit well into the start of the season.
But according to Andy Katz, there is a chance that Muhammad could start the season with his team thanks to a quirk in the NCAA’s rulebook:
The NCAA gives schools a 45-day window for players to practice during an initial eligibility process. The Bruins don’t start the fall quarter until later this month. The Bruins could conceivably wait to start Muhammad’s clock until practice starts on Oct. 12. That means Muhammad could practice for the first month of the season and play possibly in the opener while the NCAA deals with an amateurism/extra benefit issue with Muhammad.
Obviously, this would be good news for UCLA. Getting Muhammad on the court and getting him involved in learning UCLA’s system and how to play with his teammates in a true practice setting is a good thing. October practices are when the teaching is done and when the offensive and defensive schemes are implemented.
It would also be potentially good news for me and any other fellow east coasters that want to see Muhammad play. You see, the Legends Classic is at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. UCLA will be there and, if they make the finals, will meet up with the nation’s No. 1 team, Indiana. That’s scheduled to take place on November 19th and 20th, less than 45 days after October 12th.
It would be my only chance to see him play live before the NCAA tournament.