Shabazz Muhammad’s AAU coach speaks out about NCAA investigation

1 Comment

On the first night of the college basketball season, UCLA enters its first practice with questions of whether or not their two top recruits – Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson – will be able to play this year, as they are both under NCAA investigation.

Shabazz Muhammad, one of the nation’s top freshmen, has faced the brunt of it and for the first time, someone close to the 6-foot-6 guard has spoken about against the alleged violations.

In a report by the Los Angeles Times, Baxter Holmes, the NCAA is looking into money Muhammad received to pay for unofficial visits, as well as Ken Kavanagh, a New York financial planner, who partially funded Muhammad’s summer team.

According to the report, Kavanagh made a personal loan to Muhammad’s AAU team, Dream Vision, when the team lacked funds. Clayton Williams, the team’s coach, said he has known Kavanagh for decades and told the L.A. Times that “hasn’t said two words to Shabazz.”

The report also goes on to discuss the payments for the unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina, however Williams explained that those were all cleared with both of the school’s compliance offices.

The piece went on to discuss a Cadillac Muhammad was seen driving and even the house he and his parents, Ron Holmes and Faye Muhammad live in:

Muhammad also raised eyebrows by driving a cream-colored Cadillac Escalade. Persons who know the family, including Williams, say it is a high-mileage 2005 model that was a gift Shabazz received last year from his sister Asia, a professional tennis player who made the down payment.

Asia Muhammad has struggled with injuries since joining the professional tennis tour in 2006, but she has more than $100,000 in career earnings.

Public records and interviews with acquaintances indicate the family has financial resources. Holmes and Faye Muhammad reside in a 4,400 square-foot, four-bedroom home in a gated community about 10 miles south of downtown Las Vegas. Holmes Consulting LLC, a business that lists both Holmes and his wife as officers, is registered at the same address.

The family does not own the home, Nevada records show, but Holmes has made a living as a real estate investor since the mid-1980s.

Muhammad picked UCLA back in April over USC, Duke, Kansas, and others. According to Williams, picking UCLA gave Muhammad a chance to build the program back up. The NCAA began investigating Anderson back in September and head coach Ben Howland still hasn’t heard from the NCAA about a decision.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

George Washington lands 5-foot-3 point guard

Leave a comment

George Washington landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard, from Georgia on Tuesday night.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported the commitment.

Rogers is the son of Shawnta Rogers, the 5-foot-4 point guard who played for the Colonials from 1995-99, earning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors as a senior.

“My dad is an alum, and I have a family relationship with the coaching staff,” Darnell Rogers told ESPN. “Their starting point guard is leaving when I come in. It’s a great situation for me and I also love D.C.”

In July, during the Nike Peach Jam, you may have seen clips or photos of the diminutive floor general playing for CP3, alongside arguably the nation’s top recruit, Harry Giles. In 22 appearances with CP3 in the Nike EYBL, Rogers averaged 10.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.

By the time Rogers reaches campus, Joe McDonald and Alex Mitola will have both exhausted their eligibility, while Paul Jorgensen and Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will both be juniors.

He joins power forward Collin Smith in GW’s Class of 2016. The two commits are separated by 18 inches.

Louisville campus police reviewing escort allegations

Leave a comment

Louisville campus police now say they are reviewing allegations that a former men’s basketball staffer hired escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players in a dormitory.

Katina Powell has alleged in a book released online over the weekend that former Cardinals director of basketball operation Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for dancers to perform 22 shows from 2010-14 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory. The school reported those allegations to the NCAA and has launched an investigation.

“The University of Louisville Police Department, in consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is reviewing allegations regarding the men’s basketball program,” University police chief Wayne Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

It was the first confirmation that police are looking into the allegations. When contacted last week, a campus police operator said they weren’t aware of the book allegations, and it was unclear at that time if an investigation had been launched.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has said that McGee denied Powell’s allegations.

McGee left in 2014 and is currently an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, which has put him on paid leave.

Pitino said Saturday that he hasn’t read Powell’s book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” and doesn’t plan to. The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for hardcover release Oct. 12.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at those parties.

Upon hearing of the allegations, Pitino said he did some investigating on his own before being told by the school’s compliance department not to talk to players. But the coach said he talked to other assistants about the allegations and all of them denied knowing of the activities outlined in Powell’s book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Louisville has hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City under Kareem Richardson, who was a Cardinals assistant from 2012-13. He was placed on paid administrative on Friday and has been unavailable for comment. McGee’s Louisville attorney, Scott Cox, didn’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.