It’s one of the biggest questions hanging over college basketball as we rapidly approach the beginning of the season: when will the NCAA decide the fate of UCLA freshmen Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad?
Both have yet to be cleared by the NCAA and they’ve begun their 40-day windows that allow them to practice with the team.
But once those 40 days are up and no decision’s been made both will have to cease contact with the program until the NCAA makes a decision.
And if the story in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times is any indication of where the investigation is headed, it could be a while before that happens.
Anderson’s case was expected to be resolved in a quick manner, especially considering the fact that he was allowed to take part in the team’s offseason trip to China.
But the NCAA’s look into a relationship between Kyle Anderson Sr. and sports agent Thad Foucher, who is a part of the Wasserman Media Group, is what keeps the New Jersey native waiting for clearance.
Anderson’s probe still appears focused on the relationship between his father and NBA agent Thad Foucher, according to people with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly.
Kyle Anderson Sr. and Foucher met more than a decade ago as opposing coaches on the AAU circuit, Foucher with the New Orleans Jazz and Kyle Sr. with the New Jersey-based Playaz Basketball Club.
Muhammad, whose issues from an NCAA clearance standpoint have been well-documented by now, has been represented by attorney Robert Orr since last fall. Orr recently represented North Carolina football players who were accused of both academic fraud and receiving improper benefits.
“Our position has been and continues to be that Shabazz has done absolutely nothing in violation of any NCAA bylaw,” Orr said.
The attorney has raised questions about the NCAA’s right to scrutinize past events.
“Shabazz didn’t even turn 18 until November of 2011 and until he signed with UCLA in April of this year was not under NCAA jurisdiction,” Orr said.
How (or if) that will help Muhammad in getting cleared remains to be seen, but as the season gets closer UCLA fans will get more antsy with each passing day without word from the NCAA.
Can UCLA be a contender in the Pac-12 if their two best recruits have to sit out an extended period of time?
Fans are hopeful that this question won’t need to be considered come November 9 (UCLA opens a renovated Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State).