Shabazz Muhammad

Report: Shabazz Muhammad cleared to play at UCLA


According to Los Angeles Times reporter Baxter Holmes, UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been cleared to play by the NCAA.

Holmes, who broke the news through his Twitter account, had previously reported that UCLA’s hearing with the NCAA regarding Muhammad’s eligibility had ended around noon on Friday.

The NCAA released a statement regarding Muhammad’s reinstatement:

The NCAA and UCLA have resolved the eligibility case of Shabazz Muhammad. UCLA acknowledged amateurism violations occurred and asked the NCAA on Friday afternoon to reinstate Muhammad. The university required the student-athlete to miss 10 percent of the season (three games) and repay approximately $1,600 in impermissible benefits.

The 6-foot-6 Muhammad has already missed UCLA’s three games and will be allowed to play immediately, which will be Nov. 19 against Georgetown.

Last Friday, Muhammad was ruled ineligible for amateurism rules violation. The NCAA had accused Muhammad of accepting travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two schools.

According to the facts of the case, which were agreed upon by the university and the NCAA staff, Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during unofficial visits to member schools. NCAA rules, which member schools create, state that student-athletes cannot receive benefits based on their athletic ability. NCAA amateurism rules are in place so that when student-athletes step onto the court, they are competing against other student-athletes who have met the same standards.

UCLA is currently 3-0, but adding Muhammad is clearly Ben Howland’s biggest win of the season. Muhammad, one of the nation’s top recruits, was part of UCLA’s top-ranked recruiting class, alongside point forward Kyle Anderson.

The Bruins now add another scorer, although fellow freshman Jordan Adams, has been impressive so far, averaging 24 points per game. Muhammad is an explosive scorer with a great motor. He has the ability to force his way into the lane and finish above the rim.

Muhammad should make his debut against Georgetown on Monday. The game will take place in Brooklyn.

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

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.