The NCAA’s investigation into the recruitment of Shabazz Muhammad should lead to an interesting outcome. In the overwhelming majority of such investigations, the NCAA is typically looking in to whether outside parties paid for unofficial trips taken by prospective recruits.
In the case of Muhammad, his family has gotten ahead of the power curve, and provided information regarding the payment of travel on visits. The sticking point is that Muhammad’s family has admitted that the expenses were paid by outside sources, with the proviso that the relationships with the individuals pre-existed Muhammad’s basketball stardom.
It’s certainly not a common situation, and it will be a telling test case for such explanations by recruits and families in the future. Another side effect of the NCAA investigation is that it will allow some schools and fanbases to save face when bowing out of Muhammad’s recruitment. Programs that have lost ground in their quest to add the top wing in the country can unofficially point to the NCAA controversy as a reason they backed off in landing him, providing the plausible explanation of avoiding the ire of the NCAA by forgoing pursuit of Muhammad.
This is a situation that appears to be far from over, and should Muhammad escape threats to his initial eligibility, his signing will be a valuable prize for whichever program lands him.