UCLA files appeal on Muhammad

UCLA has filed an appeal on the NCAA’s ruling of Shabazz Muhammad’s ineligibility. The NCAA appeals committee will hear the case on Friday, and the school hopes to hear a decision then as well. The star recruit was declared ineligible just hours before the Bruins’ season opener against Indiana State last Friday.

His eligibility hinges on whether his unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina, funded by financial advisor Benjamin Lincoln, qualifies as coming from someone with a pre-existing family relationship. Lincoln’s brother is an assistant coach for Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Muhammad’s high school.

“I’m concerned about Shabazz,” said head coach Ben Howland. “I’m just optimistic and hopeful that everything will work out. … Hopeful is a big part of it too.”

Howland emphasized again that his players will not be wearing “Free Shabazz” T-shirts in the future. Freshmen Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Tony Parker warmed up in the shirts before UCLA’s win over UC Irvine on Tuesday night.

“We won’t be wearing our shirts tomorrow,” he said. “This is their friend, but that’s not something we’ll do in the future.”

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