Today’s the day. Shabazz Muhammad’s appeal will be heard by the NCAA, bringing at a months-long ordeal at least one step closer to conclusion. Barring unexpected delays, a result should be determined to either make him eligible immediately, or force him to go through a reinstatement process. Ben Howland said after the Bruins’ Thursday night win that he was “praying and hopeful,” which is probably what everyone else in the program is feeling as well. The big development in past days was the L.A. Times’ report that an attorney overheard someone on a flight say that his girlfriend — who appears to be Abigail Granstein, the lead investigator in the Muhammad case — That the account is about three levels of hearsay doesn’t particularly matter, given that the NCAA doesn’t operate by the U.S. judicial system.
We’ll find out today whether that late flurry of negative PR nudges the NCAA to back off Muhammad or stand by its findings. At this point in, neither result would be surprising in what has become a circus of an investigation.