A year after Shabazz Muhammad finished his UCLA basketball career, the controversy he left in his wake continues to swirl. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that his father, Ron Holmes, had taken out a loan based on Muhammad’s future earnings — something that could again run foul of NCAA investigators.
Three months ago, Holmes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal fraud. That came nine months after the Los Angeles Times revealed that Holmes had falsified Muhammad’s age, making him a year younger with the likely hope of furthering his basketball career.
The latest revelation appears in a court document from Holmes’ legal case obtained by BuzzFeed. In it, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel R. Schiess writes that Holmes told the FBI on March 21, 2013, that he had been “living on a loan tied to his son’s projected earnings as a top NBA prospect.” Continue reading →
Q: Larry Scott has been very active since becoming commissioner, expanding the conference from ten to twelve, creating the Pac-12 Networks, and bringing a tremendous amount of new revenue to each member school. Any idea that the next big thing from Scott will be?
A: Most pressing is getting a DirecTV deal nailed down, but that’s not exactly a “big thing” so much as a necessary one. Scott has said consistently over the past few months that the conference isn’t looking to expand, so the Pac-12 probably won’t be leading the country into an era of 16-team superconferences. What he might look to do next is push for some significant reform in the NCAA, especially as the institution’s enforcement policies look more and more like a joke. Scott has been candid about the need for change in the past, something he reaffirmed again on Saturday.
Q: What is the latest news on RB Craig Lee commitment status? Also, we heard of the great recruiting class UCLA had this year but did not hear of any high school seniors that flipped their commitment. Were there any? Continue reading →
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.