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Howland ready for Muhammad appeal
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 16, 2012 @ 2:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
UCLA men’s basketball coach Ben Howland confirmed Friday that star freshman Shabazz Muhammad’s appeal process is taking place today.
“Exactly what time I can’t even tell you that,” Howland said on a conference call for the Legends Classic, which takes place next week in Brooklyn, N.Y. “I’ve honestly never been through one of these so I don’t know how quickly they’re resolved. … I really don’t know.”
Howland said UCLA officials will be “on a videoconference” with NCAA staff to go over the appeal.
Hours before the UCLA season opener last Friday, Muhammad was ruled ineligible to play because the NCAA believes he has violated amateurism rules while taking unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina during his recruitment. UCLA then filed an appeal on Muhammad’s behalf.
UCLA then filed an appeal on Muhammad’s behalf, because the Muhammad family maintains that financial advisor Ben Lincoln was allowed to pay for the trips. The family says Lincoln has been a family friend for five years, and a statement from Muhammad’s lawyers earlier this week said Lincoln sought approval from the NCAA, Duke and UNC before paying for the trips.
The Bruins have gone 3-0 without Muhammad in their lineup, but their schedule gets a great deal tougher starting Monday when they face Georgetown. If they win, they will likely play No. 1 Indiana.
“We’re very hopeful and remain very positive about Shabazz,” Howland said. “We’ve been very cooperative with the NCAA, and the family has, too. Shabazz and his family have been unbelievably cooperative.
“We’ll be very excited once we get him back. … He’s a great talent. He’s a great kid. He works extremely hard. Has a great motor. I think he’s going to be a heck of a player.”
Howland reiterated that he has no idea about a timeframe on the NCAA’s appeal decision.
In the case of Enes Kanter and Kentucky, the NCAA made its decision on the school’s appeal the day after hearing the appeal.
“Hopefully, this is resolved sometime in the near future,” Howland said.
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