Flea declares on shirt: ‘Free Muhammad’
by Matt Eppers, USA TODAY Sports
The UCLA faithful are anxiously waiting to see prized recruit Shabazz Muhammad hit the court.
Bruins fans will have to wait longer after the NCAA ruled the freshman ineligible for Friday night’s opener earlier in the day.
Among the Southern California fans pining for a glimpse of Muhammad is rock musician Flea. The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist was on hand to play the national anthem before the Bruins faced Indiana State at newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.
Flea displayed a message for the NCAA on his T-shirt, which read “Free Shabazz Muhammad.”
Muhammad, the prized recruit in a UCLA class that many ranked No. 1 in the nation, was declared ineligible for an undisclosed number of games after the NCAA determined he “accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits” to two schools during his recruitment.
Flea’s motives for the shirt are unclear, but he wasn’t the only person upset by the NCAA’s ruling.
UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero sounded off earlier Friday.
“We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination,” Guerrero wrote in a statement. He added, “We believe the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz.”
In a statement Friday, the NCAA said Muhammad was ineligible for the season opener, but the statement made no mention of further games.… [For more on Rocker Flea declares on shirt: 'Free Shabazz Muhammad', click here.]