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UCLA hasn't filed an appeal with NCAA in Shabazz Muhammad's case

The school is waiting for the governing body of college sports to provide more information about the status of the freshman, who was declared ineligible Friday because of a violation of amateurism rules.

November 13, 2012|By Baxter Holmes

As of Monday, UCLA had not appealed the NCAA's decision to declare freshman Shabazz Muhammad ineligible, a school official confirmed.

The school is waiting for the NCAA to provide more information about Muhammad's status, which could come this week, according to people close to the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly because the case is ongoing.

The NCAA announced Friday, less than two hours before UCLA's opener against Indiana State, that Muhammad was ineligible because of a violation of amateurism rules. The highly rated 6-foot-6 swingman could sit out 10 games before he is cleared to compete for the Bruins, according to guidelines the NCAA uses to establish eligibility.

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said Friday that UCLA would appeal.

Muhammad's status is not expected to change in time for him to play in the Bruins' next two games. The Bruins face UC Irvine on Tuesday and James Madison on Thursday. Both games are at Pauley Pavilion.

The NCAA has determined that Muhammad accepted travel and lodging from a financial advisor during unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina. That advisor, Benjamin Lincoln, is the brother of an assistant coach at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High, which Muhammad attended.

Slow start

Whatever the reasons — hype, nerves, excitement — the result was this: UCLA's purported up-tempo offense crawled out of the chute in its season debut against Indiana State.

It took the Bruins nearly 10 minutes to break into double digits in scoring.

"After we started to settle down, then things got rolling a lot better," Coach Ben Howland said Monday.

The No. 13-ranked Bruins scored 50 points in the second half to finish off an 86-59 win over the Sycamores, and there were spans when UCLA successfully pushed the ball upcourt.

"We tried to run a little bit in the first half, but we struggled because we weren't getting the stops we needed," forward Travis Wear said. "But once we started getting it out in transition, their defense started breaking down and we got some easy buckets."

Of course, Indiana State doesn't boast the mightiest or most athletic defense in the land.

The Bruins will receive a much stiffer test when they face Georgetown on Nov. 19 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and then Georgia or Indiana the next day as part of the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic. UCLA (1-0) will work on fine-tuning its game Tuesday against UC Irvine (1-0) at Pauley Pavilion during a regional round of the tournament.

Howland said he plans to again start David and Travis Wear, Kyle Anderson, Larry Drew II and Norman Powell.

Modest debut

In his first regular-season game in more than a year, Drew, a transfer from North Carolina, put up meager numbers: one point and five assists in 33 minutes.

"I was excited. I was a little bit nervous, at first," Drew said. "But I think everybody was a little bit nervous at first."

Drew suffered a dislocated joint in a finger on his right (shooting) hand against Indiana State and had his middle and index fingers wrapped Monday. But Howland said he expected Drew to play against Irvine.

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