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UCLA wing Shabazz Muhammad's family criticizes NCAA in statement

Currently ineligible UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad's family refuted the NCAA's ruling that he violated amateurism rules. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Four days after the NCAA ruled UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad ineligible to play in Friday's season opener, Muhammad's family released a statement questioning the decision to the Los Angeles Times:

"Shabazz’s family is very distressed by the NCAA’s recent decision and the manner in which it was announced. Shabazz and his family have been cooperating with the NCAA for well over a year. Earlier this year, the NCAA asked Shabazz and his family not to reveal to each other or to the press facts related to the NCAA investigation. Despite the many untrue rumors which were circulating on the Internet, Shabazz and his family dutifully did what they were told. In order to entice Shabazz’s family and others to cooperate, the NCAA repeatedly gave assurances that it would keep details of the investigation strictly confidential. As recently as November 2012, the NCAA promised that it would not issue a Press Release."

The statement goes on to call the NCAA's press release "wrong" and refute the facts it presented in its investigation. The NCAA determined that Muhammad had violated its amateurism rules by accepting travel and lodging for unofficial recruiting visits from financial advisors, but Muhammad's family claims that the advisors received NCAA approval before making the payments.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said Friday that the school plans to appeal the ruling on the small forward, who is considered one of the top prospects in his recruiting class.
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