The Arizona Wildcats were once recruiting Shabazz Muhammad to join the nation's No. 1 recruiting class for 2012, but it appears Sean Miller has backed off in recent weeks. While some around the program had heard whispers that Muhammad would bring plenty of unwanted baggage along with him -- including his heavily involved father, Ron Holmes -- there seems to be even more truth to those rumors now.
Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports have the latest update from the NCAA:
The NCAA has contacted each school recruiting the nation's top-ranked high school basketball prospect, Shabazz Muhammad, and made them aware of financial dealings that could compromise Muhammad's amateur status, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.
The sources told CBSSports.com that the NCAA is specifically interested in connections between Muhammad's family and financial advisers Benjamin Lincoln and Ken Kavanagh. Lincoln is a North Carolina-based financial planner whose brother, Geoff Lincoln, is an assistant coach for Muhammad's high school team in Las Vegas. Kavanagh is a New York-based financial planner.
Muhammad's father, Ron Holmes, acknowledged to CBSSports.com in multiple phone calls this week that he knows both men and has been questioned by an NCAA investigator about the relationships. Sources told CBSSports.com Lincoln paid for at least two of Muhammad's unofficial visits to college campuses and that Kavanagh has helped fund Muhammad's summer team, the Las Vegas-based Dream Vision Foundation. Holmes, who has hired legal counsel to assist with getting the NCAA inquiry resolved, confirmed both statements as true to CBSSports.com.
If you continue reading the article -- which really should be a must-read for those with teams involved with Muhammad -- it also suggests there could be serious complications with Adidas and their support for the family. Shabazz plays for an AAU club team that is sponsored by the company, has a sister that is a professional tennis player sponsored by Adidas, and some have even suggested Ron Holmes is receiving payments under-the-table, as well.
Not exactly the ideal situation for a top-prospect with offers to just about every program in the nation.
If the Wildcats had not already completely backed off Muhammad, I'm sure they will in the coming weeks. There is absolutely no reason for Miller and the coaching staff to impose a headache upon themselves with this kid, regardless of how talented he is.
If any school does land him, this is all I can say to you: good luck.