Saturday, November 10, 2012
Photo: Rocker sports shirt in support of ineligible UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad
The "Free Shabazz" movement is in full swing at UCLA after Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea donned a shirt in support of the embattled Bruins freshman before Friday's game.
Here's an excerpt from The Dagger detailing the scene:
Flea walked onto the court at Pauley Pavilion on Friday night to sing the national anthem clad in a baby blue shirt with the words "Free Shabazz Muhammad" written on it in black marker. The shirt, of course, was in reference to the NCAA's decision to declare the highly touted UCLA freshman indefinitely ineligible earlier in the evening as a result of extra benefits he accepted during his recruitment.
Many UCLA students at the game also wore shirts with his likeness on the front as a show of support. The student section even broke out a "Free Shabazz" chant during the second half of the blowout victory against visiting Indiana State.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero released the following statement after receiving word of the NCAA's decision:
"We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination," Guerrero wrote. He later added, "We believe the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz. UCLA will expeditiously pursue its options to challenge this determination."
Muhammad was ranked as the No. 1 prospect coming out of high school by many recruiting services. His ineligible status is certainly a huge blow to the Bruins as they look to regain the success they have experienced in their storied past.