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Little more than a year ago, star freshman Shabazz Muhammad led UCLA to its first PAC-12 regular season title in five years. It was the pinnacle of a season in which the Bruins were beset by NCAA investigations related to Muhammad’s recruitment. The team ended that season with a first-round loss in the NCAA tournament. After all the tumult, coach Ben Howland was fired and Muhammad left early for the NBA. Still, Muhammad’s time in Westwood looms large: A filing last week in a federal bank fraud case against Muhammad’s father, Ron Holmes, calls into question whether Muhammad should have played in college that year, and whether UCLA deserves the conference championship banner. buzzfeed.com
Holmes arranged for a loan in anticipation of his son’s future NBA earnings and agreed to receive as much as $300,000 a year once Muhammad went pro, according to a memo filed by Daniel R. Schiess, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada. The memo was Schiess’ response to a request from Holmes’ attorneys to limit his sentence to one year and one day in prison plus at least 2,500 hours of community service. Holmes had pled guilty of conspiracy to commit federal fraud in December. “While raising children and serving the community is praiseworthy, it appears that Holmes’ motives were not completely virtuous. He intended to get something out of it for himself,” Schiess wrote in the memo, which asked that Holmes receive 37 months incarceration. “He told the FBI in his March 21, 2013 interview that he had been living off of a loan tied to his son’s [Shabazz Muhammad] projected earnings as a top NBA prospect.” buzzfeed.com
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