Kyle Anderson, one of UCLA‘s top recruits, finally was cleared by the NCAA to rejoin the team.
And while that was a relief to the program, the Bruins are still awaiting word on Shabazz Muhammad, their other prized freshman.
“UCLA was informed by the NCAA earlier today that freshman guard Kyle Anderson is eligible to play this season,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement released by the school. “The NCAA has found no evidence to substantiate violations in his case.”
Anderson, a 6-foot-9 guard who was ranked No. 5 on the ESPN 100 Class of 2012, was being investigated because of his family’s relationship with NBA agent Thad Foucher, according to sources who are not authorized to comment publicly. Foucher is a longtime friend of the Andersons, the sources said.
Foucher is the executive vice president of basketball for the Wasserman Media Group, an agency headed by prominent UCLA booster Casey Wasserman. Foucher’s clients include Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA draft out of Kentucky.
UCLA expected Anderson to be cleared almost two months ago, but the investigation dragged on unexpectedly. He traveled with the team on a three-game exhibition trip to China in August and played in each game.
Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard ranked No. 2 overall on ESPN 100 in the 2012 class, has been under review even longer. The NCAA is looking into whether he received improper benefits during his recruitment, a source said, although UCLA is not a part of that investigation.
UCLA barred Muhammad from its trip to China because of the ongoing inquiry. He was practicing with the team but injured his shoulder Oct. 24 and is expected to miss two to four weeks.
Muhammad and Anderson were the top two players in the Bruins’ recruiting class, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN. Both players were expected to start for the Bruins, who were an early favorite among prognosticators for a Final Four run but have dropped in preseason rankings because of the uncertainty surrounding the freshmen.