The NCAA has fired Abigail Grantstein, who was the lead investigator in the Shabazz Muhammad case, according to CBSSports.com on Thursday.
Grantstein’s firing comes a month after a woman informed the Los Angeles Times that she heard Grantstein’s boyfriend talking about the case on an airplane flight. Grantstein’s boyfriend mentioned how Muhammad would never be cleared to play for UCLA Bruins this season.
Muhammad initially had been ruled ineligible to play at the start of the season and was forced to sit out the first three games of the season. The NCAA conducted an investigation about impermissible benefits the 6-foot-6 guard was determined to have accepted.
During Grantstein’s lengthy investigation for the NCAA, they uncovered Muhammad had received travel expenses and lodging during two unofficial visits during his recruitment. Robert Orr, Muhammad’s attorney, said those visits were to North Carolina and Duke and were paid for by Benjamin Lincoln, a financial adviser and friend of Muhammad’s family.
The three games that Muhammad sat out were deemed as his suspension after Bruins filed an appeal. His family also had to pay back about $1,600 dollars.
“UCLA acknowledged amateurism violations occurred…” the NCAA said in a statement last month. “The university required the student-athlete to miss 10 percent of the season (three games) and repay approximately $1,600 in impermissible benefits.”
Sources close to CBSSports.com reported that Grantstein’s job was on the line when they were made of known of Grantstein’s boyfriend conversation.
Muhammad is a projected first-round lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft. He is currently averaging 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds a game since his suspension.
Grantstein was a member of the NCAA’s Basketball Focus Group and worked on the cases centered around the amateur status of elite prospects. She worked on the high-profiled case of Kansas’ Josh Shelby.
The NCAA has yet to release a comment on the firing of Grantstein.