UCLA’s Muhammad under investigation prior to ASU game

UCLA freshman forward Shabazz Muhammad is under investigation for a Gucci backpack he wore following the Bruins’ 84-73 win over UA.

According to ESPNLA.com, Bruins coach Ben Howland said the school’s compliance department is looking at how Muhammad received the backpack.

“Our compliance is handling it,” Howland told ESPNLA.com. “They’re very professional and we’re aware of the situation.”

Yahoo! Sports’s Pat Forde brought the backpack to light in his column following the game. Muhammad had 23 points but Forde noticed the expensive backpack, reportedly worth close to $1,000, he wore rather than the general team-branded backpack.

“I’m just saying a college kid wearing Gucci catches the eye — especially when the college kid is Muhammad,” Forde said in his column.

Muhammad missed three games and paid $1,600 he took in “impermissible benefits.” His sister, Asia Muhammad responded back to Forde on Twitter.

“I read your condescending remark about (Muhammad) leaving with a Gucci backpack after beating Arizona,” Asia wrote. “That was a birthday gift from myself (his sister) and his mother. I have the original receipt if you need to verify that. (Muhammad) doesn’t need anything from anyone except his family. I understand you’re a very distinguished writer, congrats on that. but you’re barking up the wrong tree on this one.”

Muhammad talked to The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student paper, Friday at the team’s hotel. “It’s crazy but I’ll be good,” he said. “My parents got it for me.”

Nothing will come out of this to impact Saturday’s game against ASU, but expect to hear plenty of it — if you haven’t already — leading up to tip-off and probably after the game.

 

Reach the reporter at mtesfats@asu.edu