NEW YORK The NCAA is investigating a conversation pertaining to UCLA basketball player Shabazz Muhammad that a Memphis, Tenn., attorney said she overheard on an Aug. 7 commuter flight.
The attorney, Florence Johnson Raines, said she heard a man who said he was dating "an NCAA attorney" loudly telling people around him that his girlfriend had said Muhammad would never play college basketball this season because he broke rules.
Raines emailed a letter to Dennis Thomas, then a member of the NCAA infractions committee, saying she was concerned that what should have been a confidential matter was being discussed in such a way.
Muhammad, a highly recruited freshman swingman, was declared ineligible Nov. 9, just hours before UCLA opened the season against Indiana State. The NCAA ruled that its amateurism policies had been violated because a financial planner whom the Muhammad family considered a friend paid for unofficial recruiting visits the player took to Duke and North Carolina.