Buckner shareholder Michael L. Buckner was quoted in a March 27, 2014, Los Angeles Times article, “Shabazz Muhammad’s dad spoke of receiving loan, court documents say.” Times sports reporter Nathan Fenno claimed documents show Ron Holmes, father of former UCLA men’s basketball student-athlete Shabazz Muhammad, informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of receiving a loan based on Muhammad’s future earnings as a professional player. The article discusses whether the alleged arrangement violated NCAA legislation.
Specifically, Fenno reported:
“As Shabazz Muhammad’s father is sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas for conspiracy to commit fraud, UCLA faces its most significant men’s basketball game since 2008. Muhammad is in the NBA now, but the off-court problems he brought to UCLA last season continue to dog the school. According to a sentencing brief filed last week, Ron Holmes told the FBI he received a loan based on his son’s future professional basketball earnings. Estimated at $350,000 in another court document, the loan was Holmes’ principal source of income at the time and came from an unnamed “marketing company.” Holmes also expected to receive $200,000 to $300,000 a year from the deal once Muhammad was in the NBA.”
Buckner is quoted regarding whether the loan violated NCAA legislation: “It would be a violation … if that loan would not generally be available to the institution’s students and their family or friends,” said Michael Buckner, an attorney with the Buckner Law Firm who has been involved in numerous NCAA enforcement cases.”
Buckner was referring to the following NCAA legislation:
Bylaw 16.02.3 – Extra Benefit.
An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete family member or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their family members or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their family members or friends or to a particular segment of the student-body (e.g., international students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability. (Revised: 1/10/91, 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)
Bylaw 220.127.116.11 – General Rule.
Receipt of a benefit (including otherwise prohibited extra benefits per Bylaw 16.11.2) by student-athletes, their family members or friends is not a violation of NCAA rules if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students and their family members or friends. (Revised: 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)
Bylaw 18.104.22.168 – Deferred Pay-Back Loan.
A student-athlete may receive a loan on a deferred pay-back basis without jeopardizing his or her eligibility, provided: [R] (Adopted: 1/11/94)
(a) The loan arrangements are not contrary to the extra-benefit rule; and
(b) The student-athlete’s athletics reputation, skill or pay-back potential as a future professional athlete is not considered by the lending agency in its decision to provide the loan.