Attorneys representing Shabazz Muhammad are calling for the NCAA to drops its investigation and declare him eligible based on an overheard conversation on an Aug. 7 commuter flight.
Muhammad is a freshman at UCLA and one of the top recruits of the 2012 class.
An email from an attorney said she was seated behind a man who was speaking loudly about the work of his girlfriend, an "attorney with the NCAA."
The girlfriend, whom he identified as "Abigail," was investigating Muhammad. The man made it clear that the NCAA would find Muhammad ineligible and not allow him to play this season, the email said.
Abigail Grantstein, an assistant director of enforcement, is the NCAA's lead investigator on the Muhammad case.
The attorney confirmed her story in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. She was concerned about the lack of confidentiality and "the cavalier discussion of this young man's future being tossed about for everyone to hear."
The NCAA had not seen the email and did not know it existed until it was brought to the organization's attention Wednesday, spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said.