James Wiseman recently dropped his temporary restraining order against the NCAA that was allowing him to play for Memphis in the interim after the NCAA announced it was looking into the assistance provided to Wiseman’s family in moving to Memphis by Penny Hardaway, now the head coach of the Tigers.
The NCAA determined that Hardaway, who has given significantly to the program in the past, counts as a booster, and as such, it was an NCAA violation for him to provide financial assistance in moving Wiseman and his family. The team supported Wiseman’s case against the NCAA, but all parties appear to have determined it best to move on and allow the NCAA to issue the punishment they see fit so everyone can eventually move on.
On Wednesday, the NCAA announced Wiseman would be suspended for 12 games and must donate the $11,500 he received from Hardaway to a charity of his choice.
James Wiseman, a freshman on the University of Memphis men’s basketball team, must sit 11 additional games (12 total) based on recruiting inducements his family received before he enrolled at Memphis and for competing in three games while ineligible. He will be eligible to compete in Memphis’ Jan. 12 contest at South Florida. He also must donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice.
Wiseman’s suspension means he will miss some big games for Memphis against Ole Miss, NC State, Tennessee, and Georgia, but will be back for almost all of conference play. The NCAA requiring Wiseman to donate the money to charity is a bizarre sanction to place on an unpaid player, as that money seems all but assuredly spent if it was offered as moving assistance. How Wiseman and his family will come up with that, I’m not sure, but pending that hurdle, he will be able to return to the floor for the Tigers and make his case to NBA scouts as to why he belongs near the top of NBA Draft boards come June.