It now has been confirmed that Memphis Basketball star James Wiseman won't be back with the team until next year. Per ESPN, the NCAA announced that Wiseman's 12-game suspension has been upheld and he won't be eligible to return until Jan 12. Wiseman is suspended for his mother accepting $11,500 from Penny Hardaway and playing three games while ineligible.
"This morning, the NCAA's Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement upheld the conditions of reinstatement for men's basketball student-athlete James Wiseman, who will be eligible to return to competition Jan. 12. Although disappointing, we look forward to a promising season," Memphis said in a statement.
Wiseman was ruled ineligible earlier this month, but a judge in Shelby County issued a restraining order which allowed him to play. Wiseman played in two games before having to sit out. Hardway is now the head coach at Memphis and didn't tell his team about it at the time.
"We were definitely glad to find out a number. We had been waiting on that,'' Hardaway said, adding, "It is what it is right now. It has taken on a life of its own. I'm sure they will see it later."
Along with the suspension, Hardaway has to pay $11,500 to a charity of his choice. Once Hardaway heard the news about the suspension, he was surprised.
"I don't really know what else to say about it," Hardaway said after the 16th-ranked Tigers' win over Little Rock last week. "I mean, I don't know what you want me to say. I feel like James should be on the floor. So the process of what's going on — they're in control. They (the NCAA) make the rules, so we just have to abide by them."
When Hardaway gave the money to Wiseman's mother, he was not the head coach of Memphis. However, since he donated $1 million to the school in 2008, Hardaway is considered a booster and it's against the rules for a booster to give money to a recruit or a family member.
Wiseman is the No. 1 ranked prospect from this year's class and he's projected to be the top overall pick in the NBA Draft in June. He played high school basketball at Memphis East and averaged 25.8 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks per game during his senior year. So far at Memphis, Wiseman is averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks.