University of Memphis basketball star James Wiseman won't be back in action until next year. Wiseman has been suspended for 12 games due to his mother accepting $11,500 from Penny Hardaway back in 2017. Hardaway is now the head coach of Memphis as he was hired by the school in 2018, but at the time he gave the money to the Wiseman family, he was considering a booster because of the $1 million he donated to the school in 2008 which is considered an NCAA violation. Wiseman is eligible to return when the Tigers take on South Florida on Jan. 12. He has already sat out two games this week and Memphis said it will appeal the suspension because of "case precedent, the circumstances of this case and other mitigating factors."
"We expect a more fair and equitable resolution, and we will exhaust all avenues on James' behalf. James will not compete in this evening's contest," the school said in a statement per ESPN.
Along with being suspended for 10 additional games, Wiseman will have to pay $11,500 to a charity of his choice according to WMC 5 TV. Hardaway believes Wiseman being suspended is not fair.
"I don't really know what else to say about it," Hardaway said after the 16th-ranked Tigers' win over Little Rock. "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."
Wiseman was ruled ineligible earlier this month, but a judge in Shelby County issued a restraining order which allowed him to play. He would play in two games before the school declared him ineligible and decided to sit him. Hardaway didn't talk to his team about the situation and some of the players had no idea about the ruling.0comments
"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."
Wiseman is the No. 1 ranked prospect from this year's class and he's projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. 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.