Top Prospect James Wiseman Ruled Ineligible by the NCAA
The potential first overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft is in hot water after violating NCAA bylaws.
On Friday, the NCAA ruled James Wiseman ineligible, thus putting his freshman season at Memphis in jeopardy, after discovering that the team’s head coach Penny Hardaway gave the 18-year old and his family money back in 2017 to aid in their move to Memphis. Wiseman was still able to play on Friday night against UIC following an emergency temporary restraining order issued by the university’s athletic department.
“The University is currently working with the NCAA staff to restore his playing status, and we are hopeful for a speedy resolution to the matter,” the statement read.
Memphis went onto win by a score of 92-46. Wiseman finished the contest with 17 points.
The NCAA issued a statement late on Friday evening responding to Wiseman playing in the game, writing “The University of Memphis was notified that James Wiseman is likely ineligible. The university chose to play him and ultimately is responsible for ensuring its student-athletes are eligible to play.”
Hardaway donated $1 million to the university of Memphis back in 2008, making him a booster for life. Hardaway would also pay Wiseman’s family $11,500 back in 2017 to help facilitate a move to Memphis. According to reports, Wiseman was unaware of the payment.
The head coach had no comments on the situation following the Memphis win.