Sport James Wiseman eligibility: Explaining the NCAA questions on Penny Hardaway, Memphis star
Memphis' Wiseman has restraining order allowing him to play while he fights NCAA ruling he's ineligible.
Memphis freshman James Wiseman has restraining order allowing him to play while he fights NCAA ruling he's ineligible.MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis center James Wiseman has a temporary restraining order to play while the heralded freshman fights an NCAA ruling that he's ineligible to play for coach Penny Hardaway and the Tigers.
James Wiseman entered the University of Memphis this year as the Tigers’ highest-rated basketball recruit since Derrick Rose a dozen years earlier — and as the heart of a promised revival of the school’s once-great program.
Before he could even take the court for the Tigers, though, hethat could have lasting repercussions for the NCAA or Memphis, or both.
Here's everything you need to know about Wiseman’s eligibility fight — and what it means for all parties going forward:
Memphis basketball, Penny Hardaway are taking a big risk with James Wiseman | Giannotto
There was risk and reward to be had when it came to hiring Penny Hardaway as Memphis men's basketball coach. The risk arrived Friday night.The rewards have been plentiful thus far. A No. 1 recruiting class. A full FedExForum. A national championship contender. A return to relevancy, both locally and across the college basketball world.
Why is James Wiseman’s eligibility in question?
In 2017, Hardaway — according to the University of Memphis — provided $11,500 to Wiseman’s mother, apparently to assist in her family’s move from Nashville to Memphis. Once there, James enrolled at East High, where Hardaway was the head coach until the spring of 2018, when he left to become the Tigers' head coach.
According to the university, Wiseman was unaware of the payment.
The NCAA informed Memphis on Oct. 31 that this exchange of money was considered a violation of the organization’s recruiting rules, and that Wiseman would not be eligible to compete for the Tigers.
Opinion: Do the right thing NCAA, and free Memphis' James Wiseman
James Wiseman's NCAA eligibility story at Memphis is complicated, but it has one innocent party: James Wiseman, the likely top pick in 2020 NBA Draft.That’s the compassionate thing — the right thing — for the NCAA to do. Let Wiseman continue to play this season for Memphis and, yes, for Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, who technically, apparently, allegedly broke NCAA rules in 2017 when Wiseman was a high school player and Hardaway was a high school coach.
Isn’t that kind of obvious? One might think, but according to the lawsuit filed by Wiseman’s attorneys last week, this information was available to the NCAA between January and May. The lawsuit claims the organization in late May approved Wiseman to compete for the Tigers.
Memphis star Wiseman will play vs. Oregon
Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway confirmed star freshman James Wiseman will be in the lineup for Tuesday's showdown against No. 14 Oregon, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
One member of Wiseman’s legal team, attorney Blake Ballin, told reporters from the(Memphis, Tenn.) that Wiseman would have had other options for competition this winter if it were known that he would be ineligible with the Tigers. (It’s even possible he could have been free to play at another NCAA school).
Instead, Ballin said, Wiseman relied on the initial approval and enrolled at Memphis with the intention to play in the 2019-20 season.
Why does the NCAA have a problem with Penny Hardaway’s actions?
For the purpose of this action, the NCAA deemed Hardaway a booster of Memphis Tigers athletics because he had presented a $1 million donation to the school in 2008 to aid in the establishment of an athletics hall of fame. Many critical of the NCAA’s position have seized upon this designation as specious, given that his donation occurred over a decade ago.
However, the NCAA considers a donor to an athletics department to be a representative of the school’s athletic interest in perpetuity.
Memphis declares James Wiseman ineligible while it works toward resolution with NCAA
James Wiseman withdrew his lawsuit against the NCAA, indicating a settlement could be in the works. Wiseman and his legal team filed a notice of voluntary nonsuit Thursday in a show of good faith toward the NCAA just days before a hearing in Shelby County Chancery court was scheduled for Monday.The firms representing Wiseman — Ballin, Ballin and Fishman, as well as Farese, Farese and Farese — issued a statement: "It has become clear to Mr.
No one seems to be talking about the fact Hardaway is now the Tigers’ coach. He was not when he made the donation, or when he made the payment to Wiseman’s family. But, accepting the university’s stipulation that the payment occurred, he knew when he recruited the player that the payment had been made. That alone would seem to make Wiseman’s recruitment problematic.
Why did the NCAA initially approve James Wiseman’s eligibility?
This is the trickiest question, and probably the strongest item in Wiseman’s favor.
The NCAA does not publicly comment on such matters, so we’d have to trust the word of the university and Wiseman’s attorneys on this. There is no reason not to believe this contention, though, because if Wiseman had been ruled ineligible months in advance of fall enrollment, he would have had many lucrative professional opportunities and could have argued for eligibility at a school other than Memphis.
As a projected top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Wiseman will spend (at most) only one season in NCAA basketball. So it figures he'd want to spend it on the court, not in one.
Will James Wiseman play for Memphis again? Explaining next steps in NCAA eligibility process
James Wiseman and Memphis agreed on Thursday to follow the NCAA's rule of law in determining his eligibility. Here is what that most likely means for the rest of their 2019-20 season.
If the NCAA ruled James Wiseman ineligible, why is he still playing?
Upon learning of the NCAA’s ruling, Wiseman’s attorney’s went to court requesting a temporary order allowing him to play. A Tennessee courton the NCAA's ruling, allowing Wiseman appeared for 25 minutes in an easy victory over Illinois-Chicago; he scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked five shots.
After learning of Memphis’ intention to play Wiseman, the NCAA issued a statement Friday night that read: “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.”
If the NCAA ultimately finds Wiseman ineligible to play, it's possible whatever achievements the Tigers manage with him in the lineup will be retroactively vacated. It also is possible that any action by the NCAA’s enforcement division will be escalated because the university knew of the ruling against Wiseman and put him on the floor, anyway.
When does Memphis play again?
The Tigers travel Tuesday to Portland for one of their highest-profile games of the season, a meeting with Pac-12 favorite Oregon. Tip is set for 9 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by ESPN.
Memphis star freshman James Wiseman suspended 12 games, cleared to play in January
Memphis star freshman James Wiseman suspended 12 games, cleared to play in JanuaryWiseman, a 7-foot center, is the potential No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA draft.
Here is the Tigers' remaining schedule for 2019:
|Nov. 16||Alcorn State|
|Nov. 20||Little Rock|
|Nov. 23||Ole Miss|
|Nov. 28||N.C. State|
|Dec. 21||Jackson State|
|Dec. 28||New Orleans|
Who are James Wiseman’s attorneys?
The firm of Ballin, Ballin & Fishman is a nationally prominent defense firm. It was founded over a half-century ago in Memphis by the late Marvin Ballin, and his son Leslie is in charge now. Blake Ballin, who spoke to the media Friday on Wiseman’s behalf, is Leslie’s son.
Leslie Ballin was part of the defense team representing Mary Winkler, after she was charged in 2006 with murdering her husband, a preacher in Selmer, Tenn., by shooting him in the back with a shotgun. Winkler was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter after her legal team successfully argued she had been abused by her husband and that the shooting, as she said on the stand, happened “accidentally.” She was sentenced to time served plus 210 days in prison, in addition to a subsequent probation and stay at a mental health facility.
The Mississippi firm of Farese, Farese & Farese were also essential to the Winkler defense. They, too, are part of Wiseman’s legal team.
Memphis basketball, Penny Hardaway pay price for challenging NCAA in James Wiseman case | Giannotto .
After the announcement of James Wiseman's 12-game suspension, it seems Memphis badly misplayed its hand and made a terrible mistake defying the NCAA.James Wiseman wanted to sue the NCAA? Here’s a 12-game suspension that could potentially derail Memphis’ NCAA Tournament hopes.