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Sport Memphis basketball, Penny Hardaway pay price for challenging NCAA in James Wiseman case | Giannotto

03:50  21 november  2019
03:50  21 november  2019 Source:   commercialappeal.com

Memphis basketball, Penny Hardaway are taking a big risk with James Wiseman | Giannotto

  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.

You wanted a war with the NCAA? Well after a momentary detente, the war is here.

Memphis basketball ready to end fight against the NCAA, but Penny Hardaway is not | Giannotto© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc. Memphis basketball ready to end fight against the NCAA, but Penny Hardaway is not | Giannotto

James Wiseman wanted to sue the NCAA? Here’s a 12-game suspension that could potentially derail Memphis’ NCAA Tournament hopes.

Memphis wanted to play Wiseman even though the NCAA declared him “likely ineligible?” Here’s a potential major infractions case that could derail the entire men’s basketball program.

The NCAA wanted to squash this Memphis rebellion? Here’s an appeal from the university expecting a “more fair and equitable resolution” that could shorten Wiseman’s absence. That could convince this notoriously unjust organization to be “more fair and equitable.”

Can James Wiseman and Memphis topple the NCAA as we know it? | Giannotto

  Can James Wiseman and Memphis topple the NCAA as we know it? | Giannotto Memphis, through its support of James Wiseman and Penny Hardaway, is electing to be the first university to rebel in the growing war against the NCAA.Of how this case could be about so much more than just a top recruit and a basketball team’s season.

Or this reaction, combined with Penny Hardaway's public defiance over the past week, could just antagonize the NCAA even more. As was reinforced Wednesday, those folks in Indianapolis aren’t afraid to strike back with a vengeance.

For now, it appears Memphis badly misplayed its hand.

A major miscalculation

Memphis made a terrible mistake by playing Wiseman those first three games after the NCAA officially sent notice of Wiseman’s ineligibility before the Tigers’ season opener against South Carolina State. Particularly if the Sports Illustrated report that “a major infractions case targeting Memphis is now likely” comes true because of its insubordination.

A year ago Wednesday, Wiseman sat at a table inside the East High School auditorium, pulled out a unicorn dressed in Memphis Tigers garb and announced his commitment to play college basketball at Memphis.

Can James Wiseman and Memphis topple the NCAA as we know it? | Giannotto

  Can James Wiseman and Memphis topple the NCAA as we know it? | Giannotto It was a back and forth battle between Baylor and TCU, but the Bears were able to keep their perfect record intact after topping the Mountaineers in the third overtime. Check out the game's top plays.

He was surrounded by friends and family on stage and Memphis fans and boosters out in the crowd who yelled and shrieked with delight at the news. They knew what this meant. They knew the promise and hope of having Hardaway as the Memphis basketball coach now had a tangible symbol.

Exactly one year later, the NCAA showed just how powerful a symbol it remains, even in the wake of constant criticism over its antiquated policies.

Not only is Memphis' much-anticipated season in jeopardy, the immediate future of the program, and Hardaway’s tenure as head coach, could suddenly be on the line.

Assigning the blame

So whose fault is this?

The one victim seems to be Wiseman. He, according to a statement from the university, had no knowledge of the $11,500 payment made by Hardaway to his mother for moving expenses in the summer of 2017.

He has been an innocent bystander as the outdated organization that oversees college sports, some of the adults he entrusted his career with and the school he chose to go to, all failed him.

Can James Wiseman and Memphis topple the NCAA as we know it? | Giannotto

  Can James Wiseman and Memphis topple the NCAA as we know it? | Giannotto Redshirt freshman quarterback Jarren Williams broke a Miami Hurricanes passing record by throwing his sixth touchdown of the game against Louisville in this ACC Must See Moment!

Yes, failed him.

Let’s start with the NCAA and the vindictive punishment announced Wednesday.

Thus far, Wiseman is the only one feeling the brunt of it. He didn’t just get suspended for the nine games — or about 30 percent of the regular season — that are standard for this amount of money, according to the NCAA penalty matrix. The NCAA tacked on the three games Memphis allowed Wiseman to play at the beginning of the season.

Why should he bear the weight of his university’s ignorance? Why isn’t the school vacating those wins he appeared in? Why isn’t Hardaway suspended for being the person affiliated with the university who initially violated NCAA rules?

What about Penny's role?

Hardaway, of course, isn’t immune from blame here. Let’s put aside for now that the NCAA rule he violated — that he was a Memphis booster when he provided that money to Wiseman’s mother — isn’t being applied with common sense here because Hardaway wasn’t acting on behalf of Memphis in the summer of 2017.

When has the NCAA ever operated with common sense? Hardaway should have understood that. He should have had a better understanding of the rules. Even back then when he was coaching at East, he should have been far more careful just handing out money to a family member of a five-star prospect.

James Wiseman eligibility: Explaining the NCAA questions on Penny Hardaway, Memphis star

  James Wiseman eligibility: Explaining the NCAA questions on Penny Hardaway, Memphis star Everything you need to know about James Wiseman's eligibility case at Memphis and what it means for him, the Tigers' basketball team and the NCAA going forward.Before he could even take the court for the Tigers, though, he became tangled in an eligibility case that could have lasting repercussions for the NCAA or Memphis, or both.

As someone who spent that summer following around Hardaway’s Team Penny program for a series of stories, you can’t convince me Hardaway did not already harbor dreams of becoming a college head coach; and you can’t convince me he gave Wiseman’s mother that money simply out of the goodness of his heart.

And then the way he’s so openly discussed this case in recent days, essentially saying publicly he doesn’t agree with his own bosses at the university that a rule was violated, just seems foolish, in retrospect. Even Tuesday night, during an interview on CBS Sports Network, he called the NCAA’s decision “baffling.”

It’s only baffling if you haven’t read the NCAA rule book, or read up on how callous the NCAA can be when it wants to be.

Hardaway’s bravado has been celebrated around the city since he got hired at Memphis and, in many cases, justifiably so. But in recent days, from Rick Barnes’ statement that he doesn’t think the Memphis-Tennessee series will continue after next season to this latest development in the Wiseman case, everyone should also now know that the bluster comes with a cost.

Where was the oversight?

Which brings us to the university, because it could have saved Hardaway from himself here.

Though the school and Hardaway insist they’ve been transparent about this $11,500 throughout the NCAA eligibility process, this sort of payment needed to be vetted the moment Hardaway was hired. Hardaway needed to disclose this immediately because, no matter how funky the NCAA’s application of its rule book is in this case, giving $11,500 to the mother of the top recruit in the country can’t just be overlooked until after the recruiting process is complete.

Memphis, Wiseman have 1 more game, then it’s back to court

  Memphis, Wiseman have 1 more game, then it’s back to court James Wiseman has one more game before heading back to court with his attorneys as they take on the NCAA in a high-stakes battle to keep the 7-foot-1 freshman playing in what could be his only year with the Memphis Tigers, one that could prove costly for the university. The nation’s top-rated recruit has been ruled likely ineligible by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits from Penny Hardaway — before the former NBA All-Star was hired as Memphis’ coach. But Wiseman has played two games under a temporary restraining order issued after his attorneys sued college sports’ governing body.Wiseman has not said much, and after an 84-72 loss to No.

This needed to be run through the school’s compliance department to determine if Hardaway should even be allowed to recruit Wiseman.

It seems none of that happened. Memphis was too excited about the possibilities under Hardaway, too excited about the possibility of snagging the No. 1 recruit in the country and too excited about putting butts back in the seats at FedExForum.

And let’s be clear: It should have been.

But it also should have been more careful, back then and over the past two weeks. So a year after Memphis celebrated the arrival of a unicorn, it’s going back to war over him.

The early returns suggest Memphis isn’t going to win.

You can reach Commercial Appeal columnist Mark Giannotto via email at mgiannotto@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter: @mgiannotto

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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis basketball, Penny Hardaway pay price for challenging NCAA in James Wiseman case | Giannotto

James Wiseman didn't play, but he loomed large in Memphis basketball win over Alcorn State | Giannotto .
The James Wiseman-less Memphis Tigers blew out Alcorn State Saturday, but his absence on the court loomed over everythingSeated in one of the courtside seats lining the sideline at FedExForum Saturday afternoon watching his teammates warm up without him, young fans asked for photos and adults offered encouraging words. Then one man walked up wearing a Tiger blue “Free Wiseman” T-shirt.

usr: 1
This is interesting!