James Wiseman was officially suspended 12 games by the NCAA after being ruled ineligible a couple weeks back. He has already sat out two games, meaning he will have to sit out another 10 games before being eligible to play again. That day will be January 12th against the University of South Florida. Memphis declared that it will appeal the NCAA’s decision to suspend Wiseman based on “case precedent.”
The punishment stems from the known fact that Wiseman’s mother accepted $11,500 from Tim Hardaway, his future Tiger’s coach, in the summer of 2017 and that Wiseman played 3 games this year after being ruled ineligible.
Memphis went 2-1 in those games. After #16 ranked Memphis defeated Arkansas Little Rock Wednesday night 68-58, Hardaway commented about Wiseman and the suspension, “I don’t really know what else to say about it. 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 make the rules, so we just have to abide by them.”
In addition to the suspension, the NCAA ruled that Wiseman must donate the $11,500 to a charity of his choice, which must be done before the last regular season date of competition – a rather strange ruling to force an 18 year old to pay $11,500 that his mother accepted when he was a minor.
The good news for Memphis is that despite being without Wiseman until conference play heats up in 2020, they will have the NBA’s #1 overall prospect back at some point this season to make a run at a national title.