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NCAA Rules Top Prospect James Wiseman Ineligible to Play This Season

James Wiseman NCAA Suspension

The NCAA has ruled Memphis freshman James Wiseman ineligible to play this season, but the consensus top-three NBA draft pick suited up Friday when the Tigers defeated Illinois-Chicago thanks to an emergency temporary restraining order. This comes during a week of many different stories, including Chase Young of Ohio State Football who is a top-three consensus NFL draft pick.

“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,” Memphis said in a statement.

Wiseman was ruled ineligible because Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway gave $11,500 to Wiseman’s family to help them move to Memphis from Nashville before he began coaching at the school, the university said in a statement, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. The NCAA deemed Hardaway, an alumnus of Memphis, to be a booster at the time, according to Wiseman’s attorney, Leslie Ballin.

Hardaway played for the Tigers from 1991-93. Before being named as head coach in 2018, the former NBA All-Star coached Wiseman on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit. Wiseman was a centerpiece of Hardaway’s stellar recruiting class this year, which also included Precious Achiuwa and DJ Jeffries.

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