Potential No. 1 pick James Wiseman ruled ineligible by NCAA

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Memphis freshman big man James Wiseman played in the Tigers' game vs. Illinois-Chicago on Friday despite being ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

The NCAA suspended him for Penny Hardaway helping Wiseman and his family to move to Memphis.

A statement from the U of M said Hardaway provided $11,500 to Wiseman's family in 2017 while he was in high school to help the family move from Nashville to Memphis, but Wiseman was not aware of the payment.

Hardaway's financial involvement with Wiseman occurred before he was ever Memphis head coach, though he is a Memphis alum and has made a significant donation to Memphis in the past, which could be why the NCAA ruled him a booster.

While playing Wiseman while his eligibility status is unclear, Hardway faces potential sanctions from the NCAA. However he scored 28 elements and skilled 11 rebounds Tuesday night time time in a 97-64 win over South Carolina Level out.

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Wiseman was one of the top rated recruits out of high school and the consensus among sports analysts is that he will be a top pick in the 2020 National Basketball Association draft.

Memphis issued a statement about the NCAA's ruling. The Tigers were ranked No. 15 in preseason, largely because of Wiseman's presence.

Wiseman dedicated to Memphis and Hardaway all over again in November 2018, the best player in what wound up the nation's No. 1 recruiting class for Hardaway. "We will acknowledge and accept responsibility for proven violations of NCAA bylaws". If Wiseman can not regain his eligibility, he'll likely look for overseas options, which would allow him to keep his draft stock high.

Memphis said in its statement that Hardaway provided $11,500 in "moving expenses" to Wiseman's family without Wiseman's knowledge. An excerpt from a U of M press release summarizes the case against Wiseman: Initially, after a joint standard eligibility review by the University and the NCAA, as is common for all high-profile incoming student-athletes, James was declared eligible by the NCAA in May 2019.

"It is clear to me in my short time here that Memphians will stand up and fight, both for every single other and for what is suitable, and I am happy to stand with them", Veatch said.

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