NCAA Investigation Of Golden State’s James Wiseman Leads To Probation And Fine For Memphis, But Penny Hardaway Escapes Penalty

Syndication: The Commercial Appeal
Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After finishing an 18-month investigation into Memphis’ recruitment methods and the eligibility status of current Golden State Warrior James Wiseman, the Memphis men’s basketball team and its head coach Penny Hardaway have officially escaped major discipline from the NCAA. Reports say that Memphis violated multiple Level II and Level III rules, which resulted in the NCAA’s Independent Resolution Panel imposing a three-year probation along with a $5,000 fine. Hardaway was not suspended.

“The University of Memphis failed to monitor the education and activities of an athletics booster in its men’s basketball program, provided impermissible extra benefits, conducted impermissible recruiting activities, and failed to cooperate with investigative process,” the report said.

Wiseman was reportedly the primary focus of the NCAA’s investigation. The former Memphis player went no.2 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. In his first year, Wiseman averaged 11.5 ppg, 51.9% field goal percentage and a 31.6% three-point percentage. Wiseman did not get to enjoy his sophomore year in the NBA due to requiring knee surgery to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee. Though Wiseman officially attended the University of Memphis in 2019-20, he had ties to the university several years earlier due to coach Hardaway. Hardaway allegedly gave Wiseman’s family $11,500 in order to assist in moving them from Nashville all the way to Memphis. At the time Hardaway was not a coach but rather a booster for the school.

The NCAA issued a 12-game suspension to Wiseman as a result of recruitment violations. Wiseman elected to appeal the decision, but the NCAA not only denied his request but also ordered his family to pay back the money Wiseman gave them as a donation to charity. The player left Memphis shortly after, focusing his attention and efforts towards preparing for the 2020 NBA Draft. Any Memphis wins that Wiseman was a part of were required by the IAP to be forfeited. The university’s probation period is set to end September 26, 2025.

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