Potential Top Pick Wiseman Ruled Ineligible By NCAA

7:49pm: Memphis took a risk playing Wiseman, as the NCAA issued a statement saying that Wiseman “is likely ineligible.”

6:18pm: The school has issued a statement, saying it is working with the NCAA to try to restore Wiseman’s eligibility, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Hardaway provided Wiseman’s family $11.5K in moving expenses in 2017 without James Wiseman’s knowledge, according to the statement.

5:38pm: Wiseman will play for Memphis Friday against UIC due to an “emergency temporary restraining order,” Evan Daniels of 247 Sports tweets.

4:57pm: Memphis big man James Wiseman, the potential No. 1 overall pick in next June’s draft, has been ruled ineligible to play for the Tigers by the NCAA, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

The NCAA deemed that Memphis head coach and former NBA star Penny Hardaway, who signed Wiseman as part of the No. 1 rated recruiting class, helped to pay Wiseman and his family to move to the city last year while he was still in high school, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets. Memphis-based attorney Leslie Ballin told reporters than Hardaway’s actions made him a booster in the NCAA’s eyes, college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman tweets.

The 7’1” Wiseman had a dominant college debut on Tuesday, as he racked up 28 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks against South Carolina State in just 22 minutes.

How this will affect Wiseman’s draft stock remains to be seen. He could have solidified his status as the best player in the draft but will now be forced to the sidelines. NBA teams wanted to see more regarding his feel for the game, his motor and his jump shot, so the NCAA’s ruling will make it tougher for scouts and executives to evaluate him, O’Connor adds in another tweet.

Wiseman averaged 25.8 points and 14.8 rebounds at Memphis East High School. He was named the 2018-19 Gatorade National Player of the Year and was initially expected to sign with Kentucky. But he shifted gears when Memphis hired Hardaway, who was his former AAU coach.

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28 thoughts on “Potential Top Pick Wiseman Ruled Ineligible By NCAA

    • Jason Lancaster

      Ya, because he’s the only guy in college sports kicking cash to a player’s family.

      The only thing Hardaway did was get caught.

  1. realistnotsucker

    Confused who is this restraining order against, and how does it allow him to play if he’s ineligible by the ncaa

  2. joparx

    The NCAA hurting a college student athletes career, what a shock, these kids make old men millions of dollars, what a pathetic organization exploiting kids

  3. ChiSoxCity

    Most of these elite prep players should be going to europe to prepare for the NBA. They don’t belong in college if they’re not there for a degree.

      • ChiSoxCity

        I know they can earn a reasonable salary while developing their game overseas, which is all they care about anyway.

    • amk3510

      They shouldn’t have to go to college if they are good enough, thats on the bad NBA rules not the kids. What 18 year old wants to move to another country? Not many.

      • ChiSoxCity

        18 year olds aren’t physically or mentally prepared for the NBA. They need to develop and hone their skills against “grown men”, which is why europe is the best option. The NBA needs to create a true minor league system where 18 year olds could earn a reasonable income
        ($125K rookie contract). That would take most of the corruption out of NCAA basketball and give these kids a chance to earn a living playing full time.

        • hiflew

          You think they aren’t physically and mentally prepared for the NBA, but they are physically and mentally prepared for moving halfway around the world and not being the “star” for the first time in their lives? Most European teams are not going to give these guys enough minutes for them to really improve anything.

          • ChiSoxCity

            Not true. There are hundreds of Americans playing ball in pro leagues overseas.

            There’s no bigger stage than the NBA. Most of these kids simply aren’t ready for it, which is why they play college ball for a year or two after high school. Even then, they struggle in the NBA.

            The point is, most corruption in the NCAA derives from guys taking money from coaches, staff, or alumni to play for their program. Players need money to support themselves and their families. Also, they typically don’t stick around, since their main ambition is an NBA contract.

            I’m merely suggesting that playing overseas, or in a true developmental league set up by the NBA here in the states, are better options to playing for a university.

        • amk3510

          Nonsense. Pretty much every year there’s a group of 1 and dones who come out and immediately do well in the NBA. So either way your argument is wrong. That says college does do something to develop them for 1 year so its not useless or the kids were already good enough to be in the league. Were not talking about later picks who spent years in college. The top tier HS kids can absolutely go straight to the NBA and be respectable.

          • ChiSoxCity

            amk3510, you realize how many players we’re talking about? One or two, maybe three in a good year. The vast majority of them either aren’t strong enough, disciplined enough, or mature enough to handle the rigors of playing in the NBA productively. Many of them are out of the league after a year or two, and end up in europe, Turkey or China anyway. Plenty of cautionary tales, do some research. The NBA really needs to evaluate it’s system for player development. They have the money to create a minor league similar in structure to the NHL. They won’t do it because…?

      • dynasty in boston

        Your patriotism is showing. Kids in US Armed forces do it ALL THE TIME. And you’re welcome.

  4. IslandFlava

    Penny didn’t do no wrong on my book. Let’s see he gave a family which he is friends with $11.5K but… that was in 2017, I might be wrong but I believe he wasn’t the coach by then. Anyway all of this is academical, no pun intended, as NCAA rules are ridiculous, can’t wait for when kids can skip that dumpster & go to the NBA at the end of high school.

  5. Lary Lapczynski

    Time for the NCAA to go away… or just get out of basketball and football

    • ChiSoxCity

      Or, time for academic institutions to stop exploiting these kids.

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