Penny Hardaway, Memphis Face $5K Fine, Probation over James Wiseman Recruitment

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 27, 2022

FORT WORTH, TX - MARCH 13: Head coach Penny Hardaway of the Memphis Tigers looks on Memphis plays the Houston Cougars in the first half of the American Athletic Conference Mens Basketball Tournament Championship at Dickies Arena on March 13, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. Houston defeated Memphis 71-53. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The University of Memphis men's basketball program has been placed on probation for three years and received a $5,000 fine for Level II and Level III recruiting violations by the NCAA.

Matt Norlander @MattNorlander

News: Here are the penalties levied by the IARP against Memphis in the James Wiseman case. <br><br>Relatively light, on first glance. <a href="https://t.co/aDh77ZKw8H">pic.twitter.com/aDh77ZKw8H</a>

The penalty came after allegations that head coach Penny Hardaway paid former player James Wiseman and his family $11,500 to move to Memphis while he was still in high school, per Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

The Independent Resolution Panel also ruled Memphis must vacate all wins involving Wiseman, which amounted to just three games.

Wiseman, who is now on the Golden State Warriors, was the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2019 class, per 247Sports composite rankings. He averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks across three games before the NCAA suspended him 12 games for recruiting violations.

The $11,500 from Hardaway came in 2017 when he was a coach at East High School in Memphis, but the NCAA considered him a booster for the Tigers since he had donated money to his alma mater. He didn't become the Memphis coach until 2018.

Once Wiseman's appeal was denied, he left school and instead prepared for the NBA draft.

"I wanted to have a great collegiate career," Wiseman told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski in 2020. "I wanted to win a national championship. But throughout the course of the first two games, everything started to go down in terms of my mental [well-being]. I was getting depressed. It was dehumanizing for me."

Wiseman became the No. 2 pick of the 2020 NBA draft, but his professional career has been limited by injuries.