Memphis' James Wiseman to Have Hearing on Nov. 18 Regarding NCAA Eligibility

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 9, 2019

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 5: James Wiseman #32 of the Memphis Tigers dunks the ball against the South Carolina State Bulldogs during a game on November 5, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated South Carolina State 97-64. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Memphis big man and potential No. 1 NBA draft pick James Wiseman will take in part in a hearing to determine his NCAA eligibility, per attorney Randy Fishman to John Martin of The Athletic. 

"The wheels of justice are moving right along," Fishman said.

When asked whether he felt confident about Wiseman being ruled eligible, Fishman told Martin, "We wouldn't have filed the lawsuit if we didn't feel confident."

After Friday's win over Illinois-Chicago, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters Wiseman will continue to play.

On Friday, attorney Leslie Ballin told reporters that Wiseman, who dropped 28 points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut versus South Carolina State on Tuesday, was declared ineligible by the NCAA:

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NCAA claims that Hardaway helped to pay for Wiseman and his family to move to Memphis when Wiseman was still in high school. 

However, Ballin said a Shelby County judge put a hold on the NCAA's ruling pending further litigation, per Mark Giannotto and Jason Munz of the Commercial Appeal. That meant Wiseman was eligible to play Friday at home versus the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The NCAA's ineligibility decision runs counter to their call in May on the same issue, as Wiseman was declared eligible and expected to suit up for the Tigers.

However, the Associated Press reported that "more information and investigation led to information that Hardaway, who was then coach of East High School, gave $11,500 in moving expenses."

Jon Garcia of the Commercial Appeal reported that the help occurred in 2017, when Hardaway was the coach of East High School in Memphis.

According to Garcia, the issue is that the NCAA considered Hardaway a booster, defined by the NCAA as one who "plays a role in providing student-athletes with a positive experience through their enthusiastic efforts."

Per Garcia, "boosters are not permitted to encourage a prospect's participation in a particular university's athletics, or provide benefits to prospects that were not previously provided."

Dana O'Neil of The Athletic provided additional context:

The Wiseman decision brought forth a host of critics on Twitter, including ESPN's Stephen A. Smith and Bomani Jones:

The news also comes after another high-profile college sports star, Ohio State football defensive end Chase Young, will sit against Maryland on Saturday as the NCAA investigates a loan he received from a family friend in 2018, per ESPN's Mark Schlabach.

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