James Wiseman Declared Ineligible by Memphis, Awaits NCAA Reinstatement

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2019

Memphis center James Wiseman watches from the bench after picking up a foul against Oregon during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

Memphis Tigers star freshman James Wiseman has been declared ineligible by the university and will be withheld from playing while the school applies for reinstatement from the NCAA.

Memphis noted he will continue to practice while he awaits a ruling.

Wiseman has withdrawn his lawsuit against the NCAA, his attorneys confirmed to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

They also released a statement on the situation:

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports reported that "the NCAA, Memphis and Wiseman's family came to the realization that it's in everybody's best interests to reach an agreement rather than continue a high-profile and contentious legal battle that was risky, on some level, for each party."

In 2017, current Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway gave Wiseman's family $11,500 to help with the costs of moving from Nashville to Memphis. Hardaway was not yet coaching Memphis, and the NCAA considered him a Memphis booster, therefore making it an infraction.

Wiseman, who played in the team's season opener before the NCAA's decision to rule him ineligible, obtained a temporary restraining order that allowed him to play in the following two games. He's been excellent, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 76.9 percent from the field.

Memphis has started the season 2-1.

Wiseman was 247Sports' No. 1 recruit in the class of 2019 and is widely considered a top-five prospect—and a candidate to be taken first overall—in the 2020 NBA draft. While NBA teams would surely like to get as much tape on him as possible, it's unlikely his draft stock would take a major hit if he were ruled ineligible for the entire season.

However, the Tigers' title hopes this season rest on whether Wiseman can play for them.

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