Memphis' James Wiseman Suspended 12 Games, Has to Donate $11.5K to Charity

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2019

Memphis center James Wiseman runs off the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

Memphis center James Wiseman will be suspended a total of 12 games before becoming eligible to play on Jan. 12, the NCAA announced Wednesday. 

The freshman is also required to donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice, based on the amount that his mother received from current Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway in 2017.

Wiseman already sat out Saturday's game against Alcorn State, which means he'll miss 11 mostly nonconference games before returning for the bulk of the American Athletic Conference season. He should make his return against South Florida on Jan. 12.

Wiseman tweeted his thoughts after the ruling: 

The discipline stems from before Hardaway was a coach at Memphis when he gave Wiseman's mother, Donzaleigh Artis, money for relocation and living expenses, per Jason Munz of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Hardaway was hired by the Tigers in 2018, but the past benefits were deemed impermissible because he was considered a Memphis booster after donating to the school on multiple occasions, including $1 million for the construction of a Hall of Fame.

In May, the NCAA ruled Wiseman eligible, and the school initially decided he would play despite the reversal of the decision. However, Wiseman will now serve a suspension for a significant part of what will likely be his only collegiate season.

The freshman was the No. 1 prospect in his recruiting class, per 247Sports. In three appearances this year, he is averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.

While the Tigers will miss Wiseman for the next 11 games, they have several other high-upside freshmen on the roster between Lester Quinones, Precious Achiuwa and Boogie Ellis. When Wiseman returns, this squad could be dangerous both in the AAC and during a potential NCAA tournament run.

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