MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Memphis men’s basketballcoach Penny Hardaway spoke out Friday afternoon as U of M awaits a resolutionon the eligibility status of star freshman James Wiseman.
Coach Hardaway sounded off one day after U of M declaredWiseman ineligible, following Wiseman’s move to drop a lawsuit against the NCAA.
While he said there’s no regrets of how he and the schoolhandled the process, Coach Hardaway admitted the turmoil is affecting Wiseman.
“We are just in limbo now,” Coach Hardaway said.
Uncertainty lingers for Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardawayand his program, as it awaits a decision for NCAA when Wiseman – the team’sleading scorer – can return to game action.
“We haven’t heard anything and that’s what we arewaiting on, this has been the biggest problem, we want to know,” Coach Hardawaysaid.
The University of Memphis declared Wiseman ineligibleThursday, meaning he can practice but can’t compete in games until he’sreinstated by the NCAA.
“James is a very brilliant kid, he knows what’s goingon, but still hurts,” Coach Hardaway said.
Last week, the NCAA said Wiseman was ‘likely ineligible’ forimpermissible benefits, tied to more than $11,000 in moving expenses given toWiseman’s mother by Penny Hardaway in 2017, before he was U of M’s basketballcoach. The NCAA said Hardaway’s $1 million donation to the university’sathletic hall of fame in 2008 made him a booster ‘indefinitely’.
“This is difficult on the city, it’s difficult on theschool,” Coach Hardaway said.
Wiseman sued the NCAA, and a Shelby County court rulingallowed him to play in the team’s first three games, before Wiseman withdrewthe lawsuit Thursday.
“Obviously all of this is tough, but we support James,”Coach Hardaway said.
College basketball insiders believe Wiseman’s withdrawal ofthe lawsuit means a settlement is more than likely between U of M and the NCAA,potentially a several game suspension beginning Saturday against Alcorn State.
“He wants to play, all he wants to do is playbasketball,” Coach Hardaway said.
In addition to a potential suspension of several games forWiseman, the Memphis Tigers basketball team could also be forced to vacate itstwo wins in the young season.
Watch the full news conference HERE.