MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – UPDATED: A settlement could be near between the NCAA and the University of Memphis, after freshman basketball star James Wiseman withdrew his lawsuit Thursday challenging in his eligibility status.
Last week, Wiseman filed the lawsuit, after the NCAA said he was likely ineligible because of moving expenses given to Wiseman’s mother by Penny Hardaway in 2017, before Hardaway was U of M’s head coach.
A college basketball insider told Local 24 News Thursday afternoon that settlement could involve Wiseman suspended several games and vacating the team’s two wins so far this season.
For now, the University of Memphis declared Wiseman ineligible, meaning he can practice, but can’t play in games, beginning Saturday at home against Alcorn State.
Wiseman’s legal team said Thursday: “It has become clear to Mr. Wiseman the lawsuit was an impediment to the University of Memphis in its efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution.”
“It appears some settlement is nearby,” University of Memphis supporter Bob Byrd said.
Last week, the NCAA said Wiseman was ‘likely ineligible’ for what it believed was impermissible benefits.
The basketball player sued the NCAA – and Wiseman played in three games after a Shelby County judge agreed to a temporary restraining order.
Now, Wiseman’s lawsuit is withdrawn, and the University of Memphis declared him ineligible pending his reinstatement by the NCAA.
“What that should do theoretically is remove future risk,” ESPN 92.9 host Gary Parrish said.
Parrish believes a framework is being ironed out, where Wiseman is punished – but that punishment is suitable for both the NCAA and the University of Memphis.
“A four or five game suspension or something in that range, plus vacating the first two wins of this season seems like the most likely,” Parrish said.
Parrish said the sooner a settlement can happen, the better for all parties.
“Everybody wins a little, everybody gives up a little, but it’s over,” Parrish said. “That’s best for James Wiseman, it’s best for the NCAA and most importantly, and it’s undeniably best for the University of Memphis.”
Now that James Wiseman withdrew his lawsuit, a planned hearing this Monday in Shelby County Chancery Court is now canceled.
A statement sent from the University of Memphis to Local 24 News:
University of Memphis student-athlete James Wiseman has decided to withdraw his lawsuit against the NCAA and the University. The University supports the decision, as it believes it is in James’ and the men’s basketball team’s best interests to resolve his eligibility issue expeditiously through the NCAA process.
In order to move the matter forward, the University has declared James ineligible for competition and will immediately apply for his reinstatement. Pending that notification, James will be withheld from competition but will continue to practice with the team.
The NCAA is fully aware of the unique nature and challenges in this particular case, and the University is confident that the NCAA will render a fair and equitable decision consistent with its mission.– University of Memphis
Wiseman’s legal team said in a statement to Local 24 News:
It has become clear to Mr. Wiseman that the lawsuit he filed last week has become an impediment to the University of Memphis in its efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution with the NCAA concerning his eligibility status. Therefore, Mr. Wiseman advised his legal team that he wished to withdraw his lawsuit. There will be no further comment at this time.– Ballin, Ballin & Fishman and Farese, Farese & Farese