By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Memphis Tigers are without their best player. And will be without him for the foreseeable future.
James Wiseman — who is projected to be the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — has been declared ineligible once again. This time; however, he will be held out of games until there is a resolution with the NCAA.
Wiseman has withdrawn his lawsuit against Memphis and the NCAA, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
“It has become clear to Mr. Wiseman that the lawsuit he filed last week has become an impediment to the University of Memphis in it’s efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution with the NCAA concerning his eligibility status,” the law form of Ballin, Ballin, Fishman, and Farese, Farese, and Farese said in a statement. “Therefore, Mr. Wiseman advised his legal team that he wished to withdraw his lawsuit. There will be no further comment at this time.”
This saga began on Friday, Nov. 8 right before the Tigers home contest. Wiseman was ruled ineligible by the NCAA after they announced that Penny Hardaway — who is the Tigers head coach — paid money for Wiseman’s family to move to the Memphis, Tennessee area.
A short-time later, the Tigers announced that Wiseman would play in Friday’s contest after a temporary restraining order by a local judge allowed him to play. Memphis won 92-46 over the Illinois-Chicago Ramblers in that game.
Then, Wiseman played again on Tuesday in an 82-74 loss to the Oregon Ducks in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon.
The NCAA may ask for the Tigers to vacate the win against the Ramblers, as Wiseman was an ineligible player in the game. The governing body — which many people consider a dictatorship — may also rule Wiseman ineligible for the rest of the season — which would end their championship hopes.
“The University supports the decision, as it believes it is in James’ and the men’s basketball team’s best interest to resolve his eligibility issue expeditiously through the NCAA process,” Memphis said in a statement. “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.”