The NCAA is under fire again over their eligibility decisions. After taking criticism Friday morning over their handling of an eligibility issue surrounding Ohio State football player Chase Young (which, as per Young, was about a loan from a family friend he already repaid), they were blasted Friday afternoon for ruling Memphis basketball player James Wiseman ineligible. As per Jason Munz and Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, this is about current Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway paying for Wiseman’s family to move to Memphis back in 2017, when Hardaway was a Memphis high school basketball coach.
The NCAA originally cleared Wiseman in May, and he played in the Tigers’ season opener Tuesday. But they’ve since revised their stance, and determined that Hardaway counted as a Memphis booster in 2017 because he played for the Tigers from 1991-93. So they’ve now declared Wiseman ineligible, and he’s now suing the NCAA. Here’s more on that from Munz and Giannotto.
Memphis attorney Leslie Ballin announced Friday the Tigers’ star freshman James Wiseman has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
…Ballin told reporters that Memphis coach Penny Hardaway helped finance Wiseman and his family’s move to Memphis in 2017. Wiseman played for Hardaway at East High in 2017-18. Hardaway, who became the Tigers’ head coach before the 2018-19 season, signed Wiseman in November 2018. The NCAA cleared Wiseman in May.
Wiseman played in the season opener for Memphis on Tuesday, scoring 28 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
Munz and Giannotto add that a Shelby County court judge ruled to put a hold on the NCAA’s ruling, so Wiseman will be able to play for the Tigers Friday night against the University of Illinois-Chicago. And Stadium’s Jeff Goodman confirmed that Wiseman will suit up in that game. But the NCAA was still roasted for this:
Here we go….players declared immediately ineligible. Coaches get due process. https://t.co/JYf4ZgdaiL
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) November 8, 2019
Chase Young missing games for paying back a personal loan.
James Wiseman ineligible because his parents got $ to move.
Easy to think of the NCAA as hypocritically corrupt but maybe they're just morons.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 8, 2019
james wiseman is one of the most interesting figures in this college basketball season. only the ncaa would look for a reason to take a guy like that off television. https://t.co/Ddyhg855Sb
— bomani (@bomani_jones) November 8, 2019
This doesn’t seem like the wisest hill for the NCAA to die on, but they’re not really known for their smart decisions these days. We’ll see what happens with Wiseman’s eligibility going forward.