James Wiseman must sit out 12 games this season, NCAA says

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The NCAA ruled that Memphis Tigers basketball player James Wiseman must sit a significant portion of the current season due to benefits he received.

Wiseman must sit 11 more games this season, for a total of 12 games, the NCAA said in a release Wednesday. The freshman will be cleared to play Jan. 12 against South Florida.

The NCAA said this ruling is based on recruiting inducements his family received before he enrolled at the University of Memphis and for competing in three games this season while he was ineligible.

As part of the NCAA ruling, Wiseman must also donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice.

The University of Memphis said in the below statement that it would appeal the decision immediately.

"Late this afternoon, the NCAA informed the University of Memphis that men’s basketball student-athlete James Wiseman must be withheld from 12 games of competition, stemming from a NCAA violation several years ago. James must sit nine games for the infraction and three additional games for those in which he has already competed this season. In addition, James must pay $11,500 to a charity of his choice.

Based on case precedent, the circumstances of this case and other mitigating factors, the University will immediately appeal this decision. We expect a more fair and equitable resolution, and we will exhaust all avenues on James’ behalf. James will not compete in this evening’s contest."

WREG previously reported that Tigers' head coach Penny Hardaway gave $11,500 to Wiseman's family to move from Nashville to Memphis while Wiseman was in high school.

The NCAA said this donation was not allowed because Hardaway, who donated $1 million to the school for its sports hall of fame a decade prior, was considered a booster by NCAA rules due to his donation.

The NCAA said Wiseman was likely ineligible on Nov. 8, prompting the basketball star's attorney to file a restraining order, allowing Wiseman to play in three games with the Tigers. Wiseman withdrew his lawsuit on Nov. 14 and sat one game. The NCAA said this suspension includes Wiseman's punishment for playing while ineligible.

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