Judge rules Wiseman, Boyce ineligible during season at East High School

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James Wiseman has found himself at the center of another court case, but this time, it’s not against the NCAA, but against the TSSAA in a case that dates back two years.

While Wiseman awaits his Nov. 18 hearing regarding his NCAA eligibility, his separate case at the high school level was decided, with the TSSAA winning its case.

The ruling found both Wiseman and Ryan Boyce were ineligible to play at East High School in 2017, when the school won a state championship.

“Breaks all of our hearts,” an East High student said.

On Oct. 3, Judge Jim Kyle sided with the TSSAA, saying Wiseman and Boyce were in fact ineligible because of a prior relationship with then-East High head coach Penny Hardaway. Both Wiseman and Boyce played summer ball for Hardaway’s AAU team, Team Penny.

But both sides, the school and the TSSAA, declined to issue a statement on the ruling because the school is appealing the decision.

If the ruling stands, East High School could be forced to vacate its 2017-18 state basketball title, which doesn’t sit well with current students and staff at East.

“They earned it,” a student said. “They earned the title. Everybody on the team, the title, they earned it. I don’t think they should do that.”

“It would break our hearts,” another said. “Taking away something that we worked hard for, and as we, I mean the people that played on the court that night, and they had us to support them, so it would break all of our hearts.”

Judge Kyle, the judge who sided with the TSSAA in this 2017 case, is the same judge who issued the temporary restraining order last Friday to allow Wiseman to keep playing for the Tigers. He’ll also be the judge that will hear the eligibility case of Wiseman versus the NCAA on Monday.

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