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Memphis, Penny Hardaway avoid serious penalties in NCAA’s James Wiseman probe

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The Memphis men’s basketball program and its coach Penny Hardaway escaped serious penalties in an NCAA investigation into the hiring and eligibility of James Wiseman.

In a report released Tuesday, the NCAA’s Independent Dispute Resolution Panel (IRP) hit Memphis three years probation and a $5,000 fine for multiple NCAA Level II and Level III violations. Heavier penalties could include a post-season ban from the program or Hardaway’s suspension.

“The University of Memphis failed to monitor the education and performance of athletes in its men’s basketball program, provided improper fringe benefits, conducted improper recruiting activities, and failed to cooperate with the investigative process,” read the report.

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The 18-month investigation focused primarily on James Wiseman, who was the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. He attended Memphis from 2019 to 2020 but was connected to the school a few years earlier through Hardaway. In 2017, Hardaway gave the Wiseman family $11,500 to help them move from Nashville to Memphis. While not Memphis’ head coach at the time, Hardaway was a supporter closely associated with the program.

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In 2019, the NCAA suspended Wiseman from 12 games for recruiting violations, which he appealed. The NCAA denied his appeal and ordered the Wiseman family to return $11,500 as a charitable donation. At this point, Wiseman retired from Memphis and focused on preparing for the draft.

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The IAP determined that the money Hardaway gave to the Wiseman family was not a recruitment violation, but part of a scheme in which Memphis did not communicate with its supporters (such as Hardaway) and educate them on proper NCAA behavior and accountability. The IAP also ruled that Memphis must void any wins involving Wiseman, who played just three one-win games before his NCAA suspension.

Memphis’ probation will end on September 26, 2025.

CINCINNATI, OH - FEB 15: Head coach
Memphis men’s basketball player and head coach Penny Hardaway escaped serious penalties in an NCAA investigation into the hiring and eligibility of James Wiseman. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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