Just when we think the NCAA can’t possibly one-up itself with suspensions and punishments, it drops a bombshell regarding Memphis big man, and the possible No. 1 overall pick this year, James Wiseman.
This situation started when news broke that Wiseman and his family allegedly accepted $11,500 from Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway to help with moving expenses in the summer of 2017 to move from Nashville to Memphis. It’s worth noting that Hardaway wasn’t the head coach at Memphis at the time of the alleged 2017 ‘loan.’
The NCAA initially ruled Wiseman ineligible, but the Tigers elected to play him on that same night after a Shelby County judge issued a restraining order allowing him to play. Fast-forward a bit in the timeline to last week and the NCAA officially ruled him ineligible and Wiseman and his attorneys elected to drop the lawsuit they had filed.
On Wednesday evening the NCAA officially released a statement declaring that Wiseman will be cleared to compete on January 12 after he will sit out a total of 12 games. Him being suspended isn’t the only thing the NCAA laid out in its statement, he’ll also have to donate $11,500 to the charity of his choice.
That’s correct, after Wiseman and his family allegedly took $11,500 in order to move almost three years ago, the NCAA has decided that the best way to punish both Wiseman, his family and the university is for him to somehow come up with $11,500 and make him donate it to charity.
As for where this decision came from, the NCAA wrote one sentence about that stating ‘the decision is based on guidelines created and approved by NCAA members.’
This makes absolutely no sense. Call it what you want, but the NCAA just fined a college athlete who doesn’t make any money playing basketball, this isn’t the NBA.
It’s so unbelievably unclear at this point that absolutely nobody understands where the hell Wiseman is supposed to come up with this sort of cash. Can he take out a legitimate loan, or will this backfire like it did on Ohio State’s Chase Young? Can he ask Hardaway for money and then pay him back when he makes millions at the NBA Draft in less than a year?
Mike Golic had an excellent point, which I agree with, about where Wiseman may end up getting the money claiming that the NCAA absolutely will not care, nor will it ask a single question as to where it came from.
It’s also unclear as to when he has to make the donation. Whether or not he must make the donation before suiting up for the Tigers again or he can pay it off before he declares for the NBA Draft, nobody knows, I’m not even sure the NCAA knows seeing as how it makes up its own rules pretty much every week.
Again, it’s worth reiterating that the NCAA just fined a student-athlete that doesn’t get paid to play basketball while bringing in millions of dollars for the organization. Wiseman doesn’t have the option to go get a job, and even if he did, $11,500 isn’t some small chunk of change. This is a moronic, non-sensical decision by the corrupt NCAA.
This entire situation is far from over.