Memphis' James Wiseman Receives 12-Game Suspension

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Memphis forward James Wiseman has been suspended a total of 12 games but will be eligible to return this season on Jan. 12, the NCAA announced on Wednesday. 

Wiseman, who sat out last Saturday's win over Alcorn State as part of his suspension, played in three games this season while ineligible. He must sit an 11 additional games based on "recruiting inducements his family received" before he enrolled at Memphis. The NCAA also says he must donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice. The $11,500 is the same amount of money the NCAA discovered Tigers coach Penny Hardaway paid his mother in moving expenses to help the family relocate from Nashville to Memphis in 2017. Wiseman was still in high school at the time.

Memphis announced, however, that it will appeal the suspension. 

""We expect a more fair and equitable resolution, and we will exhaust all avenues on James’ behalf," the school said in a statement. "James will not compete in this evening’s contest."

"God has never left me nor forsake me throughout this process," Wiseman tweeted following the NCAA's announcement. "Trust God, Keep the Faith, Stay the Course."

The university declared Wiseman ineligible last week while petitioning the NCAA to have him reinstated. On Nov. 8, the NCAA ruled him ineligible hours before the Tigers' game against Illinois-Chicago, but a Tennessee judge put the ruling on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by Wiseman against the NCAA. He finished the game with 17 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in the 92–46 victory.

Wiseman then played in Memphis' loss to 82-74 loss Oregon on Nov. 12, before sitting out the Tigers' win on Saturday over Alcorn State.

Wiseman, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, withdrew his lawsuit because it became "an impediment" to Memphis' efforts to reach a resolution with the NCAA on his eligibility status, his lawyers said.

Hardaway was an assistant coach at East High School in Memphis at the time he made the payment to Wiseman's mother. The NCAA determined he was a University of Memphis booster because he donated $1 million to the school in 2008 to help establish the school's Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame.

Wiseman will be eligible to return when the Tigers play South Florida on Jan 12. Tipoff for that game will be at 3 p.m.