The Memphis Tigers, coached by Penny Hardaway, have recently become a hotspot for top-tier recruits. They rivaled Kentucky for 7-footer James Wiseman, the top overall recruit and projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Wiseman opted to join Hardaway and the Tigers, but it’s been far from a perfect match as the projected top-five pick has been deemed ineligible.
However, due to the stubbornness of Memphis, they opted to play him to start the season without knowing what ramifications may come from that decision. At the same time, Wiseman had opened a lawsuit with the association.
But that lawsuit that was recently dropped, and Wiseman is now being held out indefinitely until a resolution with the NCAA is reached. Here’s the full release from the Memphis.
“University of Memphis student-athlete James Wiseman has decided to withdraw his lawsuit against the NCAA and the University. The University supports the decision, as it believes it is in James’ and the men’s basketball team’s best interests to resolve his eligibility issue expeditiously through the NCAA process.”
“In order to move the matter forward, the University has declared James ineligible for competition and will immediately apply for his reinstatement. Pending that notification, James will be withheld from competition but will continue to practice with the team.”
“The NCAA is fully aware of the unique nature and challenges in this particular case, and the University is confident that the NCAA will render a fair and equitable decision consistent with its mission.”
Wiseman had been deemed ineligible due to his family taking around $11,500 from Hardaway to cover the cost of his family relocating to Memphis from Nashville to play at East High. Hardaway, at that time, was the coach of East High School prior to taking the position as the head coach of Memphis.
This has been a mess of situation, but it’ll end with the appeal for reinstatement from the university on behalf of Wiseman and the dropping of his lawsuit.
Wiseman’s lawyers released a statement on Thursday morning as well.
”It has become clear to Mr. Wiseman that the lawsuit he filed last week has become an impediment to the University of Memphis in it’s [sic] efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution with the NCAA concerning his eligibility status. Therefore, Mr. Wiseman advised his legal team that he wished to withdraw his lawsuit. There will be no further comment at this time.”
The good news is CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish reports that Wiseman and the NCAA could reach a resolution soon.
A source told CBS Sports that the NCAA, Memphis and Wiseman’s family all came to the realization that it’s in everybody’s best interests to reach an agreement rather than continue a high-profile and contentious legal battle that was risky, on some level, for each party.
Hopefully, Wiseman is able to play again this season.