Report: NCAA to target Memphis with ‘major infractions case’ for playing James Wiseman
The Memphis Tigers took a risk and defied the NCAA by playing James Wiseman even after he had been ruled ineligible, and may pay the price for it.
According to Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated, sources familiar with NCAA enforcement procedures said that Memphis is likely to face a “major infractions case” for playing Wiseman despite repeated warnings from the NCAA about eligibility issues.
This stems from the Tigers openly flouted NCAA rulings relating to Wiseman. The NCAA had notified Memphis before their season opener that Wiseman could have an eligibility problem, but played him anyway. Wiseman was then ruled ineligible on Nov. 8 because his family received money from coach Penny Hardaway to move, but Memphis went to court and obtained a temporary restraining order against that NCAA ruling. Wiseman proceeded to play two more games before ultimately dropping the lawsuit and sitting out.
Wiseman was ultimately suspended until January, but that won’t clear the Tigers of potential wrongdoing. Memphis knew the risks of playing Wiseman, a potential No. 1 draft pick, despite those warnings. If the NCAA’s enforcement process isn’t respected, they’re a significantly weaker organization, so this is something they will not take lightly.