Memphis men’s basketball given 3 years probation over recruiting, eligibility violations

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:32 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:09 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process found several violations within the University of Memphis basketball program.

The violations stem from the 2019-20 season, and include level II and level III violations.

The violations include the program allowing a student-athlete to compete despite having knowledge that he was ineligible, the investigation shows. The specific athlete was not named, but the violations are in relation to James Wiseman’s time at Memphis.

The punishment comes as a result of the NCAA alleging coach Penny Hardaway paid James Wiseman and his family $11,500 to move to Memphis from Nashville to play for East High School, where Hardaway previously served as head coach.

Memphis also allegedly failed to monitor the education and activities of a men’s basketball booster, which refers to Hardaway, who was considered a booster before becoming head coach because he paid for the Memphis Tigers Sports Hall of Fame building and contributed money to support the school.

The panel also says the school failed to cooperate with the investigation and did not share data and documents with investigators.

These violations all fall under level II.

A series of level III violations also include:

1. Memphis provided impermissible recruiting inducements and publicity when a member of the Memphis men’s basketball staff took photographs of a prospective student-athlete in a Memphis jersey in public view during an official visit. The photographs were given to the prospective student-athlete who posted them to his social media account. Memphis self-reported this violation.

2. A member of the Memphis men’s basketball staff conducted an impermissible activity during an unofficial visit when he photographed a prospective student-athlete in a Memphis jersey while the prospective student-athlete was involved in a game-day simulation.

3. Video of an open gym session involving both incoming men’s basketball student-athletes and uncommitted, prospective student-athletes was posted to a Memphis men’s basketball social media account by a member of the Memphis men’s basketball staff. Memphis self-reported this violation.

4. While recruiting a prospective student-athlete, the Memphis head coach made an impermissible written offer of aid via text to the prospective student-athlete’s father. Memphis self-reported this violation.

5. Six men’s basketball student-athletes were provided an impermissible free meal at a restaurant owned by the former assistant coach No. 1.

In accordance with the violations, the program was fined $5,000 and given three years probation that will end on September 26, 2025.

The program must also vacate all three wins from Wiseman’s tenure, which includes the November 5, 2019, win over South Carolina State.

Head Coach Penny Hardaway responded with this statement:

You can read the full decision on the violations below:

Athletic director Laid Veatch also issued a statement on the ruling:

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