NCAA

Potential lottery pick James Wiseman ruled ineligible by NCAA, but will play

james_wiseman_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Potential lottery pick James Wiseman ruled ineligible by NCAA, but will play

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The feel-good season for No. 14 Memphis plunged into uncertainty Friday after the school said second-year coach and former NBA star Penny Hardaway gave more than $11,000 to the family of top prospect James Wiseman, who got a court order allowing him to play while the university tries to restore his eligibility in the eyes of the NCAA.

Memphis issued an extraordinary statement less than an hour before the Tigers played Illinois-Chicago at home, saying Wiseman was going to be kept out of games based on interpretation of a rule by the NCAA until the temporary restraining order obtained by Wiseman's attorney Leslie Ballin late Friday afternoon.

"The University is currently working with the NCAA staff to restore his playing status, and we are hopeful for a speedy resolution to the matter," the statement said.

The 7-foot-1 Wiseman was on the court Friday night for the national anthem and introduced with the starting lineup. Wiseman had three points and four blocks as Memphis jumped to a 30-13 lead.

"Particularly given the unique circumstances in this case, we are hopeful for a fair and equitable resolution on James' eligibility," Memphis President M. David Rudd said in the statement. "We support James' right to challenge the NCAA ruling on this matter."

Rudd says Memphis will accept responsibility for proven violations of NCAA bylaws but also "firmly supports James, Coach Hardaway and our men's basketball program" in this case.

The NCAA declined to comment.

Memphis said Wiseman -- the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft next June -- was declared eligible by the NCAA in May but further details and investigation by the university and the NCAA found Hardaway gave $11,500 in moving expenses to help Wiseman's family move from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017.

The university said Wiseman didn't know about the money given to his family.

At the time, Hardaway was the coach of East High School. Wiseman was a standout junior, helping Hardaway win his third straight Tennessee Class AAA title before being hired by Memphis as head coach at his alma mater in March 2018.

Wiseman committed to Memphis and Hardaway again in November 2018, the top player in what wound up the nation's No. 1 recruiting class for Hardaway.

The freshman did not play in either of Memphis' exhibition games with a right ankle injury. But he scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds Tuesday night in a 97-64 win over South Carolina State.

New athletic director Laird Veatch says Memphis will cooperate and be respectful and professional dealing with the NCAA while "availing ourselves of every resource" in the best interests of their student-athletes, coach and university.

"It is clear to me in my short time here that Memphians will stand up and fight, both for each other and for what is right, and I am proud to stand with them," Veatch said.

Memphis had its 2007-08 season vacated by the NCAA, which included a national runner-up finish and a school-record 38 wins, when Derrick Rose was declared academically ineligible.

MORE NCAA NEWS:

Daryl Dike's incredible goals leads UVA to the national championship game

usatsi_13789473.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Daryl Dike's incredible goals leads UVA to the national championship game

It's never too late for a beautiful strike.

In the national semifinals between Virginia and Wake Forest, Hoos' leading scorer Daryl Dike, scored a goal for the ages. 

Dike tracked this ball perfectly and buried it past Andrew Pannenberg on his first touch.

Dike wasn't done there, stretching the lead to 2-0 with this beauty of a header:

Next up for UVA is the national championship title game Sunday, December 15th at 6 p.m., where they'll face off with Georgetown in Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Two more Georgetown players transfer out of program as Hoyas remain in turmoil

patrick_ewing_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Two more Georgetown players transfer out of program as Hoyas remain in turmoil

Freshman Myron Gardner and junior Galen Alexander are the latest players transferring away from Georgetown. 

Gardner and Alexander are the two other Hoyas, along with former Georgetown player Josh LeBlanc, who received restraining orders from a Georgetown student back in September. The restraining orders stemmed from an incident involving sexual assault, harassment and a subsequent burglary.

Alexander, who also played at Jones County Junior College and LSU, announced his decision on Twiter. In the announcement, he criticized the university for their handling of the incident and lack of support. He also professed his innocence of the allegations he is facing. 

"I have been publically shamed, threatened, and criminalized. I have been falsely accused and targeted by the media and my peers of crimes I did not commit. My character has been defamed and that needs to be cleared up more anything else. Very soon it will come to light that I am innocent and had nothing to do with the false allegations," Alexander wrote.

"In light of the situation, the University has allowed me to become a target and subjected to unfair treatment, with little or no support."

Playing in all nine games this season, Alexander averaged 4.2 points and 2.7 rebounds a game in just over 12 minutes a contest. This included considerable playing time in their wins over Oklahoma State and SMU after the allegations were made public. 

This is not the first time controversy has followed Alexander. While at LSU he only played in 9 games before being dismissed by coach Will Wade for disciplinary reasons.

Gardner told the Washington Post of his decision just hours before Alexander's announcement.  He will enter the transfer portal after scoring 25 points through eight games in his first collegiate season. 

As a result of these transfers, the Hoyas have seen four players leave their program in 11 days. LeBlanc and James Akinjo, who was not a part of the initial incident, announced their intent to transfer back on Dec. 2.

Only nine scholarship players remain on the Georgetown roster with over two-thirds of the season remaining.

Already the team was facing an identity issue for the allegations of their players. While all the players are now removed from the program, it is clear they were upset with how the university handled the situation. Either way, it is a bad look. 

In the aftermath of the complaints, Georgetown lost a high-value transfer from D.C. 

MORE NCAA NEWS: