Potential No. 1 NBA Draft Pick James Wiseman Officially Ruled Ineligible By NCAA


The potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft is ineligible until further notice.

Memphis freshman James Wiseman has withdrawn his lawsuit against the NCAA and will remain ineligible to play while the school applies for his reinstatement.

Wiseman was initially ruled ineligible by the NCAA last Friday after it investigated a payment he received from Memphis coach Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway that paid for moving expenses in 2017.

Wiseman was still able to play on Friday after a judge ordered a restraining order and a lawsuit was subsequently filed against the NCAA.

On Thursday, Wiseman’s lawyers released a statement explaining why they decided to drop the suit.

“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,” it read, per ESPN. “Therefore, Mr. Wiseman advised his legal team that he wished to withdraw his lawsuit. There will be no further comment at this time."

Memphis acknowledged last week that Hardaway paid $11,500 to Wiseman before he was hired as head coach. Hardaway, a Memphis alum, was still considered a booster due to his $1 million donation to the school in 2008. He was also Wiseman’s AAU and high school basketball coach.

The school released a statement on Thursday, too.

"In order to move the matter forward, the University has declared James ineligible and will immediately apply for his reinstatement," the university's statement said. "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 was the top recruit in the 2019 class, choosing Memphis over Kentucky. He is likely to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

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