MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The nation's number one recruit, James Wiseman, is benched for a total of 12 games and must pay $11,500 to a charity of his choice, after the NCAA ruled him ineligible to play for the University of Memphis.
"It was a very formulaic, in my opinion, a very formulaic length of the suspension and I think that it is a significant enough of a suspension that it will not encourage other schools to take the same approach that Memphis did, which is a clear goal for the NCAA,” said radio co-host Jeffrey Wright.
Wright says this didn't come as a surprise. He's familiar with the NCAA's penalty matrix. In the meantime, talk about the future of the program is circulating.
A Sports Illustrated article by college basketball writer Pat Forde alluded to a major infractions case targeting Memphis is likely.
“The fact that Memphis played James Wiseman with the language and with the understanding the NCAA had clearly set forth that he is likely ineligible. They're going to view that as mitigated circumstances. That it was a reckless decision by the University of Memphis,” said Wright.
The university will appeal the NCAA's decision and wrote in a statement that reads in part, "We expect a more fair and equitable resolution, and we will exhaust all avenues on James' behalf."
Wednesday night, Tigers Head Coach Penny Hardaway also responded to the ruling.
"I stated from the beginning that I didn't think it was fair, but there's nothing that I can do about it,” said Hardaway.
Wright says typically there are payment plans offered in these cases. He's confident Wiseman will be able to pay back that money in a few years.
An NCAA spokesperson told WMC, donation details will need to be worked out by the student, the school and NCAA. Typically, the donation must come from the student or his or her family. Not through fundraising.