MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The NCAA looks to put a bow on its investigation of Top Recruit James Wiseman’s time with the Tigers.
Wednesday, the NCAA announced the U of M's request to have the infraction case resolved through its newly formed Independent Accountability Resolution Process, or IARP.
The Wiseman case is the first one it will hear.
The NCAA upended what could have been a stellar Tiger season when it suspended the nation’s number one recruit for 12 games for an $11,500 payment then East High Head Coach Penny Hardaway made to Wiseman’s family to move them from Nashville to Memphis as a high school junior.
The NCAA ruled Hardaway a U of M booster for a $1 million donation he made to the school 10 years prior, making the moving money paid to the Wiseman family an unacceptable extra benefit.
Losing a future lottery pick is one thing, losing future recruits is another.
The University issued a statement saying it will not comment on the Wiseman case until it’s resolved.
For his part, Hardaway says schools who compete against Memphis for top talent will use this as negative recruiting.
“It’s life to us. We keep things into perspective and it’s just life. I think it does take a toll on you because it’s just something else to deal with, but you just have to keep pushing. It’s just life," said Hardaway. “That’s how you look at it. We’re just playing basketball, man. Win basketball games, make the NCAA tournament. That’s enough motivation. Life happens, and we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and trying to get better every day.”
There is no word on how long the IARP will take to deliberate the Tigers case, or what extra punishment the U of M might receive.
The NCAA says once a final decision is made it can not be appealed.