MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s usually never good when you see the NCAA snooping around your campus. The University of Memphis is hoping that’s not the case this time as the governing body for college athletics looks to put a bow on its investigation of top recruit James Wisman’s time with the Tigers.
The NCAA announcing Wednesday 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 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 to 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 ten 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 said schools that compete against Memphis for top talent will use this as negative recruiting.
“It’s just, it’s life to us,” Hardaway said. “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. 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 said once a fFinal decision is made it can not be appealed.