The NCAA on Wednesday denied Memphis' appeal of James Wiseman's suspension, meaning the star freshman won't be able to play until Jan. 12.
Wiseman was suspended 12 games earlier this month for two violations: his mother accepting $11,500 from Penny Hardaway in the summer of 2017, and Wiseman playing in three games this season while ineligible.
Memphis appealed the ruling, but it was upheld by the Division I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement. Shortly after the NCAA announced its decision, Memphis released a statement:
"This morning, the NCAA's Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement upheld the conditions of reinstatement for men's basketball student-athlete James Wiseman, who will be eligible to return to competition Jan. 12. Although disappointing, we look forward to a promising season."
Wiseman has already sat for three of the 12 games, and he can return against South Florida on Jan. 12.
The NCAA initially declared Wiseman eligible in May, but further investigation found documentation of Hardaway's payment to Wiseman's family in 2017. Memphis said Wiseman had no knowledge of the payment, which was used to cover moving expenses when Wiseman's family moved from Nashville to Memphis.
At the time, Hardaway was the head coach at East High School (Tennessee) and ran the Team Penny grassroots program. Wiseman had played for Team Penny and would enroll at East High School. Hardaway, a Memphis alum, was considered a booster due to a $1 million donation he gave the school in 2008 to build a sports hall of fame. He became the head coach of Memphis in the spring of 2018, replacing Tubby Smith.
Wiseman ultimately committed to Memphis over Kentucky in November 2018, headlining the Tigers' No. 1-ranked recruiting class.
Wiseman had played in three games before Memphis declared him ineligible and applied for reinstatement, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. He's one of the favorites to be the No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft.