'This too shall pass': Penny Hardaway says U of M fully supports Wiseman

'This too shall pass': Penny Hardaway says U of M fully supports Wiseman

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In a major turn of events, James Wiseman, the star of the University of Memphis basketball team has withdrawn his lawsuit against the NCAA over his eligibility.

Head Coach Penny Hardaway spoke to the media Friday and said he knows it's tough for Wiseman right now. He also said that the school fully supports him, and they don't regret allowing him to play last week.

Penny told reporters that Memphis hasn't heard from the NCAA, and they don't know when a decision will be made.

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"All I want to do is coach at my alma mater for a city that I love. The school that I love. All James wants to do and the boys want to do is play basketball. That’s pretty much all what we want to do. This is difficult on the city. It’s difficult on the school. Definitely difficult on James. I’m getting through it. It’s just a part of life. This too shall pass. I mean aren’t we all looking at the situation on why this is bad? I mean I think that everybody is looking at it. I think everybody is kind of controlling their own narratives but if you’re looking at for what it’s worth you see it," said Hardaway.

Minutes after Wiseman withdrew the lawsuit, the University of Memphis sent a statement that they have declared Wiseman "ineligible for competition and will immediately apply for his reinstatement. Pending that notification, James will be withheld from competition but will continue to practice with the team."

The statement goes on to say,

"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."

The attorneys who where representing Wiseman sent FOX13 the following statement:

"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 efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution with
the NCAA concerning his eligibility status.  Therefore, Mr. Wiseman advised his legal team that he
wished to withdraw his lawsuit.  There will be no further comment at this time. "

Wiseman is ineligible, so he can't play until the NCAA hands down a ruling, but he will practice with the team.


The NCAA informed Memphis on Friday, November 8 that Wiseman was ineligible.

This because University of Memphis coach Penny Hardaway provided money for Wiseman's family to move from Nashville to Memphis in 2017.

A temporary restraining order was issued against the NCAA Friday, allowing Wiseman to play against Illinois-Chicago.

According to the NCAA, Hardaway is a booster and boosters can't give prospects benefits or influence their decision to attend a school.

One of Wiseman's former attorneys, Randy Fishman, spoke to FOX13 after the original announcement.

"It goes back to 2008 when Coach Hardaway gave a large gift to the athletic department to build a hall of fame. Under the NCAA rules, you become a booster for 'an indefinite period of time.' Here we are 11 years later, and he's a booster indefinitely. I don't know what indefinitely means. Is it forever? Is it a week? Is it five years? There's no clarity to it and that's the crux of the lawsuit. That's the very arbitrary and capricious for someone to be on the sidelines and decide when someone is a booster," said Fishman.