MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Last week the NCAA suspended Memphis star freshman James Wiseman 12 games...this all goes back to money his mother received from tiger’s coach Penny Hardaway to move the family from Nashville to Memphis so Wiseman could play for Penny at East High.
The school is appealing the suspension but while they wait for this to play out Wiseman's story has started a national conversation on the NCAA and its actions against student-athletes.
Arlington High school coach Maurice Miller grew up in Memphis. He was a star at Raleigh Egypt before playing for Georgia Tech.
Miller told FOX13 he understands the pain Wiseman is going through right now.
“From meeting James Wiseman and Penny and the staff and just knowing what type of kid he is, I hate it for him,” said Miller.
The NCAA suspended Wiseman for 12 games because of the money his mother received from Hardaway to move from Nashville to Memphis to play at East High.
Wiseman also must donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice.
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Wiseman's story has sparked a national conversation on the NCAA 's dealings with student-athlete, most notably the topic of athletes benefiting financially.
“Just remember being at Georgia Tech, almost every game was sold out. So, you can just imagine the revenue and the different things that the institution makes off of it. True they gave us a scholarship but for some kids the ball is all we got,” said Miller.
Wiseman's case could prove to be an added factor in top prospects debating post high school options.
This wave has already started. Lamelo Ball and RJ Hampton skipped college to play overseas for six figures. Both are projected first-round NBA draft picks.
Just last year Darius Bazley signed an endorsement deal out of high school with new balance to prepare for the NBA. He was drafted in the first round in June.
“This is just my opinion, if it doesn't find a way to make it make sense I think as players and youth and as parents we'll start taking that route and it will hurt the NBA in a lot of ways because you're talking about players that are five stars that can actually, you're talking about kids that bring in millions of dollars,” said Miller.
Kids like Wiseman, who Miller says could have skipped school.
“I’m not saying you gotta make the millionaires but at least be able to smooth things over and I think rightfully so. Athletes earned that right and privilege... for a kid like James Wiseman, he didn't have to go to college. I just use him as an example but there's more out there.”
The University of Memphis continues to wait on the NCAA.
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