first_imgIt shouldn’t impact his current conflict with the NCAA, but it turns out James Wiseman got to play basketball for two years at East High School (Memphis, Tenn.) when a Tennessee high school rule declared he should have only played, at most, one.The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) on Tuesday reported that Memphis judge Jim Kyle issued an October ruling in favor of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, which declared Wiseman ineligible under its “coaching link” rule. Said rule prohibits athletes from transferring schools in order to compete for a coach under whom they’d previously played. MORE: Explaining Wiseman’s eligibility issues with NCAAWiseman was a high school student at Ensworth High School (Nashville, Tenn.) before playing summer basketball for an AAU club called Team Penny, run by former University of Memphis All-American Penny Hardaway. During the school year, Hardaway also served as the boys’ varsity basketball coach at East High. When Wiseman’s family moved to Memphis (Wiseman enrolled at East High in 2017), the TSSAA judged him to be in violation of its coaching link rule.Wiseman was able to play in in 2017-18 and 2018-19, however, after successfully seeking an injunction — but Kyle’s October ruling declared the TSSAA rule wasn’t a violation of the student’s property rights, nor too vague in its language. Current Tigers redshirt freshman Ryan Boyce, who transferred to East from Houston High in nearby Cordova, was also able to play in 2017-18, despite the TSSAA’s rule.That is not expected to impact the state Class AAA championship Hardaway and Wiseman won together in 2018, however. Neither will the revelation that Hardaway — according to a statement from the University of Memphis — paid $11,500 in moving expenses to assist Wiseman’s mother with the move from Nashville.TSSAA assistant executive director Gene Menees told Sporting News that the organization’s policy is to address those problems that become apparent before the subsequent season in that sport is completed: “How far back do you go?” he said.If the payment had become public knowledge during the winter of 2018-19, when Hardaway had moved on to coach at Memphis and Wiseman was a senior, there might have been an opportunity for the TSSAA to address it. Wiseman completed his career at East High School as a McDonald’s All-American months before a final ruling in the case regarding the “coach-link” rule was issued. Menees told SN the coach-link rule applies to any sport the association sponsors, explaining that most such circumstances involve athletes in the ninth grade attempting to reunite with club coaches who also run varsity programs. An athlete who transfers for this purpose is subject to ineligibility for 12 months.These developments arise as the NCAA and Memphis are locked in an eligibility battle over Wiseman, who appeared in the Tigers’ first two games despite the NCAA issuing a ruling that indicated his eligibility was in question. The organization subsequently issued a statement that Wiseman was “likely ineligible” because of the payment Hardaway made to the family and the organization’s judgment that Hardaway was considered a Memphis booster at the time it occurred.Memphis plays Oregon on Tuesday in Portland. Wiseman accompanied the Tigers on the trip and is expected to play.last_img

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