Penny Hardaway Sits At The Center Of Several University Of Memphis NCAA Violations Allegations

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Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway’s career as a coach of his alma mater, the University of Memphis, is in question as he is now facing major NCAA violations.

According to reports, the University of Memphis is accused of violating numerous NCAA rules, with Coach Penny being the solely named individual.

The Notice of Allegations (NOA) sent to the President of the University of Memphis was published online with Penny’s name, although the document was highly redacted, so it is unclear if others are named.

When Things Fall Apart

According to reports, the NCAA issued seven allegations, with four considered Level I violations. Two allegations are considered Level II, while the last allegation was part of the redaction.

The Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) alerted U of M of the allegations. IARP “is responsible for reviewing select complex infractions cases in Division I” according to their website.

University of Memphis Statement

“The University of Memphis is not permitted to comment due to the ongoing IARP process,” an unnamed school spokesman said to The Daily Memphian.

“The case presents alleged infractions involving the University of Memphis [redacted] that are overcharged and combined with non-violations, accusations involving a separate sport [football] that has been not been charged, information UM self-reported and pandemic-related events over which the parties had no control,” the school said in its response to the allegations.

“The facts do not demonstrate a lack of institutional control, a failure to monitor, a failure to cooperate or a lack of [redacted] responsibility.”

The Shadow Of James Wiseman

The investigation follows the recruitment of former No. 1 recruit and former Tigers center James Wiseman.

Wiseman went to Memphis East High School as a transfer, where Hardaway coached him for his first year. As a consensus five-star recruit, he was ranked No. 1 in the 2019 class.

However, Wiseman allegedly received $11,500 from Coach Hardaway when Hardaway was his high school coach. Eventually, the NCAA ruled Wiseman was ineligible, even though the money was reported to be used to help Wiseman’s family’s moving expenses from Nashville to Memphis.

Bad Booster

According to reports, the NCAA considered Hardaway a booster after donating money to his alma mater in 2008. The funds to Wiseman’s family were deemed a violation of the NCAA bylaws.

Hardaway signed on as Memphis’ coach in March 2018, with Wiseman committing that November. That’s when things became even more complicated.

Wiseman suited up for his first game during the 2019-2020 season and ultimately hired attorneys who granted a restraining order that allowed him to continue playing while the NCAA attempted to issue a 12-game suspension.

Center Of The Storm

Memphis also declined to sit Wiseman, and he was able to play two additional games before finally being suspended and mandated to repay the $11,500 as a donation to charity.

Ultimately, Wiseman only played in three total games with Memphis. He left in December 2019 and was selected as the No. 2 overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 2020 NBA draft.

Wiseman has been ruled out for the 2022 season rehabilitating his right knee from a meniscus repair that he had in April 2021.

The university is essentially charged with a lack of institutional control, and Hardaway sits at the storm’s center.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.