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College Basketball World Reacts To Memphis Punishment News

An aerial shot of Memphis' basketball court.

MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 23: The FedExForum is sold out as fans watch the game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Memphis Tigers at FedExForum on February 23, 2008 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

More than two years after initiating its investigation into Memphis men's basketball, the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) issued its ruling.

The probe determined that the program committed four Level II and five Level III NCAA violations. Yet the team will not receive any major sanctions after getting cleared of all four Level I accusations.

In addition to getting fined $5,000 fine and 0.25% of the men's basketball budget, the university will go on a three-year probation and vacate the two wins James Wiseman contributed to in 2019. But Memphis won't receive any postseason ban, and head coach Penny Hardaway won't face a suspension.

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde described the verdict as a "nothing burger." Other reporters called it a major victory and a "slap on the wrist" for an investigation that launched in May 2019.

Dick Vitale was simply relieved the case reached a conclusion.

Questions of Wieseman's eligibility sparked the probe. Before becoming the team's coach in 2019, Hardaway gave Wiseman and his family $11,500 for moving expenses while the center was in high school. 

The NCAA ruled Wiseman ineligible for receiving improper payment from a booster, as Hardaway had previously donated $1 million to Memphis. Wiseman played three games with the school, two after filing a restraining order against the NCAA.

After snapping a seven-year NCAA tournament drought earlier this year, Hardaway will now have a chance to lead the Tigers back into March Madness th. Memphis is under probation, effective, immediately, until Sept. 26, 2025.