By now it's sunk in that Memphis patently does not respect the authority of the NCAA, and they're going to play James Wiseman until a court of law expressly forbids them from doing so, later consequences be damned. Wiseman is being represented by Leslie Ballin, an attorney who has successfully defended high profile murder cases, and the populist wish amongst fans of the program is that they can at least drag this out long enough for Wiseman to play all or most of the season-- and then, who cares if the NCAA vacates the wins?
ESPN had two interesting pieces of commentary about the story yesterday. On High Noon, Bomani Jones made the point that the program and the city of Memphis feel "picked on" as "outsiders to the aristocracy" by the NCAA because they've had their last two Final Four banners taken away. The last time they went to war with the NCAA, he said, was a similar situation to Wiseman's where they initially cleared Derrick Rose's SAT scores before later deciding nah:
On Midnight SportsCenter, Scott Van Pelt compared the NCAA to a substitute teacher that has lost control of the classroom, and that if they rescind a Final Four banner, who honestly cares? They can't also take away the fun that fans had along the journey:
What Penny Hardaway has admitted to doing -- providing money to Wiseman's family when he moved from Nashville to Memphis to play on Hardaway's AAU team, before Hardaway was the Memphis coach -- doesn't seem like it should really be in the NCAA's jurisdiction. That Hardaway gave money to the program in 2008 and is classified as a booster doesn't really pass common sense muster as a reason for the NCAA to keep one of the best players in the country out of basketball for the season.
The whole story isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and there are a lot of people rooting for Memphis to endure here.