James Wiseman, a top basketball prospect expected to star for Memphis this year, filed a lawsuit against the N.C.A.A. and the university on Friday after the sport’s governing body declared him ineligible to play. A judge issued a temporary restraining order that cleared him to play in the next game.
The University of Memphis athletic department said in a statement that the family of Wiseman accepted $11,500 in moving expenses from Penny Hardaway, a former Memphis and N.B.A. star who is now the coach, to move to the city from Nashville, when Wiseman was a high school player in 2017. The payment came before Hardaway became the Tigers coach in 2018, and the university said Wiseman did not know about the payment.
The judge’s order, announced by the university, came hours before Memphis was scheduled to play the University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday night.
Wiseman’s lawsuit, filed in Shelby County Chancery Court, listed the N.C.A.A., Memphis and others as defendants. Wiseman’s attorney, Leslie Ballin, did not immediately return messages from The New York Times seeking comment.
University officials said they were working with the N.C.A.A.’s staff to restore Wiseman’s playing status.
The N.C.A.A. did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
“Particularly given the unique circumstances in this case, we are hopeful for a fair and equitable resolution on James’s eligibility,” said M. David Rudd, the university’s president. “We support James’s right to challenge the N.C.A.A. ruling on this matter.”
Jon Rothstein contributed reporting.