The NCAA announced on Wednesday that Memphis basketball head coach Penny Hardaway will not coach the first three games of the Tigers’ season due to suspension.
The three-game suspension for Hardaway in the 2023-2024 season is due to recruiting violations that previously occurred.
According to Jason Munz of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the penalty given to Hardaway and Memphis is due to “two impermissible in-home visits” with a high school junior from Dallas, TX during the 2021-2022 academic year. Munz also reports that both Hardaway and an assistant coach (not with the team anymore) are responsible for the two aforementioned visits.
Munz also states that the “NCAA rules require any in-person visits with recruits during the fall months of their junior year of high school to be made at the prospects’ schools, not in their homes.”
The first three games on the Tigers’ 2023-2024 schedule include Jackson State on Nov. 6, a road game at Missouri on Nov. 10, and a home matchup with Alabama State on Nov. 17.
Penny Hardaway has posted a 111-52 record at Memphis since taking over the job prior to the 2018-2019 season. Hardaway’s Tigers missed out on the NCAA Tournament in each of his first three years but has since made the tournament on two straight occasions.
Tennessee and Memphis have squared off on the basketball court 27 times since 1969, with the Volunteers taking 15 of the 27 games. The most recent matchup saw the Tigers best the Vols, 51-47, in a game in Knoxville on Dec. 14, 2019. Tennessee and Memphis were supposed to square off in December of 2021 in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena until a COVID outbreak shut down the contest just hours before the start.
Rocky Top Insider examined the historic game between No. 1 Memphis and No. 2 Tennessee 15 years ago during the season this past February. RTI spoke will several players and coaches associated with the game to get the full story, from their perspective, on the program-changing win for No. 2 Tennessee on the road in Memphis.