The defending national champion Villanova Wildcats will take the court for the 2016-17 college basketball season without this year’s top recruit. On Friday, the NCAA completed its review and ruled five-star freshman forward Omari Spellman an academic redshirt, making him ineligible for the year.
Despite being academically ineligible to suit up, Spellman will remain under scholarship and will have all four years of eligibility remaining.
We are extremely disappointed for Omari,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in a statement on the school’s official website. “While we don’t agree with the NCAA’s decision, we are members of the association and respect it. We understand why the NCAA felt it had to rule this way.
“We will make a positive out of this for Omari. He will concentrate on his academics and individual development this season. In the long run Omari will be a better student and player for this experience.”
Spellman was the No. 2 player at his position and the No. 19 recruit in the nation in the Class of 2016, according to 247 Sports.
Despite the loss of Spellman, the Wildcats are expected to go on a deep tournament run this season.
Photo Credit: Villanova Athletics