The prize of Villanova’s 2016 recruiting class has hit a snag with the NCAA.
Wildcats coach Jay Wright said Omari Spellman, a top-20 recruit, will not play in games with the team on its foreign trip to Spain as there is a question regarding when his ninth-grade year began, according to ESPN’s Dana O’Neil.
Spellman is academically eligible and cleared for practice, but cannot play in games while the issue is clarified, Wright said.
The issue isn’t a new one for Spellman as it was investigated by the Ohio High School Athletic Association when he moved from New York to Ohio. The 6-foot-9 forward attended two high schools in New York. Upon transferring to the second, he was re-classified from a freshman to an eighth grader.
Villanova’s title defense certainly won’t rest on Spellman’s eligibility given how much returns from last year’s national championship team, but his presence would certainly bolster their chances, especially in the interior with Daniel Ochefu graduating.