Villanova expected big things out of freshman forward JayVaughn Pinkston, but those hopes have been put on hold until next season.
The university announced Monday that Pinkston has been suspended for the spring semester for his role in an off-campus altercation last month, a ruling that means he is ineligible to play for the Wildcats this season.
The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Pinkston, a McDonald's all-American from Brooklyn, N.Y., had been awaiting a decision following a university review of whether he violated the code of student conduct in connection with the Nov. 6 incident at a party in Upper Merion Township.
Pinkston, who has turned 19 since the incident, was charged on Nov. 12 with two counts each of simple assault and harassment. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 15.
In a statement, Villanova said the suspension was a "result of disciplinary proceedings" but would not specify what they were. It added that "all other aspects of . . . [the] disciplinary process as it relates to Pinkston are confidential.
"During this time, Pinkston will not be permitted to attend classes or play basketball for the university," the statement continued. "In June 2011, Pinkston will regain his status as a 'student in good standing' and will be eligible to resume competition as a member of Villanova's men's basketball team, which he intends to do."
A Villanova spokesman said the decision of the university is final, and that what happens during the hearing or in further court proceedings would not change the outcome.
Villanova coach Jay Wright said he supported the university's decision.
"JayVaughn understands that there are consequences to his actions," Wright said in the statement, "and I believe he will continue to handle this in a mature manner. We look forward to his return in June."
Pinkston was not available for comment but was quoted in the statement as saying, "I am sorry. This situation is my responsibility and I have learned from it. I am going to work extremely hard so that I can return to the Villanova family in June."
Upper Merion Township police said Pinkston had become involved in an argument with several people who attended the party. Two of them went to Bryn Mawr Hospital for treatment.
A report in the New York Daily News quoted a source as saying that Pinkston had been locked in a room and, after he broke the door down to get out, he confronted the men responsible for the prank.
A graduate of Bishop Loughlin High School, Pinkston was named New York City player of the year as a senior.
Pinkston did see action in Villanova's exhibition game Nov. 2 against District of Columbia, scoring two points and grabbing three rebounds in 18 minutes.