Western Kentucky freshman Mitchell Robinson, the highest-rated signee in Hilltoppers basketball history, has been released from his scholarship and will transfer, the school announced late Tuesday.
“WKU freshman center Mitchell Robinson has been granted his release to transfer from the Hilltopper program,” coach Rick Stansbury said in a statement (via the Louisville Courier-Journal). “After discussing Mitchell’s future with him Monday evening, we agreed that it would be best for both sides to allow him to move in a different direction. As I’ve said before, Mitchell is a great kid, and we wish him well going forward.”
Robinson would need an NCAA waiver to play at another school in 2017-18 because he attended summer classes at WKU. Without a waiver, Robinson would have to sit out a season as a transfer and be eligible to play in 2018-19.
He chose WKU over offers from North Carolina and multiple SEC programs, including LSU, a potential landing spot for a player who was a McDonald’s All-American in high school in the New Orleans area.
No matter where he lands, he is considered a potential lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Tuesday’s news ends a tumultuous eight months for Robinson.
Less than two weeks after Robinson signed his letter-of-intent in November, a tweet from his account said he was decommitting from WKU, according to the WKU Herald. The tweet quickly was deleted, and Robinson said his account had been hacked.
WKU announced last month that assistant coach Shammond Williams, Robinson’s godfather, would not be back with Stansbury’s staff this fall. Williams reportedly was a major factor in Robinson’s decision to sign with WKU.
Stansbury suspended him indefinitely Monday for violation of team rules after the five-star 7-footer, the top-ranked center in the class of 2017, reportedly left Western Kentucky late last week.