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Johnnie Vassar still on scholarship at Northwestern despite leaving program

Vassar's scholarship still counts towards the program's allotment of 13.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Former Northwestern basketball guard Johnnie Vassar is still on scholarship at the University, head coach Chris Collins confirmed to Inside NU last week.

Vassar left the program in March following his freshman season, and announced he would be transferring. Vassar tweeted out a statement at the time, saying, "I've loved my time at Northwestern University but have arrived at the very difficult point of transferring... I look forward to attending a school where I can play a more integral role on the court while I continue to excel in my studies."

The announcement seemed to open up a scholarship spot for Northwestern after the program had used its final scholarship on graduate transfer Joey van Zegeren. In fact, even before the Vassar announcement, Collins had been recruiting class-of-2015 prospect Kipper Nichols despite having all 13 available scholarships committed to players for the 2015-16 season.

However, Vassar chose to remain in school at Northwestern, meaning the Wildcats never did have a spot for Nichols. Collins confirmed to Inside NU that Vassar's scholarship still counts as one of the program's 13 scholarships, and that he could not have added another player to the 2015 recruiting class.

"Scholarships are four-year scholarships now," Collins said. "So as long as [Vassar] wants to be a student here, we made that commitment to him. So the ball is in his court.

"But he wants to still play," Collins said. "So it's not like he's definitely going to be here the whole time. It's just he didn't get what he was looking for, and he's looking for the right spot. He could leave at [the end of the] quarter, he could leave at the end of the year, he could leave next [year.]"

But, Collins said, "if he were wanting to stay here, he could stay."