This Sanspo article basically says that "trainee" is BELOW the Johnny's Junior level. There will be no public appearance but just practice after practice, lesson after lesson. This is the first time members from a popular group was taken down all the way to the "trainee" level. So this "new" NewS will be just the six of them. No Uchi, no Kusano.
The thing that shocked me was at the end of the article, it said "Boy A (they didn't write the name) also belongs to the group Kanjani8, so this decision (to put Uchi down to "trainee") means that Kanjani8 will move on with the seven members."
Now the thing I don't get here is, does this mean that if Uchi works his butt off at this "trainee" position, he could probably be back with K8, or will it never happen??? I think this is too harsh of a punishment. I mean, yeah, he's been away from action for more than a year, but... It clearly said that Uchi and Kusano are out of NewS, but it didn't really clarify for Uchi's part on K8.