‘No Change’ In Mbakwe’s Playing Status After Arrest

ST. PAUL (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota basketball player Trevor Mbakwe will not be suspended from playing after his arrest on Monday night, University of Minnesota director of athletics Joel Maturi and head men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith announced Wednesday.

Police arrested Mbakwe after police said the 21-year-old forward violated a harassment restraining order. He was booked into the Ramsey County Jail on a misdemeanor charge. He posted a $500 bond was released just before midnight.

According to police, a St. Paul woman reported that Mbakwe posted a message on her Facebook page on Sunday, which is a violation of a current restraining order issued in Dakota County.

The message Mbakwe sent via Facebook read: “I know we haven’t talked in forever and trust me I’m not trying to start any drama with nobody in your life or anything. I just wanted to wish u the best with everything and I hope all has been well with you and your family. I am still disappointed how everything played out and I do wish that in the future we could be cool again. Idk how u r going to take this msg hopefully its not bad but I just wanted to wish u a happy new year and send out a congrats for graduating. I’ve been well I’m finally playin bball again in everything down in miami finally got taken care of thank god. Well idk if u will respond or not but best wishes for 2011.”

Sources tell WCCO’s Mike Max that Mbakwe thought it was a one-year restraining order, when it’s actually a two-year order.

St. Paul Police worked with the University of Minnesota Police to arrest Mbakwe without incident around 7 p.m. Mbakwe was arrested at a home on the 1000 block of 29th Avenue Southeast in Minneapolis.

Mbakwe’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 20.

“Trevor had a lapse in judgment,” Smith said. “I believe his actions were well intended, but misguided, and we have made the decision not to suspend him after looking into the matter further. We believe this is the appropriate thing for Trevor and the program at this time. We view this as an educational opportunity for all of our players.”

Gophers players were unavailable to reporters on Tuesday, but Mbakwe took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend himself shortly before the school announced his playing status would not change.

“Boy oh boy this some crazy stuff. I never thought in a million years that me writing an ex of mine a fb msg would cause all this drama,” Mbakwe tweeted.

He continued: “Thanks to every1 who has shown their support to my family and me. I guess some ppl just want their 10 minutes of fame. … I better be careful though don’t want the cops popping up at my door for tweeting now but much love to my support group.”

The Gophers’ next game is at home against Purdue on Thursday. Mbakwe leads the Golden Gophers with 13.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

He transferred to Minnesota before last season, but was not allowed to play while facing a felony battery charge stemming from his days at Miami-Dade Community College.

The case dragged on for a year, and he eventually entered a pretrial program in August rather than go to trial on those charges, but did not admit guilt in the case.

It’s the latest in what has been a long line of difficulty for coach Tubby Smith and the Gophers program in the last few years. Just last week, guard Devoe Joseph left the school and transferred to Oregon after being suspended twice this season for academic and off-the-court issues.

Prized recruit Royce White left the program last year and eventually transferred to Iowa State after pleading guilty to theft and disorderly conduct in an incident at the Mall of America.

WCCO-TV’s Mark Rosen Reports

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. justasking says:

    Why does the University of Minnesota Athletics Department continue to recruit criminals?

    1. Dave says:

      Amen! As do other universities. The University of Iowa has ongoing trials for its “athletes” accused of rape assault, robbery, etc.

  2. Dontgetit says:

    “Sources tell WCCO’s Mike Max that Mbakwe thought it was a one-year restraining order, when it’s actually a two-year order.”

    So, apparently he thought he could harass this person after a year, and not have to wait two years to do it? Why are so many Minnesota athletes such jerks?

    1. Norske says:

      He violated a restraining order, unknowingly according to Mike Max’s report. If the restraining order had expired, he could have legally contacted the person with no problem. And, if it had been an expired restraining order, there would have been no “harassment”. This does not make Mbakwe a “jerk” either. Tubby tries to give some misguided and troubled young men a chance, an alternative, to become successful. But, they make their own decisions and sometimes decide wrong. Sometimes, by association, the UofM looks bad. It’s unfortunate for all concerned, but let’s not blow it out of proportion.

      1. Goldteam says:

        “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

    2. Matt says:

      Do you know what he posted? Are you sure it was harrassing?

    3. Brolan says:

      Sadly many athletes are jerks.

  3. dch says:

    I think it would be beneficial if both of you would go to GopherHole.com and read the full details of the event. Yes it is a violation of the order but is in no way harrassment. I’m always amazed how certain people want to jump to conclusions without weighing the facts.

  4. John Sherman says:

    its time ot really look into the U’s atheltic depts leadership from the top down and should that stheltic director stay or be fired his record of leadrship is awful he needs to go as well as some of the atheltes and coaches the record at the U of quality does not exist.

  5. Really??? says:

    Although no malice was intended, stupidity did prevail.

  6. red says:

    Hey justaksing, I was thinking the exact samething when I was done reading this story. The U does have a history of recruiting losers like this

  7. red says:

    If I could spell correctly, sorry

  8. Matt says:

    I’ll say it again.. if she didn’t want contact from him, why did she not block him on facebook? Are you friends with people on Facebook that you don’t want to contact you? He did violate the restraining order, but it doesn’t look as though she made any effort to keep him at bay.

  9. L Nelson says:

    The AD needs to take responsiebility for for the on going failure of the athletic program. It a disgrace to the Univ & the state. The folks in Wisconsin are grateful for the the Minnesota athletes they have in their program. If you want to watch Minnesota play basketball watch the Badgers.
    WHY???? All we get is the trash for athletes. When you recruit athletes & have them leave who’s fault is that…??? The person doing the recruiting!!!!!!

    1. Kevin says:

      first of all its not tubby’s fault that THEY CHOOSE TO B STUPID!!!! so you saying that its the coaches fault that Devoe royce and trevor all made stupid descions. He basically told them to go do these thigns??? Nelson your a moron. You r a fan and dont know athletics

  10. Brent says:

    Maybe he should have stayed off Facebook, that may have helped him. I would have thought that he would be studying, after all this is the U.

  11. Goldteam says:

    Read this and tell me he shouldn’t be gone for this + related issues:

    http://www.startribune.com/local/south/113288344.html

  12. Goldteam says:

    “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

    “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

    “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

    “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

    “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

    “I fear he could get violent and physically harm me,” she wrote.

  13. ca says:

    I’m not friends with anyone I do NOT want to hear from on FB – not even my mother-in-law! How about you? Hello? That is common sense. Guilt or innocence aside, kids do stupid stuff like this everyday, but it usually doesn’t get played out in the media.

  14. tennel says:

    Can’t believe all the gopherhole idiots that want this thug to play at any cost:

    http://boards.gopherhole.com/boards/showthread.php?t=26091

  15. susan says:

    Of course there won’t be a change in his playing status! The culture of
    “boys will be boys” permits and even rewards thuggish behavior on the part of so many Minnesota athletes, both at the pro and college levels. Shame on Tubby Smith and the U of M athletic department for not taking a stronger stand and sending a message.

  16. Gopher Fan says:

    First of all did any of you read the comment he sent her her, he was just trying to be friends with her again and move on with his life so I wouldn’t call him a Thug for that and second of all he is our best player and we wouldn’t be going anywhere with out him.

    1. Hejlena says:

      Er…um…history of felony battery. That says it all. Or maybe the “poor young man” was just trying to be friends with the other VICTIM too.

  17. thumbody says:

    Tubby, get him an assistant so he can keep track of his important dates on the calendar. He is going to need one.

  18. Darren says:

    Disgusting behavior. If these athletes had to pay for their own education like alot of us did then maybe he would not have time to be out committing crimes.But then again look at all of the role models this young man has had in his life. Brett Favre,Randy Moss,Dennis Rodman,The Williams Boys. Look at all the thugs in professional sports, they get away with it all of the time so why shouldn’t a college about to me pro player get away with it. They are handed everything for free and get away with way to much. I blame the U of M and all of the athletic department for keeping him on the team. I will not support the U of M because of all the thugs they have on their “sports” teams.

  19. Tommy says:

    “Son I would love to have you play for the Uof M, just one more question: Are the number of felonies and misdemeanors greater than five? If so you will have to redshirt your freshman year. If not then hey you play right away!”

  20. Victim Du Jour says:

    It wasn’t even a few weeks since WCCO was reporting budget problems in the court system. 1st Amendment says we have the right to free speech and expression.

    14th Amendment says laws are not suppose to be purposely vague or used to deprive people of life, liberty and the persuit of happiness.

  21. Victim Du Jour says:

    Jared Loughner was able to skirt a drug charge by agreeing to a “Program”.

    There is nothing in the Constitution at all that gives the Mental Health Industry Authority in our legal process at all.

    It’s not any different if the Court System allowed you to bribe the Catholic Church, pay them money or health insurance, go to church and in return not get charged, or a reduced jail sentance.

    Oprah Winfrey has been a corporate mouthpiece for the mental health industry for years. It’s easy to think that maybe it’s possible WCCO is in bed with them too.

    So now we are seeing another mug shot of a black guy over a Facebook post, like it’s a TV ad for a new mental health law.

  22. david nystuen says:

    Minnesota is supposed to have the wonder coach for basketball. He recruits players that often turn out to be criminals, who leave the u for elsewhere, and he can’t seem to get the good players from Minnesota, who go to other schools. Perhaps we need to get a new coach. We certainly need to have some players dropped from the team.

  23. Mike says:

    WOW ok heres the deal with people who think they know sports and recruiting! First of all, Tubby recruits players, then players make stupid ass mistakes. TUBBY SMITH DOES NOT MAKE THEM DO THIS, its there own fault. You people dont understand its not the coaches fault!!! So if yall blaming Tubby smith and think about Getting rid of him David Nystuen, THEN WE CAN GO BACK TO THE DAN MONSON ERA! 9-20 in 2007, RIGHT? Also have u read the message her sent her, it was ll in good intentions. you people are so stupid if this was a high school player or someone else Yall wouldnt give a hoot, but its the gophers star so yall and bicker and make ur lifestyle better than normally how bad it is.

    ALSO BLAMING the AD yes is a good thing BUT JOEL MATURI IS A COMPLETE MORON so nothing will get done. Just like the fine HIRING OF BREWSTER RIGHT????

  24. Mike M says:

    WOW ok heres the deal with people who think they know sports and recruiting! First of all, Tubby recruits players, then players make stupid ass mistakes. TUBBY SMITH DOES NOT MAKE THEM DO THIS, its there own fault. You people dont understand its not the coaches fault!!! So if yall blaming Tubby smith and think about Getting rid of him David Nystuen, THEN WE CAN GO BACK TO THE DAN MONSON ERA! 9-20 in 2007, RIGHT? Also have u read the message her sent her, it was ll in good intentions. you people are so stupid if this was a high school player or someone else Yall wouldnt give a hoot, but its the gophers star so yall and bicker and make ur lifestyle better than normally how bad it is.

    ALSO BLAMING the AD yes is a good thing BUT JOEL MATURI IS A COMPLETE MORON so nothing will get done. Just like the fine HIRING OF BREWSTER RIGHT????

  25. Tim says:

    Susan could not have said it better. These athletes need to abide by the law or face the consequences. These young people are so idolized at every level they are never held to account for their behavior. The insanity needs to stop. Quit recruiting kids with good jump shot, low 50 meter dash number or ability to shoot a hockey puck, recruit them first as good students.

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