Maturi: Mbakwe will not play for Gophers until case is resolved

Marco LaNave

Junior forward Trevor Mbakwe, who faces charges for a felony assault in Miami-Dade County (Fla.), will not play for the Gophers men’s basketball team until his case is "resolved in a satisfactory manner," University of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi announced in a release by the university Monday morning.

Mbakwe has been charged for an April incident and his trial is scheduled for December.

Maturi said Mbakwe will continue to attend classes and practice with the team, but will not dress for homes games nor travel for road games, according to the release.

"I believe that it is in Trevor’s best interest and the interest of the University of Minnesota that this situation is fully resolved before we allow him to compete," Maturi said in the released statement.  "These types of decisions are always difficult and many factors must be considered. At the end of the day I believe I must do what’s right for Trevor and this University. For now that includes limiting his contributions to the basketball program to practice."

Mbakwe graduated from St. Bernard’s (St. Paul) High School in 2007 and played one season at Marquette before transferring to Miami Dade College, where he was the Southern Conference Player of the Year last season.  He committed to play for Minnesota in November 2008.

The Gophers open with an exhibition against Minnesota-Duluth on Thursday at Williams Arena, and will open the regular season at home against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 13.