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Tubby Smith on Mbakwe: “We have made the decision not to suspend him”

The University has announced that Trevor Mbakwe, the Gophers forward arrested Monday for violating a restraining order filed in 2009, will be allowed to play in Thursday’s game against No. 8 Purdue. The Gophers have media availability Wednesday, and Smith will announce his probable starting lineup. Below is the release from the University:


University of Minnesota director of athletics Joel Maturi and head men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith announced Wednesday that that there would be no change in the playing status of junior forward Trevor Mbakwe.

“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.”

Mbakwe sent a Facebook message to a former girlfriend in violation no-harassment order that both parties agreed to in August of 2009. Mbakwe had not been in contact with the individual since that date.

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.”

Smith said will have no further comment on the issue today.

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