Trevor Mbakwe is a 6'6, 280 pound power forward with talent. He's exactly the muscle that Tubby's Gophers need under the net. He wants to play for the Gophers. Yet, uncertainty regarding a pending charge clouds his future. The resolution of the Mbakwe conundrum could determine whether this year's Gopher basketball team will be a Top 25 contender, or just another middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team.
Apparently, Mbakwe has asked for and been given permission to consider transferring to other schools such as Memphis. You can't blame him for wanting to put himself in a position to play ball. At the same time, you can't blame the University of Minnesota for insisting to wait until his legal issues are resolved. Never fault an organization for taking the high road. This is a no-win situation, unless the unexpected happens and his charges are dropped within a very short time frame.
I will never speculate about any student-athlete legal issues until there has been a verdict. That would be irresponsible journalism, and as a blogger I'm already just a pseudo-journalist at best. I will say that if there is any blame to be rightfully cast at this point, it is with the legal system that prevents this case from reaching resolution. A young man's future, another person's uncertainty, and a basketball team's season are all compromised by a laggard legal system. To clarify, I'm not equating those three parties. But it is a reality that all three are suffering from the lack of a speedy trial.
So the Mbakwe conundrum continues.