Second Chances and Moving Forward

Andy Lyons

Trevor Mbakwe received good news today as the judge in his FL probation case extended his probation by two years instead of handing down a jail sentence.

So...better news than I expected when there was no pre-hearing plea deal announced. What does it mean going forward?

From what we as the fans get to see, Trevor Mbakwe strikes me as a good guy. But he also strikes me as someone who has a tendency to not think through some of his decisions. (NOTE: Everything I'm talking about today is about the decisions/legal outcomes that have happened since Trevor joined the Gophers. I'm staying away from the FL case that started this whole mess, mostly because of the conflicting details, stories, and claims that make it hard to easily judge for ourselves what happened.)

That has to stop. Whatever it takes, be it a buddy system, maturation on Trevor's part, more discipline from Tubby, the poor decision making need to stop. Trevor's Florida judge said as much today:

"This may be your last chance. You don't have nine lives like a cat," Fernandez told Mbakwe at the hearing.

I really hope Trevor is hearing that message. The judge gave him a pretty big gift and show of belief in his ability to change. Mbakwe's lawyer (seemingly concerned by the lack of a plea offer from the prosecution) was proposing 4 years probation. But the judge chose 2 years instead given the strides Trevor made already in treatment (he was already attending AA and seeing a U psychologist). The U has also shown a great level of support, sticking with Trevor through the continued issues and slip ups (they've already said that his status with the team would remain unchanged if there was no jail time assessed). Trevor needs to repay that trust. He needs to carefully follow the specifics of his probation (AA 3 times/week, 20 hours community service per month, no contact of any kind with the FL victim) and realize that every move he makes is under even more scrutiny (as if that were possible).

Clearly Trevor, everyone at the U, and the fans are ready to move forward. I know I am. I just hope whatever has led to the continued series of poor decisions for Trevor is in the past.

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