It was widely reported on Thursday that the Minnesota Golden Gophers were likely to get Trevor Mbakwe back for another year, in the form of an extra year of eligibility. Now that news is official, as confirmed by the university's official website. The NCAA granted Mbakwe a sixth year due to the ACL tear in his right knee suffered against Dayton in November. He had surgery on Dec. 30 and missed the rest of the season.
Golden Gopher head coach Tubby Smith had some quotes about the decision from the NCAA, again from the official website:
"The NCAA made the right decision," said Golden Gopher head coach Tubby Smith. "Trevor has done everything we have asked of him for three years now and he deserves the right to compete for a sixth season."
Mbakwe also had some quotes of his own:
"I am certainly excited for the opportunity that the NCAA has given me in a sixth year of eligibility," said Mbakwe. "I want to thank my family and all of Gopher Nation for all of the support. It has been a difficult season but I am confident that I will be able to return to the type of player I was before the injury."
It's a definite win for the Golden Gophers, who are getting back a preseason All-Big Ten selection, who averages right around 12 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Daily Gopher best explains why it's a win and a major boost for Minnesota, noting that Mbakwe really does help out just about every aspect of the game when he's out there.