Mike Woodson and the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team have been heating up on the recruiting trail lately, but one of their biggest signings in recent memory got into some hot water himself over the weekend at a Bloomington Taco Bell of all places.
Incoming Freshman sensation and 2023 McDonald's All-American Mackenzie Mgbako was arrested by the Bloomington Police Department early Sunday morning after an incident in the Taco Bell drive through, according to Zach Osterman and Sarah Nelson with the Indianapolis Star.
Accoridng to the police report, police were called to the fast food restaurant to handle a customer who "refused to leave the property," and was "rude and cursing at employees". Officers found the 18 year old Mgbako parked in the drive-thru lane, and requested he move into a parking spot. Mgbako complied, but refused their subsequent requests to leave the parking lot altogether eventually being arrested.
The 6'8", 5-star forward from Roselle Catholic in New Jersey was a gigantic signing for the Hoosiers after he decommitted from Duke this offseason. Mgbako figures to be a huge part of IU's team this season, expected to be a key piece in replacing the production of departures like Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino. Mgbako hopes to follow those players leads into becoming an NBA draft pick next summer, but has alredy become mired in off-court controversy before November.
According to a Bloomington Police Department statement, Mgbako started to leave the lot once before reversing his car, parking again, and being told to leave again. He waited a short time then drove his car to park in a separate, neighboring parking lot but police had already decided to make an arrest for trespassing during that period. They approached Mgbako's car again, notifying him he was under arrest and he did not comply with their requests to open his car door.
Officers proceeded to shatter the glass on the passenger side window to gain access to the vehicle and forcibly remove the Hoosier basketball star. Mgbako was handcuffed and taken to the Monroe County Jail and booked with two misdemeanors. He made bail around 5:30 AM and was released, but the freshman phenom will now have to battle trespassing and resisting arrest charges alongside mounting pressure from the Hoosiers fan base.
This is a weird story on so many levels. There is a notoriously sketchy Taco Bell franchise on Indiana's campus, where fans immediately assumed this happened. Mgbako was actually arrested at the quieter location out by the college mall. It was early Sunday morning after an IU homecoming football day Saturday. The college freshman was stone cold sober. It seems like Mgbako actually did leave the property. He was still arrested for not complying in the manner the police wanted.
This seems like a case of a young college student getting hot headed in a service exchange gone wrong, and then making either fear or anger based bad decisions in a police interaction. Many will be quick to blame Mgbako for not complying completely with police, but not every police encounter is straightforward especially for a young person in a new area.
Neither Mgbako or anyone from IU men's basketball has acknowledged the arrest, but a spokesperson for the Indiana University Athletic department did release a statement saying, "IU Athletics is aware of the situation, we will continue to gather facts, cooperate with and monitor the legal process, and take further action as the evolving situation warrants,"
The rest of IU basketball nation will be waiting as well, to see what kind of discipline Mike Woodson will hand down. A lengthy suspension seems harsh and many Hoosier faithful will be on pins and needles wanting to know if the impact freshman will miss any games. Until then we'll all be waiting on the Taco Bell-Mgbako N.I.L deal with a Davante Adams style commercial and in-dorm Taco Bell location included.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.