On Mitchell Robinson: Where Do We Stand?

Let me preface everything I’m about to say by saying I have never been a high-profile athlete with a choice in front of me with how to further my athletic career.

Come to think of it, I’ve never really been a high-profile anything with a choice in front of me with how to further my high-profileness.

However, Mitchell Robinson is. And, while I understand him trying to decide what he wants for himself, his career and his future, this is not the time to be taking that seriously. He should have considered everything this carefully months ago, before he signed with someone — anyone — not two weeks before the team he signed with gets ready to embark on a team building trip.

Robinson will probably be the first person to admit that things could have been handled better so yesterday didn’t happen quite the way it did. He could have been more open with the coaches, especially Stansbury, about how he was feeling. He could have even simply tweeted out once all the rumors of him leaving were circulating to set the record straight.

And yet, here we are over 24 hours since the initial tweet sent by The Herald, and while we have an answer from the man himself via Snapchat, we still don’t have much of an answer.

Everything that came out yesterday just made me ask more and more questions, all of which encompassed a similar theme: Where we go from here regarding Robinson’s future as a Hilltopper.

If he’s really on vacation, why didn’t he tell the coaches?

Remember that whole thing about “I’ve never been a high-profile athlete,” thing? Well, part of that means I never competed collegiately, so I don’t know exactly how the interworkings between player and coach go. However, I imagine that it’s like any professional relationship, and if Robinson is on vacation, I assume he’d have to have permission from Stansbury or someone to allow him to go. If this were the case, WKU basketball (be it Stansbury or the SID office) would have been totally in their right to release a statement to validate his calim. They didn’t, and the “vacation,” story wasn’t “confirmed” by Robinson until close to 8 p.m.

Can Stansbury trust Robinson moving forward?

Let’s say Robinson comes back to campus. What does that do to the relationship (that I, and several others, feel is strained with Shammond Williams’ leaving the program) between him and Stansbury? Can Stansbury trust him to be the face of WKU basketball, for however long he’s here? Would Stansbury be in his right to bench a 5-star recruit, the highest profile player to ever come to the Hill?

WKU Basketball: Between a rock and a hard place

I want to take this time to apologize to Zach Greenwell and the rest of the WKU basketball information department. At the beginning of the day, I kept thinking “just make a statement. Just say something. Anything.” But, as the day went on, and as weirder and weirder details were released, I realized there was really nothing WKU basketball could do. They’re not going throw one of their players under the bus by saying “yes, we haven’t had contact with him,” or “he and another member of the program got into an argument and he left shortly after,” or whatever the case may be. PR, which sports information is a part of, is all about protecting your guys. It may be hard for fans to understand, especially those seeking answers, but it was the right move for WKU hoops to not say or do anything on the subject.

It was reiterated on twitter last night but I’ll say it again here — I can’t imagine the pressure Robinson, or anyone like him in his poistion — might be feeling right now. He’s getting nasty, hateful tweets (which, by the way, don’t do), he’s getting tweets pleading him to not leave, he’s getting snapchats from fans, and probably has a few family members in his ear about where to go and what to do.

This is a far from easy decision on his part (although I am firmly in the camp that this “decision” was made back in January) and nothing will make it easier. This story is far from over, and the questions will continue to mount.

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