Indiana Hoosiers point guard Yogi Ferrell stepped up as a leader on the court amid a down 2013-14 season in Bloomington but has just set a rather poor example away from the hardwood by being arrested.
According to a report on HoosiersHQ.com by Dustin Dopirak of the Bloomington Herald-Times, the 20-year-old Ferrell and teammate Stanford Robinson, 18, were arrested early Friday morning by Indiana State Excise Police.
Zach Osterman of The Indianapolis Star confirmed news of the arrests, citing a press release as the source, and also outlined the charges leveled at Ferrell and Robinson:
Indiana Excise arrested Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson early this morning, according to a press release. #iubb— ZachOsterman (@ZachOsterman) April 25, 2014
Both were "preliminarily charged with Minor Consumption of an Alcoholic Beverage and Possession of a False Identification." #iubb— ZachOsterman (@ZachOsterman) April 25, 2014
Peegs.com provides statements from Ferrell, Robinson and Tom Crean:
"I apologize for letting down my family, coaches, teammates and fans and truly regret the mistake I made. This is something I have to learn from, use better judgement and I have a responsibility as a leader on this team to make sure nothing like this happens again."
"I'm very sorry for my actions. I know I have embarrassed my family and this program and have let a lot of people down. I have no excuses for the mistakes I made and I take full responsibility for them."
"We are aware of the two infractions with a couple of the guys on our team. One of our big problems on the court this year was solid decision making, which directly mirrors our lack of decision making off the court. We had too many players that had a maturity problem all year and that maturity has not grown yet to where it needs to be. This isn't about a time of year or a special week on campus. This is about poor judgment, selfishness of actions, and disrespect for what this program stands for. We will continue as we have all year to push the responsibility of what it means to play in this basketball program and to represent yourself beyond reproach. We have been successful in doing that in the past and will continue to demand those same principles."
Dopirak's report provided the release from the excise police, which described the incident in more detail and what to expect in the near future:
...At approximately 1:00 am, Farrell and Robinson allegedly attempted to enter Kilroy’s Sports Bar located at 319 North Walnut using false identifications. Indiana State Excise Police officers working inside the premise recognized the identifications to be false at that time. Farrell and Robinson were each issued summonses and released. The two will be required to appear in Monroe County Court on Sunday, April 27th at 8:30 am.
How will the Hoosiers fare in 2014-15?
While Robinson had a decent freshman season in averaging 6.4 points per game, Ferrell took the reins as floor general when the Hoosiers needed it. The sophomore averaged a team-high 17.3 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range on just under seven attempts per contest. He added averages of three rebounds and 3.9 assists.
The Hoosiers finished just 17-15, though, failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament and didn't even land a spot in the NIT. But Ferrell has proven capable of doing his part in handling the limelight and carrying a big-time basketball program on his shoulders.
Having said that, his judgment here is questionable, especially considering his 21st birthday is just a matter of weeks away, as Scout.com's Justin Albers observed in his analysis:
Yogi Ferrell turns 21 in exactly two weeks. #iubb— Justin Albers (@Justin_Albers) April 25, 2014
While these are rather harmless offenses in the grand scheme, it's still not a good look for Ferrell as he enters his junior campaign as the unquestioned leader of the Hoosiers. Indiana needs Ferrell to be at his all-around best to be more competitive in the Big Ten this coming season, and having an off-court mishap like this may harm his standing with head coach Tom Crean.
The potential positive development that could arise from this legal run-in is that it could be come a rallying point for redemption. Perhaps it will sharpen Ferrell's focus like never before and have him even more determined to restore the Hoosiers to prominence. That is the aura he'll have to project as the face of this Indiana squad in 2014-15.
Crean has the No. 19 recruiting class coming in, per 247Sports.com's composite rankings, and needs Ferrell to help foster the incoming players and lead Indiana basketball back to the top of the Big Ten.