Western Kentucky suspends 5-star freshman after he bolts from campus

Mitchell Robinson, a five-star freshman enrolled at Western Kentucky, has unexpectedly left the school's campus in Bowling Green and created an uncertain future with the Hilltoppers, a source told CBS Sports.

The source said Robinson had been attending classes and working out for the past two weeks but then didn't show up for a scheduled workout Thursday, at which point the WKU staff went to check on him. His room was empty, according to the source.

"It had been cleaned out," the source said.

On Monday, WKU coach Rick Stansbury announced that Robinson was indefinitely suspended from the program due to a violation of team rules.

"Mitchell is a good kid, but the team will always be more important than one individual player," Stansbury said in a statement. "He needs to understand the value of structure and accountability in his life, and his return will be dependent upon requirements that will be handled internally. My focus is on our team, and I'm excited about this group as we prepare for next week's trip to Costa Rica." 

According to the source, nobody at Western Kentucky has spoken with Robinson or his mother since Robinson left campus. If he wants to play Division I basketball at all this season, his only option now -- without getting an unusual waiver from the NCAA -- would be to return to Western Kentucky because he has already been enrolled and practicing at the Conference USA school. Playing overseas would be the most likely professional option, a source told CBS Sports.

Robinson was a McDonald's All-American and the No. 8 prospect in the Class of 2017, which makes him the highest-rated prospect to ever enroll at Western Kentucky. His godfather, Shammond Williams, was on Stansbury's staff when he committed in July 2016. But Williams left the WKU staff last month, which immediately brought into question whether Robinson would follow through on his commitment. And now he's gone and not responding to anyone on the WKU staff, a source said.

-- Matt Norlander contributed to this story

CBS Sports Insider

Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories