Early Friday morning, just after 1 a.m., tweets began to surface that those in the area of Kilroy's Sports Bar at 319 North Walnut and the Taco Bell just south of the bar had witnessed Indiana sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell put in handcuffs and in the back of an undercover cop car.
The Indiana State Excise Police confirmed early Friday afternoon in a press release that both Ferrell and freshman guard Stanford Robinson had been arrested at approximately 1 a.m. after allegedly trying to enter the Kilroy's Sports Bar with fake IDs and for minor consumption of alcohol.
The two are likely to be a couple of several hundred IU students and students from other campuses arrested and charged with offenses this week – Indiana State Excise Police made 235 arrests on 285 charges just a year ago.
Of course, the Hoosiers are not unfamiliar with alcohol-related arrests this season. Just more than two months ago, sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea was arrested in the early morning hours of Feb. 14 for OWI charges for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and having a blood alcohol content of .15 or greater.
But Ferrell's recent run-in with the police just two weeks before his 21st birthday (May 9) extends beyond the charges. Early Friday morning, Ferrell repeatedly denied any wrongdoing via Twitter messages to his followers and in direct messages to me personally.
After I began tweeting that I had sources who had alleged that Ferrell had been seen with police Friday morning, Ferrell took to his own Twitter account to deny the accusations.
"Home koolin it," he first tweeted after the reports surfaced. Then, he followed with, "Actually laying in bed rn."
Ferrell was taken in by Indiana State Excise Police and issued a court summons before both he and Robinson were released. Because he was not taken into custody to a jail cell and allowed to go home, he was able to have access to his Twitter account after the events transpired to refute the accusations, confusing those who were not eyewitnesses what truly occurred and convincing many to believe that the reports were false.
After receiving multiple tweets directed at him asking about his possible involvement, Ferrell responded to one from Kyle Horstman (@K_Horstman) saying, "nah I didn't man idk where that's comin from."
Then, Ferrell reached out to me personally to deny the reports I had made through a Twitter direct message. He said, "hey man I wasn't arrested tonight at a Taco Bell. I've been at home so can you say that those rumors aren't true. I just don't want a bad rep."
I told him I had sources certain claiming otherwise and asked again if there was any altercation where he would have been put in handcuffs that night. He replied via a direct message, "No there was no altercation where I was put in handcuffs."
Since last night's events, Ferrell's Twitter account (@Mr_MiYogi) has since been deleted.
Both Ferrell and Robinson will appear in Monroe County Court on Sunday at 8:30 a.m.
IU athletics released statements from Crean, Ferrell and Robinson just after 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, where Crean voiced his frustration with the lack of "solid decision making" on the court that has mirrored itself off the court as well.
"We are aware of the two infractions with a couple of the guys on our team," Crean said in the statement. " 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."
Additionally, Ferrell and Robinson voiced their apologies for their actions in the release.
"I apologize for letting down my family, coaches, teammates and fans and truly regret the mistake I made," Ferrell said. " This is something I have to learn from, use better judgment and I have a responsibility as a leader on this team to make sure nothing like this happens again."
Robinson said, "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."
Last season, Mosquera-Perea was suspended indefinitely by Crean following his arrest and missed two games, although the Iowa game at home schedule between the games at Purdue and at Northwestern which Mosquera-Perea missed was postponed. Sophomore Jeremy Hollowell, who has since announced he will transfer to Georgia State, was held out of three games last season for focus issues, according to Crean.
Assuming both Ferrell, along with Robinson, will receive discipline from the program, that makes three of four players from the 2012-13 recruiting class who have or will likely miss significant playing time due to off-the-court issues.
Ferrell returns for his junior season as one of only two IU players from last year's campaign who held significant starting roles, as he started all 32 games while leading the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game.
As the team's only true veteran on a Hoosier squad severely lacking experience, time will tell how the team's relied-upon leader will recover from this severe mistake away from Assembly Hall.