MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Hennepin County prosecutors have declined charges at this time against members of the University of Minnesota wrestling team accused using and selling the prescription drug Xanax. Following the decision, the University of Minnesota Police Department publicly released its 15-page report on the investigation, clarifying the timeline of who knew what and when they knew it.
The UMPD case file released Wednesday shows obstruction charges were also being considered against head coach J Robinson, but the Minneapolis City Attorney declined those charges as well.
First reported by Fox 9
A Fox 9 investigation last month revealed allegations of four wrestlers dealing the prescription drug Xanax; with ten other athletes using the anti-anxiety drug. The wrestlers were allegedly selling Xanax, which they called “Zanny,” for $5 to other wrestlers and $8 to other students. WATCH REPORT - 4 Gophers wrestlers under investigation for selling Xanax
Robinson, U official knew of drug problem in Dec. 2015
According to the computer forensic report, as early as December 2015, evidence suggests that wrestling program staff, including head coach J Robinson and senior associate athletics director Marc Ryan, knew "the unlawful use, sale, or possession of drugs was a problem for at least one wrestler on the team.” On Dec. 7th, an email shows knowledge of a wrestler found by campus police intoxicated and in the possession of a Ziploc bag containing a few orange pills.
Parent voiced concern
In the months that followed, at least one student athlete's parent approached Robinson, concerned his son was also in trouble. In April, a wrestler on the team submitted a complaint through the schools Ethics Point website, alerting investigators about the sale, use and abuse of Xanax within the team.
Coach waited until season was over
J Robinson didn’t call a team meeting to address the drug concerns until after the season ended on March 23, asking those involved to write a letter in exchange for immunity. One of the wrestlers’ letters said, "I should have known that I would get caught eventually and that my teammates could have gotten in serious trouble or could have even killed someone if they overdosed."
Wrestlers never tested for Xanax
The report released Wednesday shows two Gophers wrestlers tested positive for amphetamines and one for marijuana, but the wrestlers were never tested for Xanax -- the drug at the core of this investigation. Former interim athletics director Beth Goetz referred investigators to the school's attorney when they asked about a second round of testing.
The report also shows Robinson and his wrestlers were not cooperative with the investigation, and Robinson feared the investigation would result in "carnage" for the Gophers wrestling program.
Internal investigation remains open
The University of Minnesota’s internal investigation remains active, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
Timeline of Gophers wrestling investigation
Jan. 18 – Start of spring semester
Jan. 25 – Informant starts to hear about drug activity on the Gophers wrestling team.
Feb. 1- Informant sees video on an Android phone that belongs to a Gophers wrestler, showing a large amount of Xanax pills on a table top. He is told that he can get some Xanax if he is interested.
March 14 – Wrestling nationals are held in New York.
March 19 – Wrestling season ends.
March 21 – All Gophers wrestlers are called in for a mandatory drug test. Xanax was not one of the drugs tested for. Tests results reveal two wrestlers tested positive for amphetamines and one for marijuana.
March 23 – At a mandatory team meeting, Robinson says he’s aware of drug use on the team, including Xanax, Adderall and marijuana. Robinson says those involved have until March 25 through March 27 to tell him privately what their involvement is and to surrender any drugs in their possession. He says wrestlers who do this will be granted immunity.
March 29 – At a mandatory team meeting, Robinson tells wrestlers who were involved in drug activity to “write an essay that details their emotions of getting caught.”
The police report details a text message sent by Robinson to his wrestlers that says: “Remember that paper is due on my desk by tomorrow evening. #1 What emotions you’re feeling by getting caught, by letting your teammates, your parents down, how did it feel and do you want to feel that way again? #2 what did you learn from this? 3 what are you going to do different. Your plan so does not happen again?”
April 8 - University of Minnesota Police receive a submission from the informant through the University of Minnesota Ethics Point Reporting System . The submission states that J Robinson tried to take matters into his own hands after discovering four wrestlers had sold drugs and 10 others had used it.
April 12 – J Robinson meets with investigators, and says he knew about drug use on the team but said it was “a confidential matter and he was taking care of it internally.” Robinson said if his wrestlers were granted immunity from criminal prosecution, he would tell investigators “everything that he knows.” He said that he knows the players involved, what their involvement is and where the drugs were coming from. Later that day, Robinson is informed that his wrestlers will not be granted immunity. In a follow-up conversation with the informant, police learn Robinson pulled several wrestlers aside and told them a criminal investigation was being conducted.
April 15 – A search warrant is executed at the Bierman Athletic Building, seeking documents, computers, storage devices and a cell phone. During an interview with police, Robinson once again confirms some of his wrestlers were involved in drug activity and says he wants to find a resolution so the issue doesn’t result in “carnage” for his team.
April 27 – Gophers wrestlers are contacted by police to schedule interviews. Investigators learn some wrestlers were “freaking out” about their drug tests. They also learn the Xanax pills were allegedly mailed in shoeboxes, with “hundreds of pills” stuffed inside of shoes, but that testimony came from a wrestler with no firsthand knowledge.
May 2 – Investigators asked former interim athletics director Beth Goetz for a second drug test of the wrestlers, for Xanax, which is not a substance banned by the NCAA. A university lawyers suggested police get a search warrant for a second urine test.
May 6 – Investigators receive a DVD copy of the apology letters some wrestlers provided to J Robinson.
May 24 – Fox 9 reporter Tom Lyden breaks the news of an investigation into drug use and sales on the Gophers wrestling team.
June 17 – J Robinson Intensive Camps moved off U of M campus, to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
June 22 - Hennepin County Attorney's Office declines charges, citing a lack of evidence.
June 28 - Minneapolis City Attorney's Office declines charges.