MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Fox 9 Investigators have learned four Gopher wrestlers at the University of Minnesota are under investigation for dealing the prescription drug, Xanax. Ten other players are suspected of using the anti-anxiety drug.
In March, an informant told U of M Police the players called it "Zanny" and were selling it for $5 a pill, using it with caffeinated sports energy drinks to get high.
The wrestling coach is J Robinson, who just finished his 30th season with the school. Police are investigating a series of post-season team meetings in March, in which Robinson allegedly ordered mandatory urine testing and told his players if they wrote a one-page personal essay about what they had done, they'd be "granted amnesty."
On April 5, Robinson allegedly sent this text to his players:
"Remember that paper is due on my desk by tomorrow evening. #1 What emotions you're feeling by getting caught, by letting yourself, 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 (it) Does not happen again."
Last month, university police interviewed the coach at his office on campus. Robinson allegedly told them he was aware of narcotics use on the team, and he had fully taken care of the issues. He would not provide the essays or the names of the players involved to police, unless they were granted immunity.
Police believe Robinson allegedly told some of his players they were being investigated by police and needed to lawyer up. When reached by phone last week, Robinson didn't deny an investigation, but said "it's all data practices," referring to Minnesota's open public records law.
University police would only provide Fox 9 with a blank police report, the crime category listed: "doesn't fit any crime."
The drug use may not even violate NCAA rules, Xanax is not a banned substance according to the organization. Xanax is a widely used prescription drug, and is not considered a performance enhancer.
In a statement to the Fox 9 Investigators, a University of Minnesota spokesperson said:
"The University takes allegations of this nature seriously, and upon receiving information the University provided it to UMPD. In consultation with UMPD, the University is allowing for the legal investigation to conclude before conducting its own internal investigation. As it remains part of an active investigation, we do not have anything additional to share at this time.”
The University spokesperson added that incoming athletic director, Mark Coyle, is aware of the investigation and is monitoring it.