MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler says allegations involving the use and dealing of Xanax by members of the Gophers wrestling team are "unacceptable and will not be tolerated." The investigation was first reported by Fox 9 investigative reporter Tom Lyden. Kaler said the university will let police complete their investigation before launching its own internal investigation.
The University of Minnesota has confirmed its wrestling team is under investigation for dealing and using Xanax. Four Gophers wrestlers were allegedly dealing the drug, and another 10 wrestlers are suspected of using it.
The Fox 9 Investigators have also learned the four wrestlers were allegedly getting the anti-anxiety drug from a former wrestler, who is no longer on the team. They allegedly called the pills 'Zanny' and sold it to fellow wrestlers for to other students $5-$8.
Wrestling coach J. Robinson was allegedly aware of the drug use on his team and told his players they'd be "granted amnesty" if they wrote personal essays. He sent them a text message that read:
"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?"
Full statement from U of M President Eric Kaler
"The alleged serious behavior, if true, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
"There is currently an ongoing investigation, and at the request of authorities we are delaying a thorough internal investigation until the University of Minnesota Police Department's (UMPD) work has concluded so as to not compromise the criminal investigation. It is our intention to fully investigate the concerning allegations involving our students and staff, but we will not do so until we are informed by UMPD that our actions will not interfere in any way with their work.
"The widespread reporting through anonymous sources of alleged details at the center of the investigation does not change the facts - this is an active investigation, and we remain committed to allowing the process to play out free of interference by the University."
FOX 9 FOLLOW-UP: Why Xanax?