MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - University of Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson has been placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into the sale and use of prescription drugs within the program. A Fox 9 investigation found 4 Gophers wrestlers are under investigation for dealing the prescription drug Xanax, and 10 other wrestlers are suspected of using the anti-anxiety drug.
"As the University begins its own investigation of the allegations made regarding the wrestling program, I have placed Head Coach J Robinson on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation," new Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "While details of the investigation cannot be shared, the allegations made against the program are serious and after consulting with President Kaler I delivered this news to J early this morning."
AD Coyle on J Robinson: "J & I go back a few years & he was very understanding (of being out on admin leave)." pic.twitter.com/SOA5sVUuU4— Tom Lyden (@LydenFOX9) June 1, 2016
In March, an informant told University of Minnesota Police the players called it "Zanny" and were selling it for $5 a pill, using it with caffeinated sports energy drinks to get high. 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."
A University of Minnesota Police Department investigation is ongoing, and a separate internal investigation by the university is now underway.
"The alleged serious behavior in our wrestling program, if true, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” public relations director Evan Lapiska said in a statement Tuesday. “At the request of authorities we initially delayed a thorough internal investigation until the University of Minnesota Police Department's (UMPD) work had concluded so as to not compromise the ongoing criminal investigation. In close coordination with UMPD, we have received approval to initiate the internal investigation, and it is our intention to fully investigate the concerning allegations involving our students and staff. This remains an active investigation and we are committed to determining the facts before taking final action."
The agent representing J Robinson said in a statement Monday that the coach notified interim athletics director Beth Goetz of his suspicions that wrestlers were using drugs back in late February or early March. Robinson also wanted to have specific wrestlers tested for drugs, attorney James Bock said.