MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The agent representing J Robinson says the University of Minnesota wrestling coach notified interim athletics director Beth Goetz of his suspicions that wrestlers were using drugs. Robinson also wanted to have specific wrestlers tested for drugs, the agent said.
Attorney James Bock released a statement Monday in response to a Fox 9 investigation that found 4 Gophers wrestlers 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 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." CONTINUE READING
U of M internal investigation begins
The University of Minnesota had previously planned to launch its internal investigation once UMPD finished its own criminal investigation. But public relations director Evan Lapiska said Tuesday that police have given the university approval to begin the internal investigation immediately:
"The alleged serious behavior in our wrestling program, if true, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 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."
Statement from J Robinson's agent, James C. W. Bock
Last Tuesday, May 24th KMSP aired during their late evening news a report concerning University of Minnesota wrestlers’ alleged drug use and alleged drug sales.
On Thursday, May 26th a number of newspaper stories picked up the television report advancing more specific anonymously sourced allegations against Coach Robinson.
The media coverage to date appears to be a self-circulating story based on one, anonymous source; blather from anonymous sources and a media environment that disperses what it wants to be true rather than what actually is true is troubling.
In late February / early March, Coach Robinson became suspicious members of the University of Minnesota wrestling team were using drugs.
Pursuant to University of Minnesota Department of Intercollegiate Athletics policy Coach Robinson notified his direct supervisor within the Athletic Department of his concerns. Coach Robinson specifically notified the interim Athletic Department Director as well, and of his desire to have specific wrestlers tested.
Coach Robinson was instructed he needed to complete a ‘testing form’ (i.e., The University of Minnesota Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Alcohol and Drug Testing Reasonable Suspicion Reporting Form) before requesting the testing of student athletes.
The ‘reasonable suspicion’ form was completed, and testing of student athletes took place on or about Monday, March 21st.
It was on March 25th the interim Athletic Director sent Coach Robinson the 2016 University of Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Policy in twenty pages via email.
The ‘Drug and Alcohol Policy’ states: “Any student-athlete who identifies him/herself as having a substance abuse problem may self-refer to the Department of Athletic Medicine to be entered into a Safe Harbor program pending approval of the Review Board.”
Coach Robinson specifically informed the University through multiple channels of his knowledge of the situation. The University did not test the student athletes for Xanax.
Coach Robinson informed University staff of his specific concerns. As a result there are electronic communications between University employees within the University’s control on these issues.
The University has now been placed on written notice the communications and electronically stored data in its control may not be damaged, altered and/or destroyed and must be available for future dissemination.
As of this date no specific person or identifiable employee of the University has made a statement of fact that can be corroborated.
The University has been asked to test athletes, has tested athletes and has not disclosed this fact or seemingly instructed its employee on how to deal with the consequences of its testing results and/or the serious allegations being advanced in the media by an anonymous wrestler.
Coach Robinson has earned respect over the past thirty years as one of the most honorable, loyal and successful coaches in University history.
Coach Robinson’s accomplishments and loyalty to the University, to his teams, to the hundreds of student athletes he has coached, and to his fans, and detractors, would seem to be lost at this time. Fairness and appropriate disclosures by the University are at issue, and balanced coverage by the media of all facts is required.