When Minnesota’s wrestling coach found out that a few of his athletes were dealing Xanax out of their dorm, he didn’t tell the university or the police. Instead, he took what was left of the drugs and made the offenders write a one-page essay about their feelings and what they had learned, the Star Tribune reported tonight.
A source told the paper that coach J Robinson (yes, that is his name) discovered at some point that members of the team were selling Xanax. The source, a wrestler granted anonymity by the paper, said four teammates had about 2,500 pills (gotten from a former wrestler) and were selling them for $8 a pop. Teammates got a discounted price, $5. Robinson called a team meeting in late March, after the season was over, telling the dealing wrestlers to give him their stash in exchange for amnesty, according to the source.
“He said, ‘It’s Easter weekend. I’ll be in my office Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you’re involved, come and tell me. If you have any pills, bring them to my office and I’ll dispose of them, and I’ll give you amnesty.’ ”
“Half of it went in the river, and half of it went to J. I know for a fact the people who were selling it dumped it and gave him about 1,400 [pills].” The source did not elaborate on the dumping location.
Even after getting rid of half the load, that’s a lot of Xanax. The Star Tribune’s source also showed them the essay prompt:
Robinson’s text, which was obtained by the Star Tribune, said: “Remember that paper is due on my desk by tomorrow evening. #1 What emotion 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 does not happen again.”
Now police are investigating. University of Minnesota police provided a report to local media, but it didn’t say much. Fox 9 also reported that Robinson might have warned some of his players about the investigation.
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.
Neither Robinson nor any university officials would speak to the Star Tribune on record, but the UMPD investigation continues.
Robinson has coached the team for 30 years, and he led the Golden Gophers to national championships in 2001, 2002, and 2007.