Sophomore Kentucky basketball forward Tai Wynyard was suspended indefinitely from all team activities on Tuesday, with a Kentucky spokesperson explaining the punishment by using the always vague “violation of team rules” reason. Wynyard, who before coming to Kentucky played as a non-contract player on a pro team in New Zealand, hadn’t played in the team’s last 10 games due to a back injury, and he was projected to miss the rest of the season. He also wasn’t on the bench for the Wildcats’ home game against Vanderbilt last week, though a Kentucky spokesperson said that was because Wynyard “had some academic obligations that he was attending to prior to our game.”
There’s one additional weird detail about Wynyard, which was uncovered by the Louisville Courier-Journal a few hours after the suspension was announced. According to messages sent by fraternity and sorority members at Kentucky, Wynyard showed up to at least one party alongside an armed student who said he was “protecting” the basketball player. From the Courier-Journal’s report:
The Group Me message circulated by sorority members in January stated: “there is a (person) showing up to parties with the basketball player Tai Wynyard. (The person) showed up last night to our rush party and ... had a gun ... said he was ‘protecting’ Wynyard. ... If you go out tonight and see (person) DO NOT APPROACH (person). Share this to EVERY SISTER.”
According to the Courier-Journal’s source, Greek life members exchanged pictures and identified Wynyard’s alleged bodyguard. The source also said that fraternity and sorority presidents discussed the incident with the Interfraternity Council, with the IFC telling members, “Make sure to be careful.” A spokesman for the Kentucky IFC told the Courier-Journal that they do not comment on student disciplinary matters.
The Courier-Journal didn’t name the armed student because no criminal charges have been filed against him. They also contacted a Kentucky spokesperson, who said he could not comment on the timing of the suspension, or whether it was connected to this incident.