Gophers fire longtime wrestling coach J Robinson

J Robinson would have been starting his 30th year coaching the program.
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Longtime wrestling coach J Robinson has been fired by the University of Minnesota, effective immediately.

Gophers Athletic Director Mark Coyle said during a press conference that Robinson was terminated for "multiple acts of serious misconduct."

The longtime coach led the Gophers to three national championships and would have been starting his 30th season leading the program.

But he was at the forefront of a dual investigation into the wrestling program, after claims four members of the team illegally used and distributed Xanax.

According to a two-page letter Coyle sent to Robinson, those acts included:

  • A failure to disclose drug related activity by team members.
  • Disposing of drugs that student athletes turned over to him.
  • Making promises of confidentiality and amnesty to student athletes that he was not authorized to make.
  • Disobeying reasonable directives to share information regarding the drug-related activities of wrestling team members with Coyle and the University.

No criminal charges were ever filed in the case. Xanax is not an illegal drug, nor is it a substance banned by the NCAA. The Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski also notes that Robinson denies the allegations in the U of M's report.

It has looked for some time that the university and Robinson might be headed for a split. In August, the Star Tribune reported that Robinson and the U of M reached an impasse in discussions over a potential buyout.

Wednesday's letter notes that Robinson was terminated for cause.

Brandon Eggum, who has been the acting head coach during Robinson's leave from the team, will take over as the interim head coach for the 2016 season.

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