Prosecutors plan no drug charges against U of M wrestlers; police reveal details

U of M wrestling coach J Robinson has been on a paid leave since May.

Prosecutors have decided not to press charges against University of Minnesota wrestlers suspected of using and selling the prescription drug Xanax, according to several media reports.

KSTP says Hennepin County prosecutors are not planning any charges in the case.

In addition, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal – whose office would prosecute any misdemeanor charges in the case – told the Star Tribune :“We reviewed all the evidence and there was not sufficient evidence to support charges in the case and it’s as simple as that.”

Coach still under investigation

U of M wrestling coach J Robinson has been on a paid leave since May 31 while the university investigates his knowledge of the drug use and sales, as well as his decision to handle the matter himself instead of turning it over to police.

Putting Robinson on leave was one of the first actions of the new Gopher Athletics Director Mark Coyle. A few days before that step was taken, U of M President Eric Kaler said: "The alleged serious behavior, if true, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

'Our coach tried to cover it up'

Also Wednesday, the U of M police department released a file of documents from its investigation – with names blacked out.

A copy of the report posted by KSTP includes the original tip police received on April 7 through an anonymous online reporting system called Ethics Point. It was sent by a Gopher wrestler who started his description of the problem by writing:

"There was illegal selling of drugs. Our coach tried to cover it up by making all of the people involved turn in all of the drugs that they had. He ... knew that this was illegal."

The informant wrote that some of his teammates were receiving Xanax in the mail from a former teammate who had recently left the program, adding that they began selling the drugs in January.

The tipster says the wrestling coach was told about the Xanax by an anonymous source concerned about the team. The informant says the coach "decided to sit on this information" until the wrestling season was over.

According to the account, the coach called a team meeting after the season and confronted his wrestlers about the drugs.

"He took all of the Xanax and any other drugs that they had. He said that they would be disposed of in some way. He said not to tell anyone because he would take care of the situation. (He) told us that we would all have 'amnesty' and that if we came and talked to him that none of us on the team would get in any trouble."

Not cooperative with police

The police files say when investigators talked to Robinson he told them he was handling the situation internally and refused to turn over information about the matter.

Robinson's lawyer, Ryan Kaess, told the Star Tribune this week that Xanax sales were "ticky-tack violations" and said of his client: "He said [to police], 'Listen, I'm not going to work with you. Why are you ostensibly coming after these kids? We need to help them — not hang a felony around their necks.' "

FOX 9 reports police were preparing a possible obstruction of justice case against Robinson. While prosecutors decided not to file charges, FOX notes the case remains open.

Robinson has coached the Minnesota wrestling team for 30 years, leading them to three national championships.

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