Skip to main content

Reports: Gophers wrestling program being investigated for Xanax abuse


Another investigation is taking aim at the University of Minnesota's Athletic Department, and this one is involves one of Minnesota's most successful programs and a legendary Gopher coach.

Multiple reports indicate that four Gopher wrestlers are being investigated for selling and abusing the prescription sedative Xanax and that coach J Robinson knew about it and tried to quietly put a stop to it.

U of M officials confirmed that campus police are investigating alleged drug use by members of the wrestling team. The university said in a statement released to media, including the Pioneer Press that:

"The University takes allegations of this nature seriously, and upon receiving information the University provided it to the UMPD. In consultation with UMPD, the University is allowing for the legal investigation to conclude before conducting its own internal investigation. As it remains part of an active investigation, we do not have anything in addition to share at this time."

But officials haven't offered any additional comment.

According to FOX 9, an informant told U of M police in March that some wrestlers were selling the drug for $5 a pill, and using it with a caffeinated sports energy drink to get high.

The FOX 9 report also notes that police are looking into a series of post-season meetings in March, in which Robinson allegedly ordered mandatory urine testing and told team members if they wrote a one-page essay about what they had done, they'd be "granted amnesty."

The Star Tribune reports that one wrestler, who has chosen to remain anonymous, told the newspaper Robinson even collected about 1,400 pills that team members were ready to sell, but that he did not report the drug issue to police.

The Star Tribune says Robinson, who just finished his 30th season at the U of M, has not responded to voicemail messages left for him and other U of M officials were also unavailable.

The investigation is the latest in a string of bad headlines for U of M athletes. The Gopher basketball program recently suspended forward Reggie Lynch after he was arrested then released over an alleged sexual assault.

Three Gopher basketball players were also suspended near the end of the season after a sex video of one of them was posted on a social media account.

Those investigations came on the heels of an entire athletic department investigation following a sexual harassment scandal involving former U of M Athletics Director Norwood Teague.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Post Bucks win, KAT says “I play with f****** passion”

Towns was asked how he controls his emotions on the court.

D'Angelo Russell

Wolves rebound with statement win against Bucks

D'Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves bounced back with a win over the defending champs.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.


Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,