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J Rob notified superiors of drug concerns in March

Emails uncovered by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press and other media in the Twin Cities indicate J Robinson, long-time head wrestling coach at the University of Minnesota, had informed his superiors about his concerns about possible drug use and sales on the part of some of his athletes.

J Robinson (Photo/David Peterson)
The emails -- supplied by Robinson's agent, attorney James C.W. Bock -- indicate that high-ranking athletics department officials were aware that Robinson wanted his wrestlers tested for drugs but make no mention of anything further the coach might have shared with interim athletics director Beth Goetz and senior associate AD Mark Ryan. (Goetz has since relocated to University of Connecticut; new athletic director Mark Coyle, who took the helm May 31; on his second day in office, put Robinson on paid administrative leave.)

In an email time-stamped March 10, Ryan sent Robinson the school's Drug & Alcohol Reasonable Suspicion Testing form, which he needed to fill out before any action was taken. On March 25, Goetz emailed Robinson the department's drug testing policy, adding, "We can chat more about the testing results we have and other information when you are back in town." (Robinson was out of the country at the time.)

In a statement released May 31, the University of Minnesota said it was launching its own investigation into the wrestling program after initially holding back to allow a continuing University of Minnesota Police Department probe. The Pioneer-Press quoted a Minnesota official that both investigations are ongoing. Robinson will remain on administrative leave while the investigations continue, said new AD Coyle when he had announced the suspension June 1.

The situation became public last month when multiple media sources in Minneapolis-St. Paul reported that some Golden Gopher wrestlers may have been using or selling Xanax, a prescription anti-anxiety drug.

J Robinson, 69, became head wrestling coach at Minnesota in 1986, making him the second-longest serving in Golden Gopher mat history (behind Wally Johnson, who was at the helm for 34 seasons immediately before J Rob). In his 30 seasons as head coach, Robinson has guided the Gophers to three NCAA team titles (2001, 2002, and 2007), and an overall record of 440-145-4, for a .747 winning percentage, the highest of any wrestling coach at the school.

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