PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: James C. W. Bock, Esq., of JCWB ESQ LLC
Date May 30, 2016
RE: University of Minnesota Head Wrestling Coach J Paul Robinson
Last Tuesday, May 24th KMSP aired during their late evening news a report concerning University of Minnesota wrestlersâ€™ alleged drug use and alleged drug sales.
On Thursday, May 26th a number of newspaper stories picked up the television report advancing more specific anonymously sourced allegations against Coach Robinson.
The media coverage to date appears to be a self-circulating story based on one, anonymous source; blather from anonymous sources and a media environment that disperses what it wants to be true rather than what actually is true is troubling.
In late February / early March, Coach Robinson became suspicious members of the University of Minnesota wrestling team were using drugs.
Pursuant to University of Minnesota Department of Intercollegiate Athletics policy Coach Robinson notified his direct supervisor within the Athletic Department of his concerns. Coach Robinson specifically notified the interim Athletic Department Director as well, and of his desire to have specific wrestlers tested.
Coach Robinson was instructed he needed to complete a â€˜testing formâ€™ (i.e., The University of Minnesota Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Alcohol and Drug Testing Reasonable Suspicion Reporting Form) before requesting the testing of student athletes.
The â€˜reasonable suspicionâ€™ form was completed, and testing of student athletes took place on or about Monday, March 21st.
It was on March 25th the interim Athletic Director sent Coach Robinson the 2016 University of Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Policy in twenty pages via email.
The â€˜Drug and Alcohol Policyâ€™ states: â€œAny student-athlete who identifies him/herself as having a substance abuse problem may self-refer to the Department of Athletic Medicine to be entered into a Safe Harbor program pending approval of the Review Board.â€
Coach Robinson specifically informed the University through multiple channels of his knowledge of the situation. The University did not test the student athletes for Xanax.
Coach Robinson informed University staff of his specific concerns. As a result there are electronic communications between University employees within the Universityâ€™s control on these issues.
The University has now been placed on written notice the communications and electronically stored data in its control may not be damaged, altered and/or destroyed and must be available for future dissemination.
As of this date no specific person or identifiable employee of the University has made a statement of fact that can be corroborated.The University has been asked to test athletes, has tested athletes and has not disclosed this fact or seemingly instructed its employee on how to deal with the consequences of its testing results and/or the serious allegations being advanced in the media by an anonymous wrestler.
Coach Robinson has earned respect over the past thirty years as one of the most honorable, loyal and successful coaches in University history.
Coach Robinsonâ€™s accomplishments and loyalty to the University, to his teams, to the hundreds of student athletes he has coached, and to his fans, and detractors, would seem to be lost at this time. Fairness and appropriate disclosures by the University are at issue, and balanced coverage by the media of all facts is required.