Only one ‘side’ of U wrestling drug scandal being told… by choice

When the Star Tribune broke its story last week reporting that a drug ring was operating out of the University of Minnesota wrestling team, it depended largely on an anonymous source, a former member of the team. It also cited a second wrestler who received a message about the Xanax scandal from coach J Robinson.

It also had this paragraph:

Robinson did not respond to a voicemail message on his cellphone, the university would not make President Eric Kaler available for comment, and a school spokesman said interim athletic director Beth Goetz and incoming AD Mark Coyle were both traveling and unavailable for comment.

After a Fox9 News report revealed a similar story, the university issued this statement:

“The University takes allegations of this nature seriously, and upon receiving information the University provided it to 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 additional to share at this time.”

University officials were apparently given every opportunity to talk to reporters to say whatever it is they wanted to say. They chose to say nothing.

Fast forward to today’s article in Minnesota Daily, specifically this paragraph in which the university appears to be objecting to the coverage so far.

University spokesperson Evan Lapiska voiced similar concerns.

“[The coverage] was fueled by an anonymous source telling their side of it, and there wasn’t really a … second side of it,” Lapiska said. “We just want to stress that the University is not weighing in on the details of the investigation at this point. We’re committed to waiting until the investigation is complete.”

Got it. There are only allegations at this point. But to the extent that the university’s “side” isn’t being told, let’s also stress that it’s a choice the university has made.

The investigation will, presumably, get to the truth. It makes no sense to embrace as fact that which is an allegation. But it also makes no sense to dismiss it on the basis of it being one side of a story.

Meanwhile, Coach Robinson was placed on administrative leave today. The Star Tribune reported his home was searched by authorities.

Robinson’s agent, who had earlier blasted the use of an anonymous source, responded to a request for comment from the paper with a text message that said, “I have no further comment until the University starts telling the truth about what it knows.”