MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A University of Minnesota athlete may have to give up his wrestling career to follow his passion for inspiring others.

Twenty-one-year-old Joel Bauman has a dream. It’s not one of fame or fortune, and it has nothing to do with making it big in the music industry.

“My dream is to inspire people. That’s what it’s all about. I feel like i was put here, you know, on this earth to make a difference,” Bauman said.

His music videos are a hit on YouTube and TuneCore. He says music is just a tool he uses to impact lives.

“My goal is to make people hopefully see the greatness in themselves so they can go get their dream,” he said. “I’ve seen too many kids, I’ve seen too many people, I’ve seen too many adults that have this not-good-enough feeling.”

Bauman says his music is meant to erase negative feelings and create a sense of confidence. But his music has struck a sour note with the University of Minnesota. Bauman is on a wrestling scholarship that covers 10 percent of his tuition.

Based on NCAA rules, student-athletes are not allowed to use their name, image or status to promote the sale of a commercial product – including songs affiliated with a music career. They’ve asked Joel to remove his name and likeness from the videos.

Bauman says he will continue to create music that inspires and hopes to start a foundation where he will help nurture the dreams of young people.

“It’s about changing peoples’ perspectives, because when you change their perspective…then you can ultimately, radically transform their lives because perception is reality,” he said. “When you change someone’s perception – you can change their reality,” he said.

Until Bauman takes down his videos, he is ineligible to participate in university wrestling events. He can still keep his scholarship and is allowed to practice with the team.

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