MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The new athletic director of the University of Minnesota is starting the job by putting a long-time coach on paid leave.

“I met with coach (J) Robinson this morning and we put him on paid administrative leave while we do an investigation,” Mark Coyle said.

The U placed wrestling coach J Robinson on paid administrative leave Wednesday as it investigates whether his athletes used and sold Xanax.

Robinson’s contract advisor, James CW Bock, wanted to sit down because he says the university has not handled this situation properly. He says coach Robinson became aware of possible drug use during the wrestling season, and told the correct people within the athletic department.

On March 10, Robinson’s direct supervisor sent him a form to have his athletes tested. That testing happened March 21.

Four days later, interim athletic director Beth Goetz told Robinson in an email that the drug test results were complete. His contract advisor says what’s happened in the last week should not have been the end result for a coach who thought he had complied with the university.

“It looks to me that the University of Minnesota is trying to blame J Robinson for a problem that J Robinson brought to light,” Bock said. “And it looks to me like he’s not being treated fairly and he’s not being given due process. And I think the communications that will ultimately come out are going to demonstrate that the university has had a great deal of information a lot longer than what they’re saying, that they did not start an investigation just yesterday.”

Bock maintains the Robinson very much wants to coach the wrestling team next season. Robinson has spent 30 years coaching the program, winning three national championships. He signed a contract extension last summer through 2020.

Mike Max

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