- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday by his new boss, pending the conclusion of a university investigation into his handling of an alleged prescription drug ring run by team members.

Athletic director Mark Coyle made the announcement in Hutchinson during the department’s annual state caravan, dubbed the Gopher Road Trip. Coyle said he consulted with university President Eric Kaler before informing Robinson of his decision.

“While details of the investigation cannot be shared, the allegations made against the program are serious,” Coyle said.

Campus police have been conducting a criminal investigation into a team member’s disputed allegation that Robinson attempted to cover up the widespread sale and use of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax by his wrestlers. The university announced its own probe into the program on Tuesday.

An attorney for Robinson, James C.W. Bock, has said his client informed superiors earlier this year of his suspicion wrestlers were using the drugs. Bock said in a statement issued earlier this week that Robinson followed department policy in late February or early March by notifying his direct supervisor in the athletic department as well as interim athletic director Beth Goetz of his belief and stated his desire to have specific wrestlers tested.

One wrestler, speaking last week on condition of anonymity to the Star Tribune, told the Minneapolis newspaper that Robinson collected hundreds of Xanax pills from members of the team without reporting the issue to police or the university. The anonymous wrestler said in the interview that he told the police himself about the alleged drug ring.

Robinson has spent 30 years coaching the program, winning three national championships. He signed a contract extension last summer through 2020.

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