Prosecutors decline to press charges against wrestlers accused of selling Xanax

Wrestling coach J Robinson also won’t face criminal charges for his allegedly seeking to resolve drug concerns internally.

David Clarey

No charges will be filed against University of Minnesota wrestlers allegedly involved in the sale and use of Xanax — an anti-anxiety drug —  or against the team’s head coach for allegedly attempting to quietly resolve the issue internally.  

Jean Heyer, a Hennepin County attorney’s office spokeswoman, confirmed prosecutors chose not to pursue criminal charges against Robinson or the wrestling team, but declined to comment further.

Ryan Kaess, Robinson’s attorney, said he was pleased with the decision, but critical of the investigation process.

“I think they made the absolute correct decision,” he said. “Unfortunately the path they went down to get to this decision was ridiculous. It was sad. It was tragic, and it showed a clear lack of any caring about these students.”

Still, the University will continue the internal investigation it started late last month, said University Spokesman Evan Lapiska. He said the University won’t comment until the investigation is complete.

Robinson was placed on paid administrative leave June 1. Kaess said he was confident Robinson would be reinstated, and reiterated that Robinson did nothing wrong and didn’t violate university policy.

He also questioned the University’s priorities in the investigation. 

 “J Robinson was concerned about the health and welfare of his students, that’s it. And the University of Minnesota should be giving the guy a medal, not [dragging] his name through the mud,” Kaess said. “These kids’ lives would be ruined and every single day we have people’s lives ruined over stupid ticky-tack … drug issues like this … Why were the police investigating this damn thing in the first place?”

The allegations surfaced in April after an anonymous informant told University of Minnesota Police Department investigators that some wrestlers sold and used Xanax, according to a search warrant affidavit. 

Fifteen current and former University wrestlers and Robinson were named in the affidavit.

While Robinson offered to provide extensive information if the accused wrestlers were granted immunity, he declined to give police the names of the wrestlers involved, and said he had “fully taken care of” his team’s use and possession of any narcotics, according to the affidavit.

Robinson never admitted to having knowledge of members selling the drug, according to the affidavit.

In late May, Robinson’s agent, James Block, said in a statement that Robinson had notified his supervisors in the University’s Athletic Department of the issue.