I’ve known J Robinson since the early 70’s and he has always marched to his own drummer. He’s an opinionated winner, a stubborn and rugged individualist, a person you can count on to reject political correctness while he embraces discipline and personal responsibility. I’ve always found J to say what he believes and believe what he says. I like that about the man and I’ve have always admired the bond of trust and respect he builds with his wrestlers. And as tough as he is on his athletes, he’s equally as tough on himself. J is the person you want to share a fox hole with and be in your corner during competition.
He’s the person who helped Gable become the coach he was and then the individual who challenged Iowa’s dominance after he moved to Minneapolis.
But somehow you knew as long as he continued to win big while the rest of the school’s programs won small, his uncompromising temperament and say it like it is demeanor wouldn’t be an issue. But with the combination of this year’s mediocre season with what appears to be a scandal of federal proportions, those who have never subscribed to J’s view of the world have attacked.
And this Xanax scandal is about to get uglier before it gets better, but not in the way some may think; so pass out the ice packs and salt, there’s going to be a few black eyes and individuals eating crow.
Now for those who haven’t heard or may not know much of the story, here’s what’s being reported and I’ve deduced from reading between the lines.
“A source with the wrestling program told the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune’s Joe Christensen that Robinson learned this season that his athletes were using and selling large amounts of Xanax. Robinson, according to the source, tried to handle the crisis internally. He reportedly did not tell his superiors.”
From this and a majority of other articles I’ve found online, J is getting crucified Joe Paterno style for trying to handle a very bad situation internally. And yesterday he was put on administrative leave by the universities newly appointed Athletic Director which in political speak usually means . . . you’re gone but we’re allowing you to save face for the outstanding service you’ve provided the university over the years.
What hasn’t been reported, but will become apparent when the authorities dig through the emails on his athletic department server, that J did what was expected of a man of character and followed university protocol.
So basically there appears to have been a rush to judgment here and knowing J, I believe he’ll deal with this in the same way he handles everything in his life . . . by powering through it. And given that this attack on J’s reputation occurred prior to being given an opportunity to defend himself and provide timelines, everyone is about to lose something. This is as predictable as it is indicative of the man who believes that conflict is good because it strengthens character.