KSU Suspends Wrestler Indefinitely Over Anti-Gay TweetsBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Sam Wheeler, the 20-year-old college wrestler at the Kent State University, KSU, is suspended indefinitely Monday for making rude comments on Twitter against college athletes.
The remarks were made against Michael Sam, a Missouri All-American defensive end and prospective NFL draftee, who came out as gay, Sunday night, and Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State basketball player, who was suspended for three games for shoving a Texas Tech fan.
"I can't even watch Sports Center today cause all they are talking about is Marcus Smart or that (gay slur) from Mizzou..... "O geez I got all these (slur) boys mad at me now," Wheeler tweets.
The redshirt sophomore wrestler's Twitter account has since been shut down.
"As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam's head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter," Jim Andrassy, the Golden Flashes' head wrestling coach said in a statement. "I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward."
Joel Nielson, athletic director, said that these uninformed comments do not represent the values held by our community.
"Student athletes are considered 'highly visible" members of the community... They are required to 'set an example for fellow students' and to act as 'ambassadors of the university,'" Kent State Student-Athlete Handbook states, Akron Beacon Journal reports.
The university's decision to suspend Wheeler was welcomed by the members of Kent's LGBTQ community.
"I think that the university's response, especially coming so quickly, has been accurate," Brandon Stephens, president of PRIDE! Kent said. "The suspension was warranted, and I would applaud the University for taking that stance," Kent Wired reports.
Last season, Wheeler finished the season with a 25-14 win-loss total and was ranked sixth in the Mid-American Conference Wrestling Tournament. Wheeler posted a 26-5 record on the season and currently holds the No. 13 rank on Intermat.com for 184-pound weight class. Before transferring to Kent State January 2012, Wheeler spent the fall semester of his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma.