Kent State wrestler suspended indefinitely for anti-gay tweets
Kent State wrestler Sam Wheeler has been indefinitely suspended for anti-gay remarks made on Twitter, the school announced Monday.
Wheeler posted a series of tweets regarding Michael Sam, a University of Missouri football player who publicly revealed his sexual orientation this weekend.
"I can’t even watch Sports Center today cause all they are talking about is Marcus Smart or that (slur) from Mizzou…" Wheeler tweeted.
Oklahoma State star Smart made headlines over the weekend after he was suspended three games for shoving a fan in the final seconds of a game Saturday.
After his initial tweet, Wheeler replied to two of his followers responses with homophobic slurs. His last tweet read "O geez I got all these (slur) boys mad at me now."
The tweets, which were captured and posted in a screen grab on OutrageDC.com, were deleted less than an hour later. Wheeler’s Twitter account has now been deleted.
The university released statements from Athletic Director Joel Nielsen and wrestling coach Jim Andrassy.
"We are aware of the insensitive tweets by one of our student athletes," Nielsen’s statement said. "On behalf of Kent State University, we consider these comments to be ignorant and not indicative of the beliefs held by our university community as a whole. This is an educational opportunity for all of our student-athletes."
Andrassy’s said, "As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter. 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."
The 20-year-old Wheeler is a redshirt sophomore who is 26-5 this season competing in the 184 pound weight class. Wheeler attended Copley High School in northeast Ohio, where he was a first-team all-Ohio linebacker in football. He won a Division I state wrestling title as a senior at 189 pounds and was state runner-up as a junior at 171 pounds.
Wheeler spent the fall semester of his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma before transferring to Kent State in January 2012.