Fresno State wrestling holds independent review, faces stripper allegations

Fresno State head wrestling coach Troy Steiner speaks after the 33-10 loss to Illinois on Nov. 17, 2017 at the Save Mart Center. (The Collegian archive)

The Fresno State wrestling team is under internal investigation by the university for potential athletics department and NCAA rule violations involving a stripper dancing at a party that included recruits on official visits last year, according to the Fresno Bee.

In the article, the allegation was received internally and is part of an independent review of the program, which could lead to disciplinary actions for both coaches, student-athletes and NCAA sanctions for the program.

Fresno State athletics director Terry Tumey provided The Bee with a statement acknowledging that the university is aware of the allegations to the program.

“Fresno State athletics is aware of allegations about the wrestling program and is following all (California State University) and campus policies in conjunction with university administration, the Big 12 Conference, and the NCAA,”  Tumey said.

Tumey continued his statement by expressing the severity of the allegations and that a thorough investigation has been initiated.

“Fresno State takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and, as such, a thorough investigation into all aspects of the wrestling program was initiated immediately upon learning of these allegations. At this time, the investigation is on-going and, therefore, we are not able to make any additional comments at this time.”

According to the athletic department student-athlete handbook, use of “Adult Entertainment” services or facilities of any kind are prohibited, as well as numerous other activities including:

• Use of alcohol of any kind by the host or prospect regardless of age;

• Drug use of any kind;

• Sexual misconduct;

• Any activity that violates state or federal law

• Abusive conduct which threatens or endangers the physical or psychological, health, safety, or welfare of any individual;

• Harassment, including harassment on the basis of race, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion, or physical disability

• Any activities or events at any location that lends a perception of impropriety, including gambling or gaming establishments.

• Entertainment that is excessive or not on a scale comparable to that of normal student life; and

• Any other behavior that is illegal, inappropriate or results in embarrassment to Fresno State, its athletic programs, its student-athletes or its prospective student-athletes.

For student-athletes who serve as hosts for a recruiting visit, they must sign a form that lists department rules and prohibited activities, while also agreeing to all NCAA, conference and university rules and regulations.

A failure to uphold the agreement is a violation of the Fresno State student-athlete code of conduct and may lead to suspension or termination from the team, loss of athletic scholarship, and/or university disciplinary action such as suspension, expulsion from the university and/or legal action.

As for the program, consequences may include sanctions against prospective student-athletes and a discontinuance of their recruitment, in addition to actions against any other person who is party to the misconduct.

The Fresno State wrestling staff must also have knowledge of and adhere to NCAA, Big 12 and university rules, policies and bylaws as that is written into their contracts. They must also report any violations to the athletics director and director of compliance.

Consequences for coaches range from suspension with or without pay for a period of time to termination by the university as decided by the president.

According to an athletics department spokesperson, head coach Troy Steiner has not been made available for comment.

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