Gophers wrestler loses eligibility due to online music videos

9:42 PM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota declared wrestler Joel Bauman ineligible this week after he declined to remove songs and videos that feature him online.

NCAA rules state that student athletes are not allowed to use their name or image for commercial use, including songs affiliated with a music career, according to a statement by U of M's Director of Compliance J.T. Bruett.

The Compliance Office met with Bauman and asked him to remove his likeness from videos and music accounts. Bauman chose not to. As a result he can no longer compete as a Gopher.

Bauman said he is not angry at the U of M or the NCAA. The 21-year-old said in the nine years he has been writing music he has never made a dime and it's not about the money.

"When people ask me, you're choosing music over wrestling, no. I'm choosing inspiring, making a difference, impacting. That's what it's all about," he said.

Bruett said the U of M is sympathetic, but must follow NCAA rules. If Bauman used an alias and did not refer to himself as a University of Minnesota wrestler and removed his photo he could continue with the videos, according to the statement.

"I'm not going to change my name. I'm not doing it, but maybe there's a way. We're going to figure out something," Bauman said.

Bauman isn't done fighting. Even though he can't compete he still attends practice.

"I'm not leaving the team," he said.

The college junior hopes both sides can reach a compromise, but if they can't he will find another way.

"I still plan on wrestling. I still plan on going to school. I still plan on using my degree. I still plan on doing all that stuff. They're just taking away my eligibility, but again my message is bigger than that," he said before heading to practice Tuesday afternoon.

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