U of M cuts rapper Joel Bauman's wrestling eligibility

U of M cuts rapper Joel Bauman's wrestling eligibility

For a while, Joel "WhysGuy" Bauman was both a rapper and a wrestler at the University of Minnesota. Now, after he's seen some success on the music side, he's ineligible to compete as a wrestler based upon NCAA rules.

Recently, the school contacted him and requested he take down his motivation-bent music from iTunes and his YouTube channel. His online profile features his name, his likeness, and ties to his career on the wrestling team. The 21-year-old refused, so the school had to waive his eligibility this week.

According to a Fox 9 report, Bauman won't fight the ruling, won't adopt a pseudonym, and has no plans to take his music down. The report showed a letter reportedly from the school. A portion of it reads:

Unfortunately, it is not permissible for you to use your name and image to promote your music career while you are a student-athlete. Although you started before you were a student-athlete, your videos and uploads of your songs were not done until after you became a student-athlete. Even if you had been selling your songs prior to enrollment, you still can't use your name and include your status [sic] a wrestling at the U of M in your biography.

Bauman's tenacity (and stubbornness) both ring through in the way that he talks about his career and his power to motivate people. One of his songs, "Ones in the Sky," has netted more than 23,000 views on YouTube since its release in December.

In the past few days, Bauman has been making the rounds on the local networks. In a KFAN conversation (skip to 35 minutes in for an interview), he says that he doesn't want to turn to an alias, even if it allows him to compete. "I'm not going to go by an alias to deliver my message. That's just not me. That's like making music that's all about money... It's not about the money, it's about the message through the music."

When pressed about iTunes sales, he says "50 to 75 percent" of the money is going to hopefully start a foundation to help motivate kids. As we learn more about his story, we'll share.

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