U of M wrestling-real estate investigation lingers

The University of Minnesota's internal investigation into eyebrow-raising real estate deals made among people involved with the Gophers wrestling team has now taken about three months longer than expected - and it doesn't look like it will be finished anytime soon.

The university's general counsel office started the investigation in mid-December after a report from the Minnesota Daily highlighted a long history of real estate dealings among coaches, wrestlers and others with ties to the team. The culture of buying and selling millions of dollars in near-campus properties rang alarm bells with NCAA compliance officers from several colleges.

From the Daily:

Over years of transactions, [head coach J Robinson] has owned more than $3 million in real estate in southeast Minneapolis.

At least six wrestlers have owned property while on the team. Two others bought property from Robinson months after graduating. Shortly after leaving the team, an assistant coach acted as a real estate agent for a wrestler he helped recruit.

In total, people affiliated with the team have owned at least 55 different properties near campus, according to property records.

When the university first announced the investigation, the school's head attorney, Mark Rotenberg, estimated they would wrap it up in a cool few weeks flat. In early January, university spokesman Dan Wolter said they were shooting for the end of the month but weren't in any rush.

Now in mid-April, the investigation is still ongoing. Representatives from the university's news service and Rotenberg's office say that can't offer any new information or even a rough estimate of a completion time. "Call back in a couple weeks," said an employee working in Rotenberg's office.

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