Kent State redshirt sophomore Sam Wheeler from Copley High School was indefinitely suspended from the wrestling team Monday after posting homophobic comments on Twitter.
A photo on the gay website Outrage captured Wheeler’s tweets, which included, “I can’t even watch Sports Center today cause all they are talking about is Marcus Smart or that [gay slur] from Mizzou…” The photo showed Wheeler’s last tweet, “O geez I got all these [slur] boys mad at me now.”
Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, an NFL draft prospect, came out Sunday on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. Oklahoma State star Smart was suspended three games for shoving a fan in the final seconds of a game Saturday.
Wheeler’s Twitter account was later shut down. The university issued statements from KSU Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen and wrestling coach Jim Andrassy.
“As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter,” Andrassy’s statement said. “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.”
Nielsen said, “We are aware of the insensitive tweets by one of our student athletes. 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.”
Wheeler, 20, earned an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Championships, but lost both his matches at 174 pounds. This season at 184 pounds he carries a 27-5 overall record with five major decisions, second on the team.
At Copley, Wheeler 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.