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Running back’s pro appearance not cleared

POSTED AT 01:18 AM ON Sep. 29, 2011  (UPDATED AT 11:12 PM ON Sep. 29, 2011)


Injured IU running back Darius Willis did not clear his professional wrestling appearance last Saturday with the IU football department, IU Coach Kevin Wilson said.

The coach briefly answered questions about his junior player at a media availability event inside the North End Zone on Wednesday.

Willis made an unannounced appearance Saturday night at the National Guard Armory in Bloomington.

It was announced to the crowd that No. 28 was present, and Willis eventually took to the ring. He performed a flying shoulder tackle at an Infinity Pro Wrestling event
while his team was losing in Denton, Texas .

Willis will wrestle again in November.

On Tuesday, the head coach acknowledged that his junior running back is not currently playing due to a nagging knee injury from 2010.

On Wednesday, Wilson gave more insight as to whether he knew of Willis’s pro wrestling event prior to IU’s game.

His response was short, yet clear.

“No,” Wilson said, as he lifted his white IU hat and ran his hand through his
brown hair.

The coach confirmed Willis is still on scholarship.

“He’s on the team,” Wilson said. “He’s not medically allowed to play. We’re going through the process to see if he can be declared a medical hardship, which means he can no longer play.”

As for whether an amateur college athlete entering a professional wrestling event is against NCAA eligibility requirements, Wilson slightly shrugged his shoulders. He stepped away from the circle of media crowded around him,as he said, “I don’t know.”


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