U of M cuts rapper Joel Bauman's wrestling eligibility

Categories: Pop Culture
Joel_Bauman_.jpg
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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10 comments
olso6311
olso6311

lol that was one of the worst songs i've heard in a long time.

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

He should keep wrestling, his music sucks. There are rules for NCAA sports that everyone athlete has to follow so why should he be exempt? To me it sounds like he just wants attention.

Dan Engelhart
Dan Engelhart

Understood and makes a lot of sense. If the guy was really about motivation he would keep wrestling too and focus on the music later.

David Courageous
David Courageous

So they get to limit his freedom of speech and choice because they don't like it? Hmm. it sounds like a law suit to me.

Leticia Moreno
Leticia Moreno

so lets not encourage people to express ALL their talents. only one. Well, unless of course you're a celebrity...then you can sing dance and act. I call BULLSHIT on their game!!! Let the young man find himself, encourage him to fulfill his life with all that he can. LIFE IS TOO SHORT LET HIM LIVE IT

Nigel Parry
Nigel Parry

It's like a Minnesotan version of Footloose.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@David Courageous They have neither limited his freedom of speech or freedom of expression.  He has chosen to stick with his music career instead of being a student athlete.  The NCAA rules are pretty clear and have been on this type of issue for a long time.  A lawsuit would simply be a waste of his time and money.

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