Thursday, September 29, 2011
Willis' pro wrestling stunt not cleared by IU
By Adam Rittenberg
The Darius Willis story has officially gone from sad to bizarre.
Willis, if you recall, is an Indiana running back sidelined by knee problems since early last season. Coach Kevin Wilson said last week that Willis' football career might be over, a position the coach reiterated Tuesday.
Here's where it gets weird.
During Indiana's loss to North Texas last Saturday night, Willis was participating in a pro wrestling event in Bloomington. The Indiana Daily Student reports Willis was summoned to the ring, where he helped pro wrestler PJB "take down his opponent with a flying shoulder tackle." According to PJB, Willis wasn't paid for participating.
Oh yeah, there's video.
Well, at least we know Willis' shoulder is OK.
"I've just always wanted to be around it, wanted to come watch it," Willis said Saturday after the match. "It was just something I wanted. I always watched wrestling and just wanted to go out and give it a try and see how it is."
Here's the problem for Willis: Wilson didn't know the running back planned to enter the wrestling ring.
Wilson told reporters Wednesday that Willis remains on scholarship with the team and that they're applying for Willis to be declared a medical hardship, which would end his career.
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."
The Daily Student reports Willis plans to wrestle again in November.
Maybe he'll go by Darius the Destroyer.
I have no more words.