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Minnesota wrestler forced by NCAA to choose between making music and competing

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He might have to give up his competitive career, thanks to the NCAA's protections.


Minnesota Golden Gophers wrestler Joel Bauman has a 25-12 career record. He's also a musician, as you can see above. He is not allowed to be both things if his music features his real name and is available commercially, as it is on iTunes.

According to NCAA rules intended to protect The Student-Athlete from benefiting from a thing he made, Minnesota's compliance office has informed Bauman he can practice, but he can't compete. Unless he changes his stage name, as the Star Tribune reports:

After his office examined the issue and recently rendered its decision, Bruett said if Bauman "would decide to use an alias and have no reference of himself as a University of Minnesota wrestler, then he would be permitted to continue with the videos. ... Since Joel has not taken down the videos and has kept his name and likeness, he is ineligible to compete."

Bauman said he has no intention of taking down the videos or performing under an alias.

"I'm Joel Bauman -- it's my message," he said. "It's not Little Joel or MC Joel. It's me."

The NCAA's wrestling championships are televised by ESPN, thereby making money for the nonprofit, which makes nearly a billion dollars a year in revenue.