By ERIC OLSON, Associated Press
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Two wrestlers kicked off Nebraska's team after appearing on a pornographic Web site broke NCAA rules twice in five months, athletic director Tom Osborne said Friday.
Osborne, saying he wanted to respond to criticism of the dismissals, made public a March incident in which Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan had been ruled ineligible for receiving an extra benefit.
"The last few days we've had people indicating that maybe these guys were railroaded," Osborne said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I just want to make the point that this was not one isolated incident but really was a series of issues. When you have two violations within a matter of months, it would appear that something is seriously amiss."
Osborne and other athletic department officials declined to discuss the specifics of the violations that occurred in March. The school's NCAA compliance staff deemed them to be secondary violations.
After declaring Donahoe and Jordan ineligible, Nebraska successfully appealed to the NCAA to have them reinstated. They were scheduled to serve a one-match suspension during the 2008-09 season, Osborne said.
Donahoe and Jordan were dismissed on Aug. 12, three days after a blog posted images of them taken from a Web site featuring naked or partially clothed male athletes.
The athletic department again ruled the pair ineligible, this time for violating an NCAA rule that prohibits athletes from appearing in pictures for commercial use.
"When is enough enough?" Osborne said. "We felt we reached that point certainly."
Jordan and Donahoe also have had a series of run-ins with the law in Lincoln. Jordan has paid fines for possessing or consuming alcohol as a minor, trespassing and assault, and Donahoe for maintaining a disorderly house and having an open alcohol container.
Donahoe and Jordan have not responded to interview requests.
They would have to apply to the NCAA for reinstatement if they choose to wrestle for another school.
Donahoe, from Davison, Mich., won the Big 12 championship at 125 pounds in 2008 and placed third in the NCAA tournament. He won the 125 national title in 2007. He would have been a senior in eligibility at Nebraska this year.
Jordan, a 133-pounder from Frankfort, Ill., was fourth in the Big 12 and failed to place at nationals this past season. He would have been a junior.
The two traveled to Los Angeles for a video shoot and were paid for modeling, Osborne said.
"You turn around and take an airplane ticket and perform on a porn site for money, and it was pretty automatic at that point that we couldn't go forward," he said.
Osborne said the pattern of misconduct was as big a factor in the decision to dismiss the wrestlers as was the fact they appeared in pornography - "something we certainly don't approve of," he said.
"It is definitely a privilege, not a right, that an athlete be allowed to play at Nebraska," Osborne said. "We do insist on a certain standard of conduct."