Two freshman members of the University of Iowa wrestling team have been suspended after they were caught hunting rabbits on campus.
According to University of Iowa Department of Public Safety Associate Director Lucy Wiederholt, Alex Meyer and Connor Ryan were hunting rabbits on the west side of campus on Tuesday. The address for the call is listed as the 10 block of Newton Road, but Wiederholt said the men were hunting in an area commonly known as Skunk Hollow, a grassy area between Newton Road, the Hillcrest Residence Hall and the UI College of Pharmacy.
According to an incident report, a UI security guard spotted the two hunting. The same security guard later saw rabbit skins in Meyer’s room, according to a separate incident report.
Meyer is an 18-year-old from Pleasant Hill who wrestles at 174 pounds. Ryan is an 18-year-old from Bettendorf who wrestles at 141 and 149.
Wiederholt said the wrestlers were carrying pellet rifles. They also had two rabbit carcasses with them. Wiederholt said she didn’t know when the men shot the rabbits, but believes they admitted to shooting them on campus.
The two men were charged with discharging toy guns and slingshots, which is a violation of the Iowa City code; and shooting after dark, which is a simple misdemeanor. Meyer was also charged with hunting without a license, a simple misdemeanor.
The men were cited and released, Wiederholt said.
According to criminal complaints, both men admitted to hunting rabbits around the west dorms on Nov. 17 and 20. The men allegedly told police they were going to make hats.
Hunting on campus and possessing the pellet rifles is also a violation of university policy, though Wiederholt said she didn’t know what possible punishments the wrestlers could face. Dean of Students David Grady was out of the office on Wednesday and unable to be reached for comment.
On Wednesday, Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said both men were suspended indefinitely from the team and will face disciplinary action for violating university and athletics department policies.
Barta’s statement indicates the university will not comment further “until a definitive outcome is realized.”