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After Gay Porn Scandal, College Wrestler Is Undefeated

After Gay Porn Scandal, College Wrestler Is Undefeated
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Mar 23, 2009 9:30 AM PDT    Text size: 
EDINBORO, Pa. — The NCAA has reinstated one of the two Nebraska wrestlers dismissed from their original teams because they appeared on a gay porn website.

Paul Donahoe is back on the mat and grappling his way toward an NCAA championship, and he's still in red and white, except that now his colors stand for Edinboro University. It's a small liberal arts university in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Donahoe's high school coach helped him make the jump from Nebraska, which dismissed Donohoe and his teammate based on NCAA rules banning the use of photos for personal gain, along with a host of other charges. Donahoe made a few thousand dollars modeling for the site FratMen.tv, but the NCAA made him give it all back.

"I believe it was unfair for Nebraska to dismiss me from the team," he said. "For one, there's plenty of athletes throughout the University of Nebraska who have had DUIs and who have been in fights and are still playing. But I guess that's OK. Posing nude, I guess, is worse than someone drinking and driving and risking someone's life, in their eyes."

But the fracas hasn't interfered with Donohoe's wrestling. The senior is 32-0, ranked top in his weight class and is favored to capture the national title for 125 pounds.

Despite the persistent rhetoric that describes his arc as redemptive, Donahoe has maintained that he didn't do anything wrong.

"I didn't do anything illegal," he said. "I didn't hurt anyone. I don't think I did anything wrong. Who should I apologize to?"

In addition, Donahoe has received praise online for his defense of gays despite all the flak he's received.

"I am straight, but on the forums people make a lot of gay jokes about me," he says. "I'm not too concerned. They can talk about me all they want, it doesn't matter. If a guy wants to be with a guy, who cares?"

Finally, Donahoe said that he's happy to tell his story, no matter how embarrassing it is, because it might help bring more attention to the beleaguered sport of amateur wrestling.

"It's not like other sports," he said. "It's not something that you go out and do for fun, because if you go out there and someone's tougher than you, you're going to take some whipping. But once you become a wrestling fan, I'm pretty sure you'll always be a wrestling fan."

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