The Twitter account of Indiana University assistant wrestling coach Nick Simmons last week featured a tweet that at least one IU alum did not take kindly to. The tweet referred to an unidentified Real World cast member as a "homo." A friend of Simmons told Outsports he is the one who sent the tweet, and it has been deleted from the coach's Twitter account.
The tweet in question, which appeared just before 1am on Saturday, Aug. 11:
When asked who "this dude on real world" is, Simmons did not respond.
Indiana alumnus Robert Heuer wrote to the school's athletic director and two of the school's LGBT resources:
It is unacceptable for an official representative of Indiana University and its athletics program to include the anti-gay pejorative "homo" in his conversational vocabulary, much less to include it in a public posting on Twitter, where he has over 1600 followers. I should mention that the comment had multiple "retweets."
Not only does this behavior reflect badly on the University, but it also sends a terrible message to the athletes and other students for whom Mr. Simmons should be a role model.
Neither the athletic director nor anyone else from the school's athletic department has responded to Heuer. Athletic Department spokesman J.D. Campbell sent Outsports this statement:
We are now aware of the tweet and will look into the matter further. We do not condone the usage of language that would be deemed offensive.
When initially contacted by Outsports about the tweet, Simmons conveyed that he did not know what we were asking him about, with a tweet of: "??"
When sent a screen capture, Simmons asked a friend, who went only by "Brett," to email us:
I was just contacted by nick Simmons to clarify a misunderstanding. I am the individual that took nicks phone and wrote on his Twitter account. Needless to say he is not happy about my actions from the other evening. I have apologized to him about my actions and would also like to apologize to you about my actions as well . What I wrote was unacceptable and I will refrain from using offensive words like that in the future. Myself and nick are individuals that are very supportive of same sex relationships.
Neither "Brett" nor Simmons have responded to further questions.
Simmons is the former wrestling director of operations for Oregon State. As an Olympic hopeful this year, he lost in the final match at the Olympic Trials and was an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team. The man who beat him in the 55kg category, Sam Hazewinkel, lost in the round of eight.
PHOTO: IOWA CITY, IA - APRIL 22: Nick Simmons (red) wrestles Sam Hazewinkel (blue) in the 55 kg freestyle weight class during the finals of the US Wrestling Olympic Trials at Carver Hawkeye Arena on April 22, 2012 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)