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If you’re 6’10” and 255 pounds, it’s pretty fair to say that no one wants to fuck with you when you’re out and about. I mean, I’m 5’10”, 185 and everyone knows not to start no shit when I hit the town (mainly because I start foaming at the mouth and barking uncontrollably at even the slightest hint of someone sizing me up), so I can only imagine the intimidatory advantage that an extra foot and 70 pounds would give.
Despite his physically dominating presence, Kentucky basketball player Tai Wynyard, who’s from New Zealand, still apparently felt the need to show up to parties with a little bit of added assistance in the form of an armed student bodyguard. Yep, just a chill plus-one who also happens to be casually brandishing a firearm. NBD, right?
Turns out it was very much a BD, according to GroupMe messages exchanged between Kentucky fraternity and sorority members.
The Group Me message circulated by sorority members in January stated: “there is a (person) showing up to parties with the basketball player Tai Wynyard. (The person) showed up last night to our rush party and … had a gun … said he was ‘protecting’ Wynyard. … If you go out tonight and see (person) DO NOT APPROACH (person). Share this to EVERY SISTER.”
The message, according to a fraternity member with knowledge of the incident and speaking on the condition of anonymity, was sent “the second or third week of January.”
The Kentucky Interfraternity Council, through a UK public relations spokesperson, declined to comment.
Sorority and fraternity members messaged photographs in mid-January and identified the potentially dangerous student by name, the source said.
Wynyard’s season was already pretty much donezo due to a back injury, but following the clusterfuck stirred up by the gunman incident, Coach John Calipari made it clear that the redshirt sophomore would be suspended from team activities… Though neither he nor any team official specifically brought up the bodyguard incident.
“He violated team rules,” Calipari said. “He has — the back. He is out because of a back, but he’s now been suspended because of violating team rules and that’s all I’ll say.”
Wynyard has not played in a game since Dec. 31 after suffering a back injury that would likely keep him out for the rest of the season, Calipari said Monday.
“He’s tried to come back twice,” Calipari said. “It hasn’t worked, so I think at this point he’ll be sitting out the rest of the year. I don’t think there’d be any chance at this point. He’ll be out.”
Forget the canned responses from IFC and Coach Cal. The intrigue from this whole thing stems from one lingering question: Why did Wynyard feel like he needed to show up to parties with armed protection? Does he owe some dangerous drug dealer money? Is walking around with an armed party pal just some sort of weird New Zealand custom?
It’s pretty unclear at this point, but I’ll
be sure to go into hardcore investigative journalist mode until I get more answers probably forget about the whole thing this time tomorrow. .
Image via Pxhere