NCAA champion and WWE NIL signee A.J. Ferrari is no longer part of the Oklahoma State University wrestling team after being accused of sexual assault in an ongoing investigation.
An Oklahoma State University spokesperson told NBC News that Ferrari “is no longer with the program” Wednesday (July 14) after the Stillwater Police Department identified him as a suspect in an alleged sexual assault incident reported on July 2.
“The suspect in the case has been identified as Albert James Ferrari Jr.,” the department said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
Ferrari’s attorney, Derek Chance, called the allegations against the wrestler “false” in a statement to the Oklahoman on Wednesday.
“It is unfortunate that a student athlete can become a target, primarily because of their status as an elite athlete,” Chance said. “AJ is cooperating with law enforcement and is confident the truth will come out. He appreciated his time at Oklahoma State, but he and the university mutually agreed a change was appropriate.”
Ferrari was the 2021 NCAA champion for the 197-pound weight class and among 15 collegiate athletes signed to WWE’s inaugural ‘Next In Line’ program class in adherence with the NCAA’s name, image and likeness rules, following the company’s initial signing of Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA champion wrestler Gable Steveson, who was previously named in a sexual misconduct investigation in 2019 but never charged.
Ferrari had previously been involved in a car accident resulting in season-ending head and leg injuries several in January, which the Oklahoma Highway Patrol stemmed from Ferrari attempting to pass three cars while cresting a hill in a no-passing zone before colliding with another vehicle, which resulted in his vehicle leaving the roll, rolling and landing in a ditch, NBC News reports.
Oklahoma State runner Isai Rodriguez, who was traveling with Ferrari at the time, experienced minor injuries in the accident, according to the Oklahoman.