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Kansas college baseball team says foreign substance added to water cooler at game, prompts police probe

Lindsborg police said they identified two male juveniles as being involved in the incident at the game between Kansas Wesleyan University and Bethany College.

Kansas police are investigating allegations that a water cooler was contaminated with a foreign substance during a baseball game between long-standing rivals Kansas Wesleyan University and Bethany College.

Lindsborg police said Thursday that both schools filed police reports and that investigators identified two male juveniles as being involved.

"The Lindsborg Police Department has taken this incident seriously and has conducted over 60 interviews so far, collected multiple pieces of evidence, photographed the scene, and followed various leads," police said in a news release.

"Though the investigation is active and ongoing, it has been determined that no one associated with either college was responsible for tampering with the water cooler."

Police said earlier Thursday that both schools were cooperating with the investigation.

The probe was launched after KWU Barstool tweeted Sunday that paint thinner was mixed into Kansas Wesleyan’s cooler during the game. KWU Barstool is not affiliated with the private Christian university.

But police said the substance is believed to have been line paint that is used on the field to touch up bases.

Steve Wilson, Kansas Wesleyan's athletic director, said a player or staff member discovered that a foreign substance had been mixed into the team's cooler during a doubleheader game Sunday. He said the cooler was provided by Bethany College because the games were played on its campus.

Wilson declined to comment further and did not say whether any players or coaches drank the water or became ill.

A spokesperson said Kansas Wesleyan is aware of the allegations and is taking the situation "extremely seriously."

"We immediately began a thorough in-depth review with the priority of putting the health and safety of our student-athletes first," the spokesperson, Brad Salois, said in a statement. "This review, which includes complete cooperation with the Lindsborg, KS Police Department’s investigation of the matter, is ongoing and is a high priority."

A spokesperson for Bethany College said the "incident is pending investigation" and had no further comment.

The teams at both schools are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The association said in a statement Thursday that it is monitoring the alleged incident and working "to determine the facts of the situation."

Kansas Wesleyan, in Salina, and Bethany College, about 22 miles away in Lindsborg, have long been rivals. The schools split the doubleheader, with Kansas Wesleyan winning the second game 33-2.