The news came just one day after the same station -- WOI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Des Moines -- broadcast a positive 8.5 minute feature story on how the former Iowa State and Penn State NCAA All-American wrestler who had served time in Pennsylvania for sexually assaulting the mother of a fellow student had seemingly gotten his life together, and just days before the GVU Vikings will compete at the 2016 NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Wrestling Championships with the goal of winning their fifth straight team title this coming weekend.
Elias Johnson, morning anchor and reporter for the profile shown on Sunday, Feb. 28 -- and himself a former wrestler at Iowa Central Community College and Arizona State -- reported the story Monday afternoon on Twitter, stating, "Breaking: GVU Head Coach Nick Mitchell confirms @weareiowa5news Andrew Long dismissed after violating code of conduct policy over weekend" then followed a few minutes later with this tweet: "Andrew Long dismissed for drinking alcohol over the weekend. Not arrested, but violated code of conduct policy he signed to enroll at GVU."
Shortly before Johnson's tweet, Des Moines Register wrestling writer Andy Hamilton shared quotes from Long's former coach on Twitter, saying, "He violated his contract and basically it's a situation where if it were a normal student it probably wouldn't have been a big deal, probably nothing that he even would've been reprimanded for but his situation wasn't normal, so we had to let him go."
Andrew Long won a Midlands title at 141 pounds, and picked up the Champion of Champions award as voted by the other champions and the Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler awardMitchell said Long was honest about what happened, according to Hamilton.
Last July, Mitchell sought assurances from Long that he was remorseful for his past run-ins with the law, had made lifestyle changes, and was willing to be held accountable. Beyond that, Mitchell wanted the former Cyclone/Nittany Lion wrestler to sign a contract that spelled out guidelines that Long must follow as a student-athlete at Grand View, complying with all requirements of his five-year probation (including no alcohol) which was part of his sentence after agreeing to a plea of aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania for an August 2011 incident in which a 55-year-old mother of a Penn State student awoke in her son's apartment to find Long in bed with her. (Long did not know the victim nor her son, nor did he remember the incident. Long was sentenced to 1-2 years at the local county jail, and served nine months. As part of his plea, he agreed to seven years of no alcohol consumption, and must register as a sex offender the rest of his life.)
Long's life on and off the mat was one of extreme contrasts. On the mat, the Creston, Iowa native crafted a career of impressive accomplishments, including being a three-time Iowa high school state champ. Long launched his collegiate career at Iowa State, where he made it to the 125-pound finals at the 2010 NCAA Division I championships, losing to Iowa's Matt McDonough. Later that summer, after a couple run-ins with Ames, Iowa police, Long was dismissed from the Cyclone wrestling program, and enrolled at Penn State.
As a Nittany Lion wrestling for head coach Cael Sanderson, Long won the 133-pound crown at the 2011 Big Ten conference championships, then, two weeks later, placed third in that weight class at the 2011 NCAAs. However, the incident with the Penn State student's mother took place in late August of that year.
In his time as a Grand View Viking, Andrew Long -- now a junior -- was undefeated and ranked No. 1 at 149 pounds. In late December, Long won the 141-pound title at the 2015 Ken Kraft Midlands tournament at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and became the first NAIA wrestler to be crowned champ at the prestigious post-Christmas event since 2003. Long was also named Outstanding Wrestler and Champion of Champions at the Midlands.
According to its website, Grand View is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It has an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students.
To watch the WOI-TV 8.5 minute feature on Andrew Long, click here.