The Suriano saga has many layers, but most of them seem to be built around the idea that investment by the school (Penn State) should preclude Suriano (or like-minded) athletes from transferring and wrestling right away. Justifications for following that logic vacillate between good ol' fashion loyalty to the possibility of coaches forming insta-dynasties and all ideas in between.
Most of these are scare tactics to keep forced labor in-place despite not answering to their needs.
For me the answer is simple: An 18 or 19-year-old who is not being paid money for labor should have equal standard of mobility (if not greater) to that of the coach who is being compensated, and independently represented by a lawyer and agent. No athlete given a scholarship for one year of "work" should be forced to take another year off. That's a restrictive and unnecessary term from any real-world employer, much less one that doesn't give you cash.
I don't think that Penn State is to blame for this situation, nor do I think that they are especially concerned about Suriano moving within the Big Ten. Penn State is going to win more than most other schools because they have a world class coach and a ton of support. What I do think is that Suriano's struggle brought a lot of negative attention to the Big Ten and in the end, they didn't want to see a protracted labor battle fought out in the courts.
They wanted to move on to football season and making the real money off free labor.
To your questions …
Chance Marsteller defeated Anthony Valencia at the World Team Trials (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)
Q: I see that Chance Marsteller is eligible to compete immediately for Lock Haven. Where do you see him fitting in at 165 pounds with Isaiah Martinez, Vincenzo Joseph, Logan Massa and others returning?
-- Mike C.
Foley: Outside chance at an All-American in his first full year back on the mats. Like I've said before with Chance and head wrestling coach Scott Moore, this was a hard-fought decision to return. They are both invested and both looking to capitalize on their success and I see a bright future for coach, athlete and team.
Q: In your opinion, is Ben Askren the best wrestler turned MMA fighter?
-- Gregg Y.
Foley: Ben Askren has had a very successful career in Bellator and now as a champion in the ONE Championship. While I don't think he's a better fighter than a number of wrestlers, I do think that he has been very intelligent about where he fights and who he fights.
Askren announced this week that the will be taking his last fight later this year against Japan's Shinya Aoki. The retirement should mean that he will end his career 18-0 with a much larger wallet and a lot of questions about how good he was and just how dominant his wrestling-only style could have been against better fighters.
Read this article by Ben Fowlkes for a better peak into the complicated nature of Ben Askren and his MMA career. Very good read.
Q: What's the status of Adeline Gray? Do you expect a big return in 2018? Or is she moving on?
-- Mike C.
Foley: She's absolutely coming back. I don't know if it's 2018 or later, but I think she's state publicly that she plans to continue to wrestle.
Launching a new pre-finals video for the two-day format. The finals matchups will now have more than 24 hours to get into the mainstream.
Q: Any word on what Jordan Oliver popped for at the U.S. Open? I still haven't heard.
-- Mike C.
Foley: That hasn't been released, but I do know that he has appealed the case and is seeking a reduced (or nullification) of the findings. That doesn't mean that he didn't pop for a banned substance as much as it indicates that there might be circumstances contributing to the test, like a tainted supplement.
Remember that if he was to be caught at an international tournament the ban would almost certainly have been for four years. This too might extend that long, but could come back at two years depending on the circumstances.
Q: What are your thoughts on Russia's false claim that McLaren dropped the charges of state sponsored doping?
Foley: God loves a trier?
This type of misinformation has been center to the Russian propaganda machine for decades and weaponized in the digital age. Not surprising, nor is it especially concerning in terms of international sport. However, in terms of national leaders saying demonstrably false things to justify poor and illegal behavior, Russia is now the JV squad.
Q: Has the U.S. ever held both the Junior and Senior world titles in freestyle at the same time, or for that matter, held both Junior and Senior world titles in any style at the same time? Also, how exciting will this NCAA season be? I doubt there has ever been more Junior and Senior world medalists in the NCAA at one time. Can you shed light on that as well? Has there ever been more world medalists at one time competing in the NCAA?
-- Rich W.
Foley: The USA team won the Senior World Championships in 1993 and 1995, which according to the database were also years that the Junior World Championships didn't occur. The last time they won both would have been 1984, but that must include a massive asterisk in that the Olympics doesn't keep a team score and the USSR and affiliated countries were not at the event.
As for the NCAA season, I think the excitement is in some part due to the recent uptick in international wrestling attention by the U.S. fanbase. Knowing that the wrestler who wins the Junior world title is the same guy that wrestled your athlete to a 4-3 shootout provides an important marker in the advancement of USA Wrestling. The fact that the USA has so many of these markers and these higher-level results will certainly only to continue to add to the story of these athletes. It's an amazing time to be a wrestling fan, especially one in the United States.