Foley's Friday Mailbag: September 8, 2017

This week Nick Suriano was granted a full release by the Big Ten and allowed to compete for Rutgers during the upcoming season.

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,

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?
-- @jbasehawk

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.


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mcharney (2) about 11 months ago
Foley, please take your political comments and STFU (national leaders saying demonstrably false things to justify poor and illegal behavior). I don't recall hearing anything from you when Obama was unconstitutionally letting millions of illegal aliens storm across our borders or hundreds of thousands of "refugees" bringing all 150 members of their "families" with them. We come here for your knowledge of wrestling. Spewing your misguided and ignorant political views will lead to your readers tuning out the same way millions have with ESPN.
Whitetailwhisperer (3) about 11 months ago
@mcharney. Foley was talking about the Russians, and you blame Obama? Get a clue dude, and stop "spewing your misguided and ignorant political views"
storm1234 (2) about 11 months ago
@whitetailhunter. I think it was the comment that Russia is now the "JV squad "Foley made that Mcharney was referring to. I agree with him, I pay my hard earned money to read about the sport of wrestling, not Foleys left leaning political views.
fatmarc (2) about 11 months ago
Keep up the great work Foley.
mjalterio (2) about 11 months ago
Boo Fucking Hoo to the Trumpster that cannot get out of their own racist ways. Keep up the good TR. I am sure you clowns were on the wrong side in Charlottesville. I also pretty sure you fought for those bigots free speech rights but TR should stick to Wrestling. Give me a break with your bullshit
dbestsport (4) about 11 months ago
Sometimes Foley is so clueless. This is not about the 18-19 year old athlete. This is about programs having indiscriminant power in taking an athlete from another school. The idea of making an athlete sit a year disables Penn State from calling Anthony Ashnault and saying "we need a 141 pounder... want to wrestle on a National Championship team?" I can't wait for something like that to happen and you will see the hypocrisy from Foley and other people who think what happened with Suriano was a good thing for Big 10 wrestling.
EastCoastTimeOut (2) about 11 months ago
Foley essential doing the same thing as the "Trumpsters" he so despises. All he does is deflect, he is the Minister of Propaganda for UWW.

Foley protects the UWW which protects the Russian Federation and Mamiashvili despite blatant cheating and corruption.

This issue here is that Russia had a systematic, state-sponsored doping program for decades. The IOC knows it, UWW knows it but both decided to do nothing about it and all Foley can talk about it Trump and how racist wrestling fans are.
clevo (2) about 11 months ago
Generally, reading the comments on wrestling forums is about as illustrative as reading the comments on a Fox News article. But...with wrestling working to get out of the heartland and into the mainstream, it's nice to know that social discourse within the sport has moved beyond what you'd overhear at the Mahoning County Fair. It's a watershed moment, like when people stopped yelling racial epithets at high school state tournaments when their white kid lost to a kid of color. Oh, wait, that still happens in many states...

In short, Foley making a subtle jab isn't the problem.
cradleman (3) about 11 months ago
Free Labor!!!!! How about what the scholarship is really worth with all of the amenities and not having to deal with loans after college. All the special extras an athlete gets do cost something, especially in football and basketball. A full D-1 scholarship can be worth anywhere from 100-150 thousand per year. Travel, tutors, hotel stays, medical treatment, fitness development aren't free.
Lehigh Fan (2) about 11 months ago
dbestsport nailed it. Exactly why they don't let kids change their minds every year and transfer endlessly. Also, can you image the constant recruiting everywhere during the season? Every tournament would have assistant coaches talking to kids from other schools in a constant recruiting cycle. How ridiculous would that be?
kanownik (2) about 11 months ago
forced labor.....all the after match videos I watch of Penn State wrestlers talk about how much fun they are having...another load of crap from Foley, remember BS is more entertaining to read than facts. I just wish Intermat would put a giant banner above the article warning the reader they are about to read the biggest BS in wrestling on the WEB.
Andrewmah (2) about 11 months ago
Without hate anger and jealousy, today's "liberalism" wouldn't exist. It's ALL about projecting hate onto others and being jealous of what others have. What a bunch of simpletons being guided around by their noses.

Liberalism and wrestling have NOTHING in common....yet (just like the NFL) wackos infiltrated it and are ruining it because of their jealousy.
les (1) about 11 months ago
You commie! Free labor my ass. Without the opportunity to play a sport, what does your feeble little mind think over 75'% of these "student athletes" would do for the chance to get a paid education? And you stupid little moron, they are getting paid in the amount of a full scholarship.

If you don't like it here, go to Asia and see how much they pay you to write this crap. Or does that little Asian wife of yours wear the pants in the family and she knows how good you have it here!
Andrewmah (1) about 11 months ago
Don't comment on MMA Foley. You are OBVIOUSLY ignorant of the sport.

Name ONE wrestler who is a better fighter than Askren? ONE!

Look idiot, it's simple, Askren is a much, much better wrestler (ground and pound) than ANY other fighter is at any one discipline or combination of disciplines.

These guys he's been ragdolling his last few fights are devastating punchers and they can't even hit him.

I am not exaggerating this. Askren is the best welterweight in the history of mma, and there is no one out there that can beat him.
Stanley123 (1) about 11 months ago
The problem is that Foley is a Lefty and is usually openly or subliminally political with his posts. He can't help it. In this Mailbag he refers to full scholarship wrestling (or other athletics) as "forced labor." I would think most normal people would feel great honor going to college for free to get an education and competing at the highest level. In the case of football, getting a free ride and having everyone kiss your butt, having girls swarm about you, is somehow 'forced labor' in the liberal mind. Most guys would cut off a nut to be in their shoes but they cry and complain that they are getting screwed. This is the greatest country in the World and yet the far left has convinced a great portion of the young of America that it's a horrible place: yet no one ever leaves. Here's a question for you leftys: who's being discriminated against in this country? Colin Kapernick who lives in a multi million dollar mansion and drives cars we can't afford? He can't get the job done but somehow the man is holding him back. Poor Colin!! Is it black people in general that are being discriminated against? Every black person I know who puts his nose to the grindstone, does very well in this country. Can't say the same for blacks in Africa. One more thing, does the black family and black community share none of the blame for the failure of their youth. That is, is it all whiteys fault? Because I'm not doing anything to hold anyone back. There's been black on black slavery in Africa for thousands of years and you never hear a word about it. Blacks have butchered blacks in Africa for thousands of years and they're butchering each other in American cities everyday but it's the White Devil who is to blame for everything.
Lastly, question for MJALTERIO?? Who was on the right side in Charlottesville? If the far left orcherstrated ANTIFA wasnt put there, it would have been just a bunch of white liberal kids yelling "racist redneck hillbillies" to a bunch of kkk losers. The far left sends scummy ANTIFA terrorists to create problems
create anarchy. And make no mistake, the left got exactly what they wanted in Charlottesville. Deny that and you're living in an alternate reality. ANTIFA = cowardly anacharists. They're no better than the KKK. The right denounces the KKK yet the left doesn't denounce ANTIFA because they are doing their dirty work.
Question for all you history experts?? Was is the republicans or Democrats that were the party of slavery and segregation?
Democrats are still holding back black America but they have them convinced otherwise. Obama puts blacks (and whites) on welfare and food stamps at mind blowing numbers in order to guarenteee their votes in future elections. That's sick!!!
When Foley stops forcefeeding us hit lefty perspective and sticks to wrestling, so will we.
Whitetailwhisperer (2) about 10 months ago
@les That was a classless comment. Going after family is below the belt. Makes you look bad.
Bebe1993 (2) about 10 months ago
Glad to see Marsteller apparently getting is act together. I think he definitely has a chance at placing in this year's NCAA's. He will also make a medico LHU team better. Coach Moore has a lot to look forward to this upcoming season. Good luck Bald Eagles.
FredHall (1) about 10 months ago
Until one comment mentioned these athletes- I assume he's talking about wrsetlers - getting "paid the full cost of a scholarship" I was just letting the comments go by. But I can't think of many wrestlers over the last 25 years getting a full scholarship. 9.9 scholarships for 10 starters and their backups does not convert to a full ride.
Stanley123 (1) about 10 months ago
Fred Hall. You may not know any, but pleanty of wrestlers are on full rides. If you don't offer a Kyle Snyder or Mark Hall a full ride, someone else will. However, Foleys comments are not about wrestling. He's making a Social Justice statement and can't seem to just focus on wrestling as he should. He uses the term 'Forced Labor' to describe someone getting a full scholarship to play a sport in college. Everyone please look up the term 'forced labor.' At the end of the article he talks about not wanting to get involved in a protracted labor battle and moving on to football where they can make the 'real money' off "free labor."
Again, he just can't stick to wrestling. Always has to interject his socialist ideas.
Yes, some colleges make big $$ on football.....god forbid!! Many colleges make very little or no money on football. Most college field hockey, softball, track and field, lacrosse, swimming programs don't even charge admission to watch a game. So when u have 10 softball players on a full ride, flying all over the country, staying in nice hotels, receiving tutors, free food.....that adds up to huge $$. That's a huge financial hit on a school. Are those softball players being held down by the man?
Can you imagine having a 'C' average in high school and getting to go to Ohio State or USC for free to play football and having every kid on campus kiss your but, having girls throw themselves at you, getting interviewed by the press, making the ESPN highlite reel and having a TR Foley saying "Man that kid is getting screwed!!!" The college is actually making money fom his efforts: god forbid. I look at it as the kid is being given a great opportunity in life. How wonderful would it be to wrestle at PSU, run track at USC, play bball at North Carolina or football at Alabama for free, all while getting a free education? Funny how someone could look at that in anything but a positive light. Not talking about Mr. Hall. I'm referring to the author of the article and some of his socialist lap dogs.
Andrewmah (1) about 10 months ago
Well said Stanley123. If Foley insists on making Intermat a political comment page. He CAN be obliged....but I don't want to hear the whining from the dumb wackos when we give them a dose of reality.
BradTakedown (1) about 10 months ago
Andrewmah - Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Frankie Edgar, TJ Dillashaw, Uriah Faber, Chris Wiedman, Cane Valasquez, Jake Shields, Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell - all have way more impressive resumes than Ben Askren. Askren has not fought ONE top-50 welterweight since leaving Bellator. His most impressive win is a split decision over a washed-up journeyman named Jay Hieron. You're high dude.
Andrewmah (1) about 10 months ago
"Impressive"? who said anything about what impresses you? I said name ONE wrestler who is a better fighter than Askren? If you are impressed by people who have losses on their records and/or are PED cheats, good for you. But Ben has NEITHER you are unable to cite ONE wrestler who is a better fighter. I don't give a sh*t that you're "impressed" by them.

Actually, Koreshkov is Askren's best win. Who's only other loss was to Doug Lima who Askren also beat. The UFC is afraid of Ben. He has bitch slapped them on social media for years and they have been running from him for years. If Tyron losses the title, you will see Ben riding their ass again but they know he will crush anyone they have on there fact, that includes Tyron. Jus sayin.....
BradTakedown (1) about 10 months ago
There are a lot of undefeated fighters out there. Most of them, you have never, and will never hear of because they fight cans. Just like your boy. I don't want any problems though tough guy, so please take mercy on me.
BradTakedown (1) about 10 months ago
Andrewmah (1) about 10 months ago
"Cans"? Obviously you are reading the same trash that most "non fighters" post. You have an air of disrespect to your tone. I doubt you could last with the lowest "can" in the smallest amateur MMA organization.

I guess you mean like the "can" that knocked Aaron Pico stiff a few weeks ago? You have nothing to offer that hundreds of other no nothings (like Foley) haven't already puked online.

Ben Askren has become champion wherever he has gone from the time he was a teenager. Right now he has perfected his style such that no one can stop him from taking them down, holding them down and mashing their face. It's simply a fact.

He did not run from the UFC, the UFC ran from him. He WANTED to fight in the UFC. At this point in Ben's career allowing Ben to fight a UFC champion would be business suicide. They KNOW how good he is. Other UFC fighters tell them.

Still, you can not suggest ONE reasonable ncaa wrestler who is a better fighter than Ben. Because one does not exist.
FLYankee (1) about 10 months ago
If so many of you guys hate Foley and what he writes as much as you say you do then STOP READING THE MAILBAG and free us from your incessant whining!
Stanley123 (1) about 10 months ago
FLYankee how about the author of a WRESTLING column stick to WRESTLING and avoid constantly forcing his political views down our throats. Is that too much to ask? We're WRESTLING fans and we want to read about WRESTLING.
Politically I'm a conservative. If foley was a hardcore conservative and continually added a conservative slant to every Mailbag, I'd tell him to stick to WRESTLING as we don't care about his political views!!!! We want to read about and talk WRESTLING not politics on this WRESTLING website. Is that too much to ask??
FLYankee (1) about 10 months ago
I'm conservative as well and not afraid to hear about opinions I may respectfully disagree with. He is a paid columnist and is supposed to express his opinion. Thats's what columnists do. I understand what may be expressed when I read a Foley column as should most of us that read it week to week. What I do have a problem with is the whining. Having a productive conversation and listening to all sides is what this country used to stand for. All sports are a reflection of modern society and its significance should mean more than just athletic achievements.
Stanley123 (1) about 10 months ago
Couldn't disagree more. There's a time and a place for everything and no one should want the author of a wrestling article to constantly spew his political views in his Mailbag. Sports fans come to these websites to get away from politics and read about the sport they love. The problem is, Foley appears to be one of those who is absolutely incapable of leaving politics on the sideline. If he stuck to wrestling he'd have great success. When he gets political he turns off so many readers and I ultimately believe it may cost him his job some day jmo.
I think it's funny when people get so mad at those of us who criticize Foley for getting political and never get mad at Foley for turning a wrestling article into a progressive propaganda machine.
Are journalists supposed to report the news or express their opinions? I dont mind talking politics with those who have differing views but I come to Imtermat to escape from politics and read about the sport I love. Is the Mailbag a news source or an opinion column? Because I visit intermat to see what's going on in the sport of wrestling, not to hear Foley's socialist slant infused in every Mailbag.