Monday, May 12, 2008

Wrestling team getting a little thin

So you just finished a surprising 3rd in the nation and things are looking great for next year with all but two starters returning and then something like this happens.

The program announced Friday that three wrestlers, including sophomore 165- pounder Dave Rella and freshman 141-pounder Garrett Scott, have been dismissed from the program for violation of team rules and the standards of the program... Freshman 197-pounder Jared Platt, a key member of the 2007-08 recruiting class, was also dismissed from the team.

Specific reasons for the dismissals were not provided in an athletic department release. All three wrestlers were granted releases from their scholarships.

"This was a very tough decision for all of us," coach Troy Sunderland said in a statement. "But as this program continues to improve, each of our wrestlers must live up to the high standards of the program."

On the surface it looks really bad especially at 197 where Platt was touted as a future All-American skilled wrestler. Rella was probably going to transfer anyhow because wunderkind Quentin Wright was probably going to beat him out at 165 next season and he wouldn't be able to beat Erwin at 174. Scott has the ability to win multiple national championships but never understood the commitment it takes to wrestle at a university like Penn State where academics come first. Although there were no details given, rumor has it Platt's situation was similar to Scott's.

While this hurts the wrestling program especially after next season it's once again proof that the coaches adhere to the same principles that make Penn State the great program it is, student first and athlete second. With most of the major players gone from a once highly touted recruiting class a couple years ago, it's going to be imperative that the coaches land a good class this year.

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