Carson’s Corner: Sanderson in the Right Not to Grant Suriano Transfer

| August 8, 2017 | 1 Comment

Nick Suriano is out at Penn State. The loss is significant for sure, but Nittany Lion fans must move on from the shock. It isn’t the end of the world. The Nittany Lions are so talented from top to bottom; a national championship is still in their sights.

Will they be weaker without the Bergen Catholic (NJ) star? Of course. Suriano is a legit national championship contender, and Penn State has no one slotted in at 125. What they have is five returning national champs and the potential for seven or eight All-Americans in 2018, more than enough to capture the programs seventh national title in eight seasons.

Suriano, whether homesick or for other reasons, wants to transfer to Rutgers getting back to his hometown roots. He already withdrew from Penn State and is working out with the Scarlet Knights wrestling club. These are facts. No sense for Nittany Lion fans to jump into the cesspool of denial. He is out the door and headed for a messy divorce. Goodbye Nick, we hardly knew you.

I have no problem with Suriano going to a different school. That is his God-given right. What I find hard to believe is the flak Cael Sanderson is getting for refusing to release Suriano to Rutgers.

The media, especially in New Jersey, are vilifying Penn State and Sanderson. Even Jay Bilas stepped out from behind the world of hoops and voiced his opinion – opining that Suriano needs his release from bondage and Sanderson won’t allow it. Boo-hoo and cry me a river.

Word to all the haters – Sanderson is not blocking Suriano from wrestling, just not at Rutgers. The Big Ten has a rule which states if any athlete wants to depart one Big Ten school for another and not lose a year of eligibility, his former coach/school must sign a waiver allowing it. Sanderson won’t sign the waiver. I agree with his decision one thousand percent.

Sanderson and Penn State granted Suriano release to any school outside of the Big Ten. That’s what every coach would do. Why should Penn State, who invested considerable time and money on Suriano, let him go to a league competitor?

Do you think James Franklin, Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh would let one of their recruits leave to another Big Ten school? About as much as Coach K would have let Bilas transfer to North Carolina back in the day.

Decisions have consequences. Suriano wants to have his cake and eat it too, but sometimes life doesn’t work that way. He wants out of Penn State, fine. He’s trying to do it with zero consequences – that isn’t reality.

Suriano reportedly will appeal his transfer to a Big Ten committee. If the Big Ten approves Suriano’s waiver, he will have three years of eligibility remaining at Rutgers. If not, he must decide between three years outside of the nation’s premier wrestling conference or two at Rutgers after sitting out his sophomore season. There is an appeals process after the decision as well.

He made a commitment to the Nittany Lions, broke it, and left Sanderson and his teammates hanging. Cael expected Suriano to be his guy at 125 for three more years. He didn’t bother recruiting at the weight because he trusted Suriano’s promise to wrestle collegiately at Penn State.

Suriano broke that promise and if he wants to go to Rutgers, he should lose a year of eligibility or go to a team outside the Big Ten.

Category: Carson's Corner

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  1. David Kinsey says:

    Brian, I agree to 100% disagree with you on this! I was mat side when Suriano got injured. He is a KID. AND HELL no, NO coach can force ANY kid to wrestle. Cael is a great coach, but 100% incorrect on this! Lets see how the older Hidley boy makes out in Iowa. If he misses his home and family it is HIS right to MOVE back. Nick is NOT a “paid athlete”. I saw up close when Nick’s foot rolled. Cael is old school, just chop the foot off, and burn the stump..finsih the match. Again Nick is a kid. Same goes for the younger Hidlye kid. FREE country, he can wrestle where he wants.

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