Nelson Brands, Iowa Wrestler, Denied Appeal In Gambling Probe, Says His Career Is Over

Wagswoofs – Iowa wrestler Nelson Brands revealed on Tuesday that his appeal in the NCAA’s sports-wagering probe has been denied, effectively bringing an end to his collegiate career.

“I am extremely devastated that my career will have to end on this note,” Brands wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “I feel I have so much more to give to wrestling. But, I am grateful for the many memories I made wrestling for Uncle Tom, my dad (Terry), (coach Morningstar) and Telford. They truly run the best program in the country. I am hoping that I will eventually come to peace with the ending of my collegiate career, but I guess the hard pill to swallow would be accepting that I broke a rule and I now have to deal with the consequences.”

Head coach Tom Brands previously mentioned that he had enlisted the help of outside counsel to handle the appeals of Nelson Brands and Tony Cassioppi. The appeal status of Cassioppi is currently uncertain.

During an interview with the Register in October, Nelson Brands expressed his dissatisfaction with the NCAA’s handling of the probe. He felt like he was held hostage by the NCAA throughout the investigation. While acknowledging the need for punishment for breaking the rules, Brands believed that the one-year loss of eligibility was an overly severe consequence for the infraction.

“If they really have the student welfare on their minds, then the NCAA should definitely look at changing these rules,” Brands said. “Knowing that I did not affect the integrity of the sport, I did not hurt anybody in that aspect, it really is a bummer that I have to go through this this year.”

The 174- and 184-pound weight classes for the Hawkeyes have become even more uncertain with the official absence of Nelson Brands for the 2023-24 season. Gabe Arnold, a true freshman, seems to be the frontrunner for the 174-pound slot, having secured two victories this season against previous All-Americans. However, it remains to be seen whether the coaching staff will choose to utilize Arnold and potentially exhaust his eligibility.

Patrick Kennedy has made a few appearances at 174 pounds for Iowa this season. However, Tom Brands expressed the desire to return him to his original weight of 165 pounds by the Soldier Salute. It is uncertain whether this plan will still be in effect given the recent news. More information is expected to be provided around that time.

Nelson Brands had an impressive performance last year, securing All-American status with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2023. With aspirations of surpassing his previous achievement in Kansas City this March, he unfortunately concludes his career with a 37-19 record while representing the Hawkeyes.

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