Tom and Nelson Brands prepare for wrestling season amidst potential suspensions

Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 7:23 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa men’s wrestling head coach Tom Brands opened up media day by acknowledging the sports gambling investigation into his team. Several Hawkeye wrestlers were suspended for all or part of the season for betting on sports, but may be allowed to come back.

Brands said the team will know more on November 8th, which is when the NCAA Division I Council decided to push back their vote on updated sports wagering guidelines. That would mean all wrestlers involved would miss their first dual of the season, which is scheduled against California Baptist University on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Right now, Brands said it is business as usual as they prepare for the season.

“It never changes that you’re wrestling, competing for a national team title, and individually it never changes that you’re competing and wrestling for individual titles. That doesn’t change how these guys operate,” Brands said. “It’s natural to maybe check out in some of these situations, but our guys have been patient, and they’re facing it. They’re facing it like you face adversity,”

Redshirt senior Nelson Brands publicly admitted his involvement. He says the months-long process has been frustrating as he now awaits a final decision.

“It’s been excruciating,” Nelson Brands explained. “That’s all I can really say. You’re dealing with something you don’t really know and you kind of feel like you’re getting hit in the back a little bit. You didn’t effect the integrity of the sport and hopefully things come to light, hopefully things show. Hopefully the NCAA really does have the student-athletes welfare in the back of their mind,” he added.