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Old 06-03-2019
lauden swain lauden swain is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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HWT Champ Gaining Eligibility?

News out of Penn State:


It looks like The Champ will be back, but it isnít clear if heíll be here.

Reigning heavyweight national champion Anthony Cassar has reportedly been granted two extra years of eligibility, according to Bill Evans of NJ.com. Evans interviewed Cassar for a story that was published Friday morning and that explained his plans for the future and how his hometown of Montgomery, NJ is preparing to name a street after him.

Wrestling sports information director Pat Donghia couldnít confirm the report when contacted Friday afternoon and said that the team would make an announcement on medical redshirts when it was ready. Nothing was posted by Cassar or the team in the hours after Evansí article was published.

The remark that Cassar received both medical redshirt years was casually mentioned about halfway through the article:

ďCassar was a senior this past season but applied to the NCAA to have two years of eligibility reinstated because of injuries that kept him off the mat early in his Penn State career. He found out recently he received both years back.Ē

Cassar was non-committal about whether he would compete for Cael Sandersonís Nittany Lions next season. He could choose to step away from school for an Olympic redshirt year while training for the trials. After graduating from Penn State this spring, he would also be free to transfer and be immediately eligible as a graduate student.

ďI knew there was a chance I could get zero, one or two years back and I was prepared to roll with it either way,Ē he told Evans. ďThe school has been working on it for a couple years, so it was great to get two years back.

ďItís not 100 percent right now, but Iím leaning towards wrestling for Penn State next year. Nothing is out of the equation for me, but Iím not looking too far ahead. Not having those four years of starting, it would be nice to have another couple matches in front of the Rec Hall crowd. Itís really just an honor to compete there. Iíll do whatís best for me.Ē

Sanderson repeatedly discussed the the possibility of Cassar receiving a sixth year of eligibility throughout the season.

As a first-year starter last season, Cassar enjoyed a breakout year, going 30-1 and winning both Big Ten and NCAA titles. The championship season came after a roller-coaster start to Cassarís career. He spent two years off the mat due to injury and even left school at one point because of his health. After finally working his way into the lineup during the 2018 season, Cassar split time at 197 lbs. with Shakur Rasheed, who ended up winning the starting job for the postseason, leaving Cassar on the bench.

After the season, Cassar moved up to heavyweight and managed to unseat two-time All-American Nick Nevills as the starter. As this story develops, we will update it with new information.
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