The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa men’s wrestling notebook | Head coach Tom Brands speaks on latest developments in sports gambling probe

Iowa State wrestling head coach Kevin Dresser also reacted to the court documents, saying he “knew [the investigation] was mishandled” from the beginning.
Iowa+head+coach+Tom+Brands+points+during+a+wrestling+dual+between+No.+3+Iowa+and+Purdue+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Area+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+19%2C+2024.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Boilermakers%2C+34-6.
Sahithi Shankaiahgari
Iowa head coach Tom Brands points during a wrestling dual between No. 3 Iowa and Purdue at Carver-Hawkeye Area on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 34-6.

Since May 2023, select University of Iowa and Iowa State student-athletes have been involved in a sports gambling probe conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Earlier this week, court documents were released stating that DCI Special Agent Brian Sanger allegedly conducted his investigations into illegal student-athlete gambling without a warrant.

Sanger had a deposition on Jan. 19, during which he said he couldn’t remember why he conducted a warrantless search but also said he was concerned people could infiltrate Iowa’s sports teams to gain insider information or match-fixing.

Iowa men’s wrestling coach Tom Brands spoke to reporters about the investigation’s recent developments on Wednesday during the Hawkeyes’ weekly media availability.

“The way that it’s described, basic liberties were infringed upon. That shouldn’t happen in this country, and that shouldn’t happen in the state of Iowa,” Brands said. “Now, where was the urgency to find out the truth when this thing went down, and it didn’t make sense? That’s what I would say to everybody in this room. Now it comes out, and now you want a reaction. And I’ll just be a real patient guy, and we’ll see what comes of it.”

Brands’ nephew, Nelson Brands, was involved in the investigation and suspended for the entire season. His suspension appeal was denied by the NCAA, ending the 174-pounder’s collegiate career.

Other Iowa wrestlers involved include Abe Assad, Tony Cassioppi, and Cobe Siebrecht, who were suspended indefinitely by the NCAA. Cullan Schriever faced a partial suspension and returned to the wrestling mat on Dec. 8, 2023. Overall, 25 current or former Iowa and Iowa State athletes and student managers have been charged as a result of the investigation.

Schriever is coming off a dominant 20-7 win over Purdue’s Dustin Norris. In a 133-pound weight class that has seen multiple lineup changes, Tom Brands said Schriever will wrestle the next two matches this weekend against Illinois and Northwestern.

“I did what I had to do. I have a match Friday and a match Sunday, and everything else is kind of on the back burner. So focus on that,” Schriever said. “I don’t really care about the other stuff. I have dealt with it, and now I’m getting ready for Illinois.”

Just like Schriever, Tom Brands said all of his wrestlers are prepared to compete if their time comes.

“We got a lot of guys upstairs that are ready to go because of what happened, and we got guys that were impacted and are still being impacted by that that are still ready to go. Because of the way that we’ve talked to them, you never know what will happen,” Tom Brands said. “Cassioppi, be ready. Nelson Brands, be ready. Cobe Siebrecht, be ready.”

Iowa State men’s wrestling head coach Kevin Dresser had more of a fiery reaction to the released court documents.

“I am not surprised by what’s come out in the last 24 hours,” Dresser said, according to the Des Moines Register. “I knew from day one when my athletes called me in early May. I knew this thing was a mess, and I knew it was mismanaged, and I knew it was mishandled. I’m glad it’s coming to light now, and I hope all these athletes at Iowa and Iowa State take the State of Iowa to the cleaners. I really do.”

Nonetheless, Iowa has two Big Ten dual meets to prepare for. The Fighting Illini will host the Hawkeyes on Friday at 8 p.m. Iowa will then head to Northwestern for a 2 p.m. matchup.

One Hawkeye Tom Brands complimented ahead of this weekend’s competition was Aiden Riggins.

The redshirt freshman has had to fill in at 184 pounds for Assad and is 9-9 this season. Despite not getting the results he wants on the mat, Riggins’ work ethic is noticed by the coaching staff.

“I also know that when things aren’t going your way, you still gotta be focused, have a good attitude, and he’s done that. He has maintained his direction and focus,” Tom Brands said of Riggins.

Riggins said he needs to be smarter with his offensive attacks, but he sees himself getting better each time he competes.

“I’m going to go out there and give it my all every single time,” Riggins said.

Iowa’s probable lineup vs. Illinois

All rankings via InterMat.

125 POUNDS: No. 5 Drake Ayala vs. Justin Cardani

133 POUNDS: Cullan Schriever vs. No. 30 Tony Madrigal or Caelan Riley

141 POUNDS: No. 1 Real Woods vs. No. 25 Danny Pucino or Will Baysingar

149 POUNDS: No. 11 Caleb Rathjen vs. No. 8 Kannon Webster or Jake Harrier

157 POUNDS: No. 2 Jared Franek vs. Joe Roberts

165 POUNDS: No. 6 Michael Caliendo vs. No. 24 Chris Moore

174 POUNDS: No. 9 Patrick Kennedy vs. No. 3 Edmond Ruth

184 Pounds: Aiden Riggins vs. No. 29 Dylan Connell

197 POUNDS: No. 14 Zach Glazier vs. Chase Waggoner or Joey Braunagel

HEAVYWEIGHT: No. 28 Bradley Hill or Ben Kueter vs. Sungyup Ryu or Peter Marinopolous

Iowa’s probable lineup vs. Northwestern 

125 POUNDS: No. 5 Drake Ayala vs. Massey Odiotti

133 POUNDS: Cullan Schriever vs. Patrick Adams

141 POUNDS: No. 1 Real Woods vs. Joey VanderVere or Luis Bazan

149 POUNDS: No. 11 Caleb Rathjen vs. Aiden Vandenbush or Sam Cartella

157 POUNDS: No. 2 Jared Franek vs. No. 19 Trevor Chumbley

165 POUNDS: No. 6 Michael Caliendo vs. No. 15 Maxx Mayfield

174 POUNDS: No. 9 Patrick Kennedy vs. David Ferrante or Joseph Martin

184 Pounds: Aiden Riggins vs. No. 24 Troy Fisher

197 POUNDS: No. 14 Zach Glazier vs. Evan Bates

HEAVYWEIGHT: No. 28 Bradley Hill or Ben Kueter vs. Jack Jessen or Jon Halv0rsen

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About the Contributor
Kenna Roering, Sports Editor
she/her/hers
Kenna Roering is The Daily Iowan's sports editor. She is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism with a minor in sports and recreation management. Kenna previously worked as a sports reporter for men's wrestling and volleyball and was the summer sports editor in 2023. This is her second year with the DI.