The NCAA has suspended a wrestler from the University of Nebraska-Kearney for his behavior at the national championships in March, the Associated Press reported Friday, Aug. 30.
According to the NCAA, Patrick Martinez, a junior at the time, used profane language and had a physical altercation with the opposition’s coach following a match at the 2013 NCAA Div. II championships in Birmingham, Ala.
The NCAA Division II Wrestling Committee reprimanded Martinez and suspended him for eight matches. The university appealed to the appeals subcommittee, which also ruled against Martinez.
“The appeals subcommittee agreed with the wrestling committee that the behavior of Mr. Martinez was unacceptable and has no place in the sport,” Erin Lind, chair of the NCAA Division II Championships Committee and associate commissioner of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, said in a statement released by the NCAA.
In addition to issuing the public reprimand and suspension, the university must reimburse the NCAA for Martinez’s travel costs of $2,170. The money will be redirected to fund the Division II Make-A-Wish foundation account.
UNK Athletic Director Jon McBride issued a statement Friday, saying the school is disappointed in the decision, but accepts it.
“The student-athlete acted, after a heartbreaking loss, in a regretful way,” McBride said in the statement. “We are continuing to try to determine exactly what happened so the behavior can be used as a ‘teachable opportunity’ for our student-athletes.”
A UNK athletics department spokesman told the Associated Press Friday that Martinez is expected to practice with the team and be eligible for match or tournament action by mid-January.
Martinez placed fifth in the 174-pound weight class at the NCAAs last March, earning All-American honors.
Prior to coming to coming to UNK last season, Martinez had wrestled at the University of Wyoming, where he was a two-time NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships qualifier, and compiled a 64-27 overall record. A native of Hemet, Calif., Martinez won the 160-pound state title as a senior at Temecula Valley High School.
The UNK Lopers wrestling squad won its second consecutive team title at the 2013 NCAAs, edging St. Cloud State University by just three points in the final standings. The Lopers had two individual champs: Daniel Deshazer at 133 pounds, and Raufeon Stots at 149.
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