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Six Husker Grapplers in Preseason Rankings

October 13th, 2012 by Tom

 Amateur Wrestling News released its 2012-13 preseason rankings for each weight class on Monday as six Nebraska wrestlers were named to the list. The top 20 Division I wrestlers in all 10 weight classes earned spots.

At 133 pounds, Ridge Kiley earned the No. 15 ranking. The senior started at 133 pounds last season for the Huskers, going 17-16 with an 11-8 record in duals. Kiley took eighth place at the Big Ten Championships and earned an invitation to the NCAA Championships.

Jake Sueflohn is No. 10 in the 141 weight class preseason rankings. As a freshman last season, Sueflohn went 25-11 and 13-4 in duals. After a fifth-place showing at the Big Ten Championships, the Watertown, Wis., native went 1-2 at the NCAA Championships. Additionally, Sueflohn finished second at the Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open and took third at the Cliff Keen Invitational.

Fellow sophomore James Green is ranked sixth at 157 pounds. Green was an All-American as a true freshman last season, earning a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Green won a team-best 34 matches in 2011-12, going 14-4 in dual meets. His 13 major decisions also led the team.

At 165 pounds, Robert Kokesh earned the No. 6 ranking. The sophomore from Wagner, S.D., went 30-7 as a redshirt-freshman in 2011-12. He led the Huskers with a 17-2 record in dual meets, compiling 68 dual points in the process. Kokesh finished third at the Big Ten Championships before going 2-2 at the NCAA Championships.

Senior Tyler Koehn is ranked 13th, in the 174 weight class after going 20-13 last season. The Pittsburg, Kan., native went 13-5 in duals, earning 43 points for NU. Koehn was one of eight NCAA qualifiers on the Husker squad as a junior. In addition, Koehn finished second at the Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open.

Fellow senior Josh Ihnen is ranked sixth at 184 pounds. The 2012 All-American went 26-8 as a junior and 16-3 in duals. His 60 dual points were second on the team while his eight major decisions were third. Ihnen, who was named Nebraska's Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2012, finished second at the Big Ten Championships before earning an eighth-place result at the NCAA Championships.

The Huskers open their season on Nov. 4 at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D.

Amateur Wrestling News Preseason Division I College Rankings
133 pounds "No. 15 Ridge Kiley, Sr. (17-16)
141 pounds "No. 10 Jake Sueflohn, So. (25-11)
157 pounds "No. 6 James Green, So. (34-9)
165 pounds "No. 6 Robert Kokesh, So. (30-7)
174 pounds "No. 13 Tyler Koehn, Sr. (20-13)
184 pounds "No. 6 Josh Ihnen, Sr. (26-8)

2011-12 records in parentheses

Jordan Burroughs Wins First World Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Istanbul

September 28th, 2011 by Tom

Jordan Burroughs by KJ Gould

The 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion for Nebraska Jordan Burroughs became World Champion in Freestyle Wrestling in Instanbul, Turkey. Competing at 74 kg / 163 lbs, the one day event saw Burroughs wrestle four times to get to the finals, with a win over former champion Denis Tsargush of Russia in his second match.

Burroughs met Iranian Sadegh Goudarzi in the final and won 2 straight periods to win Gold. In the first period Burroughs scored the first point early with a takedown to out of bounds but Goudarzi promptly returned the favor with his own and got control giving him 2 points. Two more takedowns for Burroughs edged him in the first period 3-2 with Goudarzi out of time before he could get a takedown of his own.

The second period saw a lot of feeling out by both men from a tie-up for the first minute, until Burroughs scored a takedown to out of bounds for 1 point. What happened next is a little unclear. Goudarzi tries for a takedown, Burroughs defends and counters in a great scramble getting two points but during the reset Goudarzi gets a point as well. It may be the referee called for something illegal on Burroughs part who was controlling from the back with an ankle pick that could be seen as cranking a toehold. After a long pause with 12 seconds left on the clock Burroughs gets a takedown and with 6 seconds left maintains his 4-1 point advantage to win the match.

Burroughs is the first World Champion for Team USA since 2006 with Bill Zadick and joins a short list of USA's World and Olympic Champions in the last decade which only additionally includes Brandon Slay, Cael Sanderson and Henry Cejudo.

Nebraska Wrestling: NU says allegations in ESPN’s story false

June 19th, 2009 by Tom

By Lee Barfknecht

 LINCOLN " A recent internal review of the Nebraska wrestling program has uncovered no NCAA violations, despite allegations by two former athletes booted from the team.

The Nebraska compliance office issued a statement Thursday in response to a story on ESPN's Web site that included new claims of underage drinking at coach Mark Manning's wedding in 2006 and up to $1,000 changing hands during poker games between Husker coaches and wrestlers.

NU's response: "While there have been poker games played in the past between at least one wrestling coach and several wrestlers, there is no evidence to suggest that any NCAA violations have taken place.

"In addition, we have not found any violations in any of the information that ESPN has obtained in their pursuit of a story about Nebraska athletics.''

NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne, gone Thursday on a long-scheduled fishing trip, wasn't available for comment.

Manning downplayed the ESPN story " with the title "Naked in Nebraska'' " as a rehash of old events since the dismissals last August of Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan, who posed nude on a pornographic Web site.

"After digging around here for three months, I guess ESPN had to write something,'' Manning said. "It's way behind us. I put it behind us last August.

"Most people understand what type of kids we have on our team. It's unfortunate these two guys made mistakes.''

The story's main author is Paula Lavigne, a 1998 Nebraska graduate who grew up in Gretna. Lavigne said by e-mail Thursday that she has worked at ESPN for about a year, and that "it was just happenstance I ended up on this story.''

In the story, Donahoe claims that Manning allowed underage drinking at his 2006 wedding reception in Oklahoma.

"That's not true,'' Manning repeated three times Thursday. Another university employee, who attended the wedding, said the reception had a cash bar where hotel workers had the duty of checking IDs.

As for the poker, Jordan told ESPN that coaches or wrestlers sometimes left the table with as much as $800 to $1,000, saying: "They're big cash games.''

"That never happened,'' Manning said. "That's not accurate. All of that has been discussed.''

Assistant coach Mike Greenfield told ESPN he played poker with wrestlers, but never won or lost more than $40 to $50.

Manning said Nebraska's review of his program has led to no internal sanctions or orders to change his mode of operation. The Huskers finished fourth at the NCAA championships in March, and Manning was voted national coach of the year by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine.

Donahoe, five paragraphs from the bottom of the lengthy ESPN story, recants his allegations of Nebraska committing NCAA violations, saying:

"I said that? I must have been on drugs or something. I don't remember that.''

Contact the writer:

444-1024, [email protected]

Naked in Nebraska: a wrestler’s story

June 12th, 2009 by Tom

-videos from ESPN-

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A photo of wrestler Paul Donahoe, arms raised in victory, rushing from the mat, is still on the wall at the University of Nebraska's Bob Devaney Sports Center, where he worked his way to a 2007 national championship in the 125-pound weight class.

Donahoe was both the pride and potential of Nebraska's esteemed wrestling program, which has produced six Olympic wrestlers, including 2000 gold medalist Rulon Gardner.

But this past summer, before Donahoe's final season and his last shot at another national championship, that pride turned to shame. A phone call from a parent tipped university officials off to nude photos and video of Donahoe on Fratmen.tv, a pornographic Web site aimed at gay men.

 Think a wrestling singlet is revealing? The photos and video of Donahoe on Fratmen.tv left nothing to the imagination. There Donahoe was, gyrating and masturbating among tousled bed sheets, under running water in a marbled tile shower and on a charcoal chaise lounge facing a patio window. At times, the big, black-and-red trademark "N "for Nebraska, which is tattooed on his left thigh, was visible.

He went by the stage name "Nash."

The Web site's producers masked the tattoo of his real last name on his torso. But that didn't keep Nebraska wrestling coach Mark Manning from recognizing Donahoe when the images reached his desk. On Aug. 12, 2008, Manning kicked his national champion off the team.

He did the same to Donahoe's cohort, Kenny Jordan, whom Fratmen.tv also paid to pose nude.

The gay porn offended moral consciences in the Nebraska athletic department and among Huskers fans, some of whom called into "The Spread, "a local sports talk radio show, to debate the athletes' dismissal, says co-host and former Nebraska football player Jason Peter.

"I think it's probably the act itself that people probably couldn't fathom, or didn't register in people's heads that this would actually happen in Lincoln, Nebraska, with college kids, "Peter says. "I think when people think of the porn industry, they're probably thinking it's either Las Vegas or it's Los Angeles. "¦ But in your own backyard, I think it probably shocked people a little bit. Even though they didn't talk about it a lot, I'm sure a lot of people were wondering, 'How did they come to this decision?'"

Both wrestlers say a rep from Fratmen.tv contacted them through their Facebook and MySpace pages, asking them whether they would like to make some money and score a free trip to Los Angeles by posing for some pictures.

It is an NCAA violation for an athlete to take money to promote his image, according to Nebraska officials. That transgression goes against NCAA rules intended to preserve amateurism, and it can result in a loss of eligibility. Reinstating that eligibility is handled on a case-by-case basis, but the NCAA doesn't comment on individual cases. The wrestlers refused to say how much they earned from the Web site. But Donahoe claims he paid back $3,500 -- the value of his earnings and the trip to L.A. -- to reinstate his NCAA eligibility.

Much Much more on this story at ESPN.

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Neb-Omaha’s Meneely Named NCAA D2 Wrestler of the Year

April 7th, 2009 by Tom

Mike Kirk

EDMOND, Okla. -- Unbeaten 157-pounder Todd Meneely of Nebraska-Omaha has been selected as the 2008-09 NCAA Division II Wrestler of the Year after winning his third straight national championship this season.

Meneely is the second winner of the award, sponsored by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches' Association and voted on by eight regional representatives from around the country. Nebraska-Kearney heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev took the inaugural award last year.

Each of the four regions nominated a candidate, with Super Region Two nominee Meneely finishing with 28 points to edge out runner-up Cy Wainwright of Newberry and Super Region One by one point. Minnesota State-Mankato's Tommy Abbott was the Super Region Three representative and Arsenia Barksdale of Adams State the Super Region Four nominee.

Meneely, a native of Omaha, went a perfect 27-0 this season with 10 falls, seven major decisions and three technical falls. He was only scored on offensively three times (three takedowns) and won five tournament titles this year.

A three-time regional champion, Meneely captured the Division II national title at 149 pounds in 2007 and '08 before moving up to 157 this season and winning a third consecutive crown March 13-14 in Houston, Texas. He finished with a 85-5 career record in three years with the Mavericks.

Meneely was the driving force behind a UNO team that went undefeated in duals and ran away with the national team championship this season. He was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the NWCA Division II National Duals in January.

A four-time state champion at Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, Meneely was a Freestyle and Greco Junior National champion in 2002.

Burroughs, Jones Help Nebraska Make History Over OK State

February 7th, 2009 by Tom

University of Nebraska Sports Information

LINCOLN -- Jordan Burroughs and Vince Jones notched major decisions against No. 15 Oklahoma State to help the fourth-ranked Nebraska wrestling team claim a historic 17-16 dual victory over the Cowboys in front of more than 2,800 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Thursday. The win was NU's first home victory over OSU since the 1921-22 season, and gave the Huskers back-to-back dual wins over the Cowboys for the first time ever. Nebraska improved to 14-2-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12, while Oklahoma State dropped to 12-6 and 0-3 in the conference.

The contest came down to bonus points, as each team claimed five bouts on the night, and Burroughs and Jones, both natives of Sicklerville, N.J., scraped NU by with their two wins. In one of three matches featuring two wrestlers ranked in the top 10, third-ranked Burroughs used 10 takedowns, including four in the final period, to post a 21-9 major decision over No. 10 Neil Erisman of OSU at 157 pounds. The win was the junior's seventh of the year against top-10 opponents, and kept his perfect season alive at 24-0 and 15-0 in duals.

Jones, ranked 11th in the nation at 184 pounds, used two takedowns in the first two periods to amass an early lead, but posted a six-point third period to earn an 11-2 major decision over Oklahoma State's Cody Hill. Jones posted a takedown with a minute left and quickly cut Hill, looking for the bonus-point win. Hill put up a fight, but Jones scored his final takedown with two seconds left for the nine-point margin. The senior now has a team-leading 25 wins on the season with his 25-6 overall mark, and is 11-4 in duals.

The dual started at 133 pounds, with Oklahoma State picking up decisions at the first two weights. Senior Rob Sanders got NU on the board with a 6-3 decision over Luke Ashmore at 149 pounds. Sanders surrendered an early takedown, but rebounded with a takedown of his own in the first period and escaped easily in the second frame. Ashmore earned an escape in the third period to pull within one, but Sanders sealed the match with a takedown with seven seconds left.

Burroughs posted his major decision to give NU their first lead of the night, as junior Stephen Dwyer and senior Brandon Browne followed with decisions. No. 10 Brandon Mason held sixth-ranked Dwyer scoreless in the first period, but Dwyer earned a reversal 32 seconds into the second period and rode Mason out in the third for a 3-1 victory at 165.

On a night when Browne was honored as a Hometown Husker, the Plattsmouth-native did not disappoint. The senior posted three takedowns against No. 14 Newly McSpadden at 174, before the Cowboy claimed a late takedown to lose 7-5. Browne's 15-2 dual mark ties him for the team lead with Burroughs.

Jones' major decision at 184 put NU up 17-6, but No. 8 Clayton Foster upset second-ranked Craig Brester at 197 with a 5-2 decision and No. 3 Jared Rosholt posted a 2-0 decision over NU's Tucker Lane at heavyweight to pull the Cowboys within five at 17-12. OSU's Obe Blanc needed a technical fall to tie the match or a pin to win, but NU's Andy Pokorny held him to a 12-3 major decision at 125 to give the Huskers the victory.

Nebraska continues its conference schedule with a 2 p.m. dual against No. 14 Oklahoma at McCasland Field House in Norman on Sunday.

Donahoe Set To Go for Edinboro After Reno

December 19th, 2008 by Tom

original date 12/18

Edinboro wrestles today at the Reno Tournament of Champions.

It could be the Scots' last competition this season without Paul Donahoe.

Donahoe, a former NCAA champion at Nebraska, is expected to join the team for the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 29-30, coach Tim Flynn said Wednesday.

Flynn said Donahoe has been reinstated by the NCAA after he was dismissed by the Cornhuskers for posing nude on an Internet site. He sat out the fall semester while regaining his eligibility.

Donahoe won the 125-pound national title in 2007 and was third last year.

"Whenever you get a guy who every dual meet you feel like he can get you bonus points and every tournament you feel like he can get to the finals, that's a pretty good feeling, "Flynn said by phone from Reno, Nev., where Edinboro competes in a 27-team field today.

"It's good for the team because they will be able to see how hard he competes. He does the right things, from training to warm-ups to competing on the mat."

Donahoe will compete at 125 pounds, where junior Kyle Fluke has gone 8-7 as a first-time starter. Fluke is coming off a 6-2 decision over Ohio State's 16th-ranked Nikko Triggas on Sunday.

The No. 17 Scots are among three ranked teams entered at Reno, along with No. 13 Oklahoma State, last year's tournament runner-up, and No. 14 Boise State.

That makes Edinboro one of the favorites for the team title, but the Scots will be without eighth-ranked heavyweight Joe Fendone, who didn't make the trip.

"He wasn't feeling well when we got to the airport in Cleveland, "Flynn said. "So we sent him back home."

NCAA.com: Nebraska Dismisses 2 For Posing for Nude Photos

September 15th, 2008 by Tom

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -Two Nebraska wrestlers, including one who won an NCAA championship in 2007, have been dismissed from the team after posing naked for videos and photographs on an Internet pornography site.

Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan were let go Tuesday, three days after a blog posted images of them taken from Fratmentv.com, a Web site featuring naked or partially clothed male athletes.

"The history of behavior of these men, including the current matter, does not reflect the standard of excellence we aspire to on and off the mat, "coach Mark Manning said in a statement. "We have outstanding student-athletes in our program and we will move forward in a positive manner toward our goals.

"I want to personally apologize for any embarrassment that may have been caused for our athletic department, the university and our fans."

Manning didn't address the nature of the wrestlers' past transgressions, and didn't immediately return a message left on his cell phone seeking comment.

Donahoe did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The Associated Press has requested interviews with the men through the athletic department. Personal phone numbers couldn't be found.

The athletic department became aware of the images on the Internet late last week, assistant athletic director for compliance Josh White said. Donahoe and Jordan were declared ineligible because they violated an NCAA rule that prohibits athletes from appearing in pictures for commercial use, White said.

Donahoe and Jordan would have to apply to the NCAA for reinstatement if they choose to wrestle for another school, White said.

Donahoe, who would be a senior, won the Big 12 championship at 125 pounds in 2008 and placed third in the NCAA tournament after winning the title the year before.

Jordan, a junior 133-pounder, was fourth in the Big 12 and failed to place at nationals this past season.

The Scarlet Project, a blog that touts itself for reporting "news, scandal and gossip "at the university, posted the pictures online but altered them so that they didn't show full nudity. The blog reported that they were obtained from an anonymous person.

John Marsh, who operates Fratmentv.com and two related Web sites catering to gay men, said he's spoken with Donahoe and Jordan and that both indicated they want to continue as college wrestlers. He said Donahoe was a "dynamite "wrestler.

"If Nebraska is going to be pigheaded and kick him off unreasonably, "Marsh said, "there has to be another wrestling program that's going to want him."

Marsh said most photo and video shoots are done in Los Angeles, where Fratmentv.com is based, but that some are done at other locations. Members of Fratmentv.com pay $24.99 for access to hundreds of images and videos.

Marsh wouldn't say how much he pays models or how he hires them.

"It's not money that they would be making working as a waiter, "he said. "They get well-compensated. It's better than beer money."

Marsh said his models typically don't care about videos and pictures of them being seen on the Web.

"I'm in my mid 40s, and my generation has a stigma about porn, "he said. "The kids, the generation of the student-athletes, don't have that stigma. They really don't care.

"They've come from a Paris Hilton, Tommy Lee-Pamela Anderson sex tape generation, Myspace pages. The shame and stigma aren't there for them. They're mostly worried about what their parents are going to think, because their parents think it's horrifying."