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The University of Minnesota wrestling team appears ready to turn a corner after a tumultuous seven-month period with the reinstatement of four suspended athletes. Legendary Gophers head coach J Robinson was terminated by the university on Sept. 7 amid a controversy surrounding a prescription drug ring that implicated Minnesota wrestlers in both buying and selling the prescription drug Xanax.
It was announced in October that four Minnesota wrestlers were suspended for a violation of team rules. Tommy Thorn, Ethan Lizak, Brandon Krone, and Larry Early III were unable to compete attached for Minnesota until January 1. Now, with the suspensions completed, we'll see three of the four wrestling at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Sunday and Monday. This will give Minnesota fans their first glimpse of this team at full strength.
Lizak (125), Thorn (141), and Krone (174) will complete the Gophers lineup and put Minnesota right in the mix for a team trophy at the Scuffle.
Another change we'll see for Minnesota will involve ninth-ranked (at 174) Nick Wanzek heading down to 165 pounds. The Gophers have flexibility with Larry Early as well, though he hasn't cracked the starting lineup yet. Should things go awry at 157 or 165, he's a quality option to take the spot.
This will give Minnesota the following lineup heading into the Southern Scuffle:
125: #9 Ethan Lizak
133: Mitch McKee
141: #12 Tommy Thorn
149: Fredy Stroker
157: #7 Jake Short
165: #9 Nick Wanzek
174: Brandon Krone/Christopher Pfarr
184: Bobby Steveson
197: #2 Brett Pfarr
285: #4 Mike Kroells
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