Although the question remains whether NCAA Champion and two-time national finalist Nick Suriano will wrestle once again at Rutgers, there was some good news delivered on Monday. James Kratch of NJ Advance Media reported that Suriano is re-enrolled as a student at Rutgers. In addition, The Wrestling Room’s Pat Mineo replied to Kratch in a tweet that he was also taking summer school classes.
Kratch also reported that head coach Scott Goodale declined comment on Suriano’s status with the program. It appears his decision on returning to the mat at the RAC is undecided. There is no guarantee that the first national champion in Rutgers wrestling history will ultimately return this season or later, but it seems logical that he is waiting on what happens within the sport in the coming months before making a decision. Taking this route makes a lot of sense with the current climate and good for him in continuing to pursue his degree while keeping his wrestling options open.
Suriano took an Olympic redshirt last season and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials at the 57 kg division. However, due to COVID-19, that event nor the 2020 Tokyo Olympics took place. Both were postponed to 2021, but the status of both remains unclear as the global pandemic rages on.
The same can be said with the 2020-2021 college wrestling season, as the format and schedule remains unknown based on the circumstances with the health crisis taking place. The Big Ten so far has made the decision for all fall sports to play a conference-only schedule, but no decision has been made about winter sports as of yet.
Whether the NCAA grants an unprecedented second Olympic redshirt year remains to be seen, but it’s important to note that Suriano still holds a traditional redshirt as well and must be enrolled to use it. It is possible he could sit out the coming season to pursue his Olympic dreams once again while potentially returning the following season. Either way, during a time of uncertainty and an absence of encouraging news these days, Rutgers fans can at least grasp onto a little more hope that Suriano could one day wear a Scarlet singlet once again.