Overheard On Twitter: Penn State And Rutgers Wrestlers And Fans Sound Off After Contentious Dual
The Twittersphere has been split since Sunday afternoon about whether Rutgers simply wrestled Penn State with a lot of grit and Jason Nolf merely got caught in a scramble, or if the Scarlet Knights had ill intentions while facing the Nittany Lions and their four top-ranked wrestlers.
Sunday was no doubt an unusually physical and emotional match between David and Goliath, but the line between a good fight and bush league is quite disputed, especially when Goliath can’t finish his bout.
Fans from both sides had strong takes about what the Rutgers wrestlers’ true motivations were and used the debate to take ad hominem jabs at both Cael Sanderson and Scarlet Knights head coach Scott Goodale.
I'm a wrestling fan not a Penn State fan. That was the worst sportsmanship I ever saw. Rutgers University is nothing but a sewer,
— Dave (@Dave27635298) January 29, 2018
— William J Browne (@williamjbrowne) January 29, 2018
However, the conflict wasn’t confined to those in the stands as wrestlers from both sides took part in a Twitter fight that quickly got ugly.
Bo Nickal, who pulled out a tight, 6-5 win over No. 12 Nick Gravina, was noticeably aggravated online shortly after the dual ended. In a tweet to former Ohio State wrestler Johnnni DiJulius, he accused the Scarlet Knights of not wrestling, but instead, fighting.
It’s wrestling, not fighting. Wrestling is not about who can hit the other guy harder in the face.
— Bo Nickal (@NoBickal) January 28, 2018
Scarlet Knights senior Anthony Ashnault was quick to hit Nickal with a quote tweet and retweet a tweet of a baby crying from an account with the username Dilly Dilly.
Your the number 1 guy in the country, returning NCAA champ…are you mad our team wrestled hard and tried to win? https://t.co/lGYj9UKISQ
— Shnaulty B Mobbin (@atowndown2) January 28, 2018
— Dilly Dilly (@32prosper) January 29, 2018
Rutgers 149-poounder No. 13 Eleazar DeLuca, who gave up four unsportsmanlike conduct penalty points in his bout, talked a big game on Twitter, even after losing 14-2 to No. 1 Zain Retherford. He strangely called his team “DIRTY Jerz,” a nickname many upset Penn State fans would agree with.
This is the DIRTY Jerz and if you don’t like it y’all can leave nobody’s stopping you.
— Eleazar DeLuca (@AirLazer149) January 28, 2018
Rutgers Wrestling Program is as dirty as their state
— Jo Porter (@PorterjoPorter) January 29, 2018
No. 11 Richie Lewis took it one step further, telling Nickal he would “already be asleep” if Gravina were truly fighting.
If we was fighting you’d already be asleep. Talk that talk on twitter can run up to the heldrich now. https://t.co/i9Iz54EfEF
— Game Winner (@LewisRichie) January 28, 2018
Silent through all this have been the three wrestlers at the center of all the contention. Former Penn State standout and top-ranked 125-pounder Nick Suriano of Rutgers, Retherford, and Nolf all more or less follow the wise, age-old adage to #NeverTweet. Neither account so much as sent or liked a tweet in the hours after the dual.
Cael Sanderson, who rarely tweets but makes random appearances online when he doesn’t believe something is right, was also radio silent during the aftermath.
Nonetheless, despite what both sides have shown, there is still plenty of good will remaining in the world of college wrestling.
Bo, I’m an RU supporter and there are parts of today that I am certainly not proud of. That being said, I hope you believe there is no way at all our 57 was trying to hurt Nolf. All of wrestling hopes Jason heals up quick.
— CryptKeeper (@ADChandra) January 29, 2018