Tom Ryan: Lack of Independent Review Cost Joey McKenna an NCAA Championship

Comments Show All Comments

3ydncloudofdust's picture

I feel for McKenna. Wrestled his butt off in that match. I think he got hosed. Pile on Yianni at the end “I’m the baddest man in the world” ... or something like that. Not exactly what I’d call classy. 

"You have to play with emotion, you can't let emotion play with you." - Ryan Day

HS
IronPastor's picture

I feel bad for Joey and I wondered about the call when it happened.  I will admit that I am no wrestling genius, but it seemed sketchy.  I agree that anytime you can have an independent perspective, it isn't a bad thing.  Hold your head high Joey, you are a Champion whether there is a medal around your neck or not!

GEAUX BUCKEYES

HS
3ydncloudofdust's picture

Control is the key. It certainly didn’t look like Yianni had it. When it happened, to me it looked a no-points exchange. 

Tin foil hat or not, I also like how ESPiN left McKenna or maybe it was Pletcher [day before] out of the intros. They put the pics of the weight class up, but for only 3 wrestlers, leaving whichever Buckeye it was out of the intro. As is said, tinfoil, and I’m bitter. Maybe someone else noticed?

"You have to play with emotion, you can't let emotion play with you." - Ryan Day

HS
brutus0717's picture

McKenna escaped. 5 seconds later. Of course there was no control. Poor kid got robbed of being an NCAA Champ.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

HS
gutterwaste's picture

Not a takedown. From any angle. Also, if the score were tied , Joey would not have been warned for stalling. Consistently bad officiating on its biggest stage (at least, in the USA) isnt doing anything to help the sport of wrestling

HS
CasualObserver's picture

I thought it was a takedown and escape. But they were really inconsistent this weekend.

HS
Steelydan54's picture

Both of those calls were sketchy. The TD and escape. I wonder if independent review would overturn the mat ref in a NCAA final though?  I think ref called TD thinking Cornell would consolidate his position, but McKenna was back to neutral so quick it proved he was never taken down so ref had to call escape as a make up. At least the escape, while not totally clean, was evidently the correct call as it wasn't immediately reversible as the TD was. Ref knew he blew it. Got stubborn about it. Figured a tie would cover it. 

Steelybuck54

HS
Buckeyeplumber's picture

It was a BS call and on the stalling....why should Joey have to bring the heat? He's too busy trying to defend from potential shots

HS
buckeyeteach's picture

I’m glad to read non-Buckeyes agree with me. I thought the call was BS, but I thought that was partly my Buckeye bias. I don’t have Twitter, so I saw these tweets in this article. What a shame for Joey

HS
brutus0717's picture

Even as a Buckeye fan I can definitvely say that having your crotch in the back of a guy's neck does not constitute a takedown.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

HS
Brutus's picture

I just watched the replay a few times and to me that was a takedown. Credit Joey for knowing the situation and scrambling to get the escape in time to force OT.  Had he won in sudden death, this story would be about how the Cornell wrestler couldn’t hang on in the end, not Joey.  I think it was a takedown the moment Joey broke his grip on the single, no matter how long the Cornell wrestler held it. There was a long enough pause in that position that the ref had time to ring up the two. Had Joey rolled right through as soon as his grip broke, maybe the ref can’t justify awarding a takedown. I’m bummed for Joey.

HS
Dr. IlliBuckeye's picture

He had a whizzer overhook preventing control the whole time, and the other guy had his crotch on Joey's head. I don't understand how you can call that control and a take-down. 

Buckeye in the desert of Washington state.

HS
BigDrill's picture

Whizzer Overhook? I think I saw them at the Newport on campus in 85. 

HS
Buckeyefan4742's picture

The after match interview added a lot more pissed off. Joey got screwed over

HS
BigDrill's picture

He really came off as a tool bag in the interview. Such a contrast from the Penn State interviews.

HS
CasualObserver's picture

Also, Kolat is a 4x AA and 2x champ at Lock Haven. (Do you love Lehigh, or just hate Lock Haven? LOL) Maybe one of the more underappreciated USA wrestlers. Took third at Midlands as a soph and jr in high school. Pinned an NCAA AA, lost to Olympian Ken Chertow 0-1 and beat an NCAA Champ there while he was a hs junior. Got robbed of world and Olympic golds by FILA.

HS
Andy Vance's picture

Jeeze, I don’t know what it is with switching those this week! That’s what, the third time? First was an honest mistake when I read the abbreviation on the brackets. This one was just, I dunno.

CasualObserver's picture

Don't worry it's only strike two! But Lehigh is a considerably bigger school. Division One and FCS across the board. Lock Haven (along with Clarion, Edinboro and Bloomsburg) has about 4-6k students and is D2 in everything but wrestling.

HS
BigDrill's picture

Small school love. Nice. That’s what’s cool about wrestling, the individual wrestlers from the smaller schools seem to get love from the crowd in the underdog effect. Drew Foster from Northern Iowa got the same kind of support, and even people who know little to nothing about wrestling seem to pull for the smaller schools vs the known, larger programs.

HS
CasualObserver's picture

Christian Pyle (face of Flo Wrestling) tweeted "Pound for pound best fan base here is Lock Haven. Pretty sure the entire town is here and they are rowdy and hilarious"

HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

Joey was the one taking shots in the last period and he was called for stalling.  He had to continue to shoot.  The "takedown" should have never been an issue.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

HS
BigJoe21's picture

Robbed. Plain and simple. But I expect Joey to make some big noise on a world team in the future!

Our Honor Defend

HS
BrutusB's picture

Unrelated, but the leg grab then tripping the other leg takedown in OT was actually pretty badass, even if it cost Joey the win. 

HS
thekid's picture

Tough loss.  Very grey area in those calls.  Should have independent review.

Michael Zikas

HS
okiebuck's picture

Joey was robbed; Ryan is right his hips were up; refs were awful. Earlier the kid from the other OSU; had a questionable loss to the guy from Rutgers, I think it was. Coach Smith from Oklahoma State, a HOF wrestler I believe, was pissed and still is this morning.

The only hard day was yesterday

HS
Andy Vance's picture

Coach Smith was ready to go to the mats himself on that one, for sure.

Knarcisi's picture

I don’t think Smith had any grounds for being upset. Great that he is protecting his guy, but I thought that match was a tough match to officiate and it was officiated fairly. And I thought Suriano was the agressor and deserved to win that match. 

HS
Eph97's picture

Smith was a joke. Threw a brick for the hands to the face call? All Fix does is get double boots in and sits on guys. There needs to be a rule change to get rid of that. Glad Nick won that match as he was the aggressor the whole match.

HS
Rollin'85South's picture

There are clear pictures floating around of Surriano with his hand grabbing the headgear of Fix. That was the issue, not hands to the face,  and personally I agree with Smith. Although I think he was a little overboard in his reaction. 

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Picture is worth a thousand words but the replay showed he didn’t grab it. A millisecond shot with his hand placed there could certainly appear that he grabbed it when he didn’t in actuality. 

HS
Knarcisi's picture

In fairness, I thought the one in the 2nd period was a takedown, and a lot closer than this one. 

The stalling call was was crap. 

I thought last night Joey was both the agressor and the better wrestler. All Yianni did was play defense, and hit a few scrambles. Yes, I know that is part of the sport, but he initiated nothing at all. 

HS
BUCKEYE3M's picture

Good write up Andy - I was a basketball player at a wrestling school and even I know what a takedown is!
Also, it is unrealistic to expect someone to make a call, have a coach tell them they're wrong, then stop and come to the conclusion the coach is right.

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Yep, I think I’ve seen one call get overturned. 95% of them don’t. 

HS
Eph97's picture

Unless the coach in question is Cael Sanderson, in which case the coach doesn't need to tell the ref he made the wrong call as the ref will review his own call and "correct" it.

HS
MD_Buckeye's picture

A few points:
1. The article conveniently left out the non-call earlier in the match when Yianni put McKenna to his back. Had that call been made, it would've ended things in regulation in Yianni's favor.
2. Once the leg is in, it's two points. That's why coaches are always calling for their wrestlers to hook a leg when cutting the corner on a takedown.
3. For those complaining about the lack of attempts from Yianni, he's a counter-wrestler, similar to Kyle Dake. Not saying Yianni will be a 4x champ (long ways to go for that), but it worked out for Dake. And Pletcher/Campbell are perfect examples of the same thing for the Bucks.
4. For all those saying that McKenna was robbed, what do you say to Oklahoma State fans, who to this day still claim Logie Bear was taken down by Jordan Oliver in the finals?
5. Video review served its purpose and both wrestlers had a chance to win in overtime. The better wrestler on Saturday won. It comes across as sour grapes when you complain otherwise. Congrats to both wrestlers and their respective teams.

“Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” - Urban Meyer

HS
Keyser Soze's picture

Why do you have  Buckeye in your name again? To me it seems like you are trying to make points for everyone Buy our team. You should go over to intermat or another wrestling site, keep Ohio State out of your name and make your points there. 

That's how winners play. We convince the other guy he's making all the right moves.

HS
Knarcisi's picture

That’s not a bad post. 

HS
MD_Buckeye's picture

I was born and raised in Ohio as a Buckeye fan and have attended OSU events for 30+ years. I was a multiple time state placer and had the opportunity to wrestle for OSU in college but chose another DI university instead, where I was a 4x varsity letterman on a top 20 team. I was also a college coach for several years, some of which were as a DI head coach. None of this is to toot my own horn, but rather to say I generally have a pretty good idea what I'm talking about when it comes to wrestling. Differing opinions are fine, and one would think they are welcome here, especially when congratulatory to both athletes/teams. Otherwise you just end up sounding like a fan of a certain team up north after we beat them (again) in football. Again, it was a great match to watch, both had nearly eight minutes to win it, and Yianni came out on top. Game effort by both gentlemen.

“Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” - Urban Meyer

HS
johnniebuckeye1's picture

MD_BUCKEYE, I will take exception to your note that the match would have been over in the 2nd period when a take down or potential back points were taken away from Yianni or that it was ruled incorrectly.  You quoted it was a "non-call' and should have been a pin and the match should have been over as if the officials missed it.  That comment doesn't resemble any impartiality or objectivity at all.   Seriously, what match were you actually watching?  There was not one single person in the arena last night that thought there was a pin...not even the Cornell section.  Sorry I am being transparent but your comment or comments warrant it.  I'm certainly glad you weren't my coach to say that my match was over because I was behind in the second period   You stated your qualifications and tooted your own horn so your comment is disingenuous that the match would have been over in the 2nd period if Yianni had been awarded those points.  Tell that to any wrestler or coach in the business.  Did you honestly really wrestle or coach to make a comment like that?  Did you watch the Hidley-Nolf match?  Nolf even said he was taken down when it was overruled w/o a challenge.  Jordan Burroughs and numerous prominent others in the national wrestling community called out the officials after the McKenna match and the overall officiating in the tournament.  I spoke to Cornell people after the match and they even said it was not a take down at the end of the match.  Let's not forget the absurd warning for stalling on McKenna with one minute left in the match when he had been attacking the entire match, not Yianni.  There needs to be an independent 3rd party review of challenges.  To have two officials overturn their own decision is contrary to human nature.  The capricious, subjective stall warnings that seem to only happen in the 3rd period when the officials are overtly influenced by the coaches and those in attendance.   I give all the credit to Yianni for winning in OT.  I personally like Yianni and their wrestling program.  They are good kids.   

JohnnieBuckeye1

HS
MD_Buckeye's picture

Wow, someone was triggered! Question my credentials all you like, but you clearly didn't understand my comment. Never once did I state (nor even think) it was a pin. Had Yianni gotten 2 for control (or 2 control + 2 backs) at the end of the second, he'd have an additional 2 (or 4) points on the board. Obviously the third period would've been wrestled differently from McKenna's end, had he been trailing. However, I suspect, given Yianni's counter wrestling ability, that an overly aggressive McKenna down by my than 2 would've likely spelled trouble. But that's why they wrestle the matches; nothing is a sure thing. On the contrary to your statement, I haven't talked to a single one of my Cornell wrestling friends who say it wasn't a takedown at the end. I do agree that having an independent 3rd party ref for reviews would be a huge improvement though. At any rate, take a deep breath and try not to take things out of context.

“Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” - Urban Meyer

HS
Knarcisi's picture

I’d have to watch the replay, but while he may have been on his back for a 2 count, I’m not sure he was there for a 2 count while Yianni was in control. 

HS
MD_Buckeye's picture

Its definitely more likely that he'd only be given 2 for control, but I could see if they gave 2 for backs, as well. Its similar to Yianni's semi against Eierman.

“Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” - Urban Meyer

HS
Eph97's picture

Anyone who says Yianni pinned McKenna would have to say that Myles pinned Bo last year. Both would have been falls in freestyle but not in folkstyle.

HS
MD_Buckeye's picture

+1

Agree 100%

Sure would've been nice to see MyMar stick Bo though!

“Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” - Urban Meyer

HS
Sampson8080's picture

1. That "non-call" was not nearly as controversial as the takedown. 

2. Once it's in, and there is control. It's a takedown. Obviously the Party is biased (as am I), but Wrestling Twitter generally is not. 

3. Fine line between counter-wrestling and stalling. Dake didn't tread that line too closely. Yiannis' reputation let him do so in the Finals.

4. OK?

5. If the takedown call was blown, the better wrestler didn't win. Pretty simple.

HS
MD_Buckeye's picture

1. I have to disagree with you on the non-call because that is a 2 (if not 4) point difference, which changes the complexion of the match. If anything, it was an even clearer takedown than the one at the end, so if not called, does that make it more controversial? I don't know.

2. As for the leg being in, take a look at some of the screenshots in Coach Ryan's tweet, especially the one from Andrew Berreyesa (I don't know how to include the picture) -- leg is in, right arm is around, and it's a guillotine-type situation. As far as Twitter (or any other social media goes), a lot of times, people are rooting for the underdog (or just simply against the favorite, if you like). I'll admit, I was rooting against PSU for most of the weekend. It's common across all sports. So yes, if there's any kind of controversial call, people jump on it immediately.

3. At times, Dake did play it too close. However, I agree with you that given Yianni's ability, I'd certainly like to see more attacks out of him. Given the current rules though, he plays the game.

4. Just making the point that there are always controversial calls, especially at the national tournament. Look at Nolf-Hidlay.

5. Again, refer to #2. Kudos to McKenna for switching up his gameplan from the last time they met. However, In my opinion (and obviously the ref's), according to the current rules, the right wrestler won.

“Leaders create culture. Culture drives behavior. Behavior produces results.” - Urban Meyer

HS
Eph97's picture

There were so many questionable calls during the tourney. Independent third party review in a booth is needed. Stalling needs to be clearly defined. So many matches where the guy taking shots is hit with a stalling call. Way too much rewarding of counter wrestlers. Was watching the tourney with a friend who is not a wrestling fan at all. In both the MyMar loss to Dean and McKenna's loss to Yianni the Cornell guy basically won by getting into scrambles and getting take downs after not shooting at all. Was embarrassed after hyping up wrestling so much to my friend and his reaction was basically "this is it?".

HS
Waterbeagle's picture

My son and I love watching the wrestling.  I told him I feel like one of those football announcers talking about what’s a reception....I have no idea what a take down is anymore.  My son was a wrestler and said right away that Joey got jobbed.

HS
martin anderson's picture

Some of you bitching and complaining about the McKenna non call sound a lot like the Michigan fans when JTB did or did not make a 1st down in the 2016  OSU / UM football game

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Martin, as an Ohio State fan, do you ever have anything good to say about our programs or do you just like to play contrarian and come in here an call people homers?  It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Prett cheap and easy.  

I’m not one that thinks he got jobbed, and I stated that above. So, before you get into your homer calling routine with me.  

You don’t seem to like any of the comments, so wonder why you continue to come in here and read them. And in addition to you having nothing good to say about Ohio State and to anyone in here,  why you continue to comment.  

HS
martin anderson's picture

No, it's just homers like you that ALLWAYS want to bitch and complain because you happen to disagree with ANYTHING that doesn't go OSU's way. I like to see things as an independent thinking person and not just follow the crowd. If you don't like my comments then you have a choice to not read them instead of constantly stalking me. I'm an OSU fan as much as anyone, I'm just not a homer about it

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Martin, you must not read any of my posts, because I’m hardly a homer. Yeah, I have a bias towards Ohio State.  That’s part of being a fan.  But I’ve more than called out Ohio State, and people on here when it’s blind homersim. And I’m not sure how I can stalk you when you comment on a thread where I’ve had 3-4 comments already. But you keep being you, Martin. 

HS
CALPOPPY's picture

No, it's just homers like you that ALLWAYS want to bitch and complain because you happen to disagree with ANYTHING that doesn't go OSU's way.

So, after he clearly states that he didn’t have an issue with the McKenna situation, you still call him a homer all the time?

If you only ever come on here to argue with people, and call people homers, then you’re the one trolling. Please, refrain from trolling. 

And while others can try to avoid reading your comments, you can also avoid arguing against every single comment with which you disagree. It gets tiresome to read and causes a lot of unnecessary back and forth shit on the boards.

Memento mori

HS
martin anderson's picture

Nowhere in my initial post on this thread did I direct it towards any body. No one. I simply made a generic comment towards anybody bitching about the McKenna call or non-call

HS
CALPOPPY's picture

No, Martin, you just decided to broadly insult people.

Then you did direct a comment towards Knarcisi.

Please just refrain. You’re not going to change someone’s mind by coming in and insulting them. And many people may even agree with you, but they refrain from telling others how they think that they’re wrong. Just coming in hot and insulting those with which you disagree, consistently, is pretty troll-like in behavior, and gets exhausting to read and handle.

Memento mori

HS
Rross145's picture

Regardless if it was 2 or not. Yanni and McKenna's match will remain one of the greatest OSU NC matches. Literally one of the most gifted talented wrestlers of our time (Yanni) vs a Professor of wrestling (McKenna). I enjoyed the entire match. Although i am disappointed with the outcome I'm 110% proud of McKenna's effort and the entire OSU roster. I look forward to next year.

HS
J10's picture

Robbed or not, Joey's comments afterward show him to be a classy guy and for that I'm proud.  Lots of quality dudes on this team.  

**This space to be filled with an inspirational quote from a famous Buckeye**

HS
trizz7's picture

Yanni should have had first takedown, not second, stalling is a continuous problem.   Fix was backing up entire match, not called until too late.   Bringing up the Steiber/Oliver match, at the time, the call was correct, the rule was later changed.  How about no stall warnings, if wrestler gets hit for stalling, opponent gets 1 point.  Go Bucks!

Trizz

HS
Elfkrieg's picture

Fixing sloppiness should be welcomed, if the technology exists.
Four years ago a flagrant scoring mismatch allowed Brian Realbuto (Cornell) to incorrectly beat Ian Miller (Kent State) -- the NCAA's official response was pretty lackluster back then.
This year:  Nolf might have lost to Hidlay, Yianni might have lost to Joey, etc.
Seriously?
Just make things better..
 

HS
BigDrill's picture

Great example bringing up the NCAA’s statement. To me they should enforce rules they have, if the opposing coach catches it or not. 

HS
Desymond's picture

The Hidley-Nolf match alone should be enough to institute changes to the review system. This just pushes it over the edge. Shit has to change. It's amazing that at the highest level, officiating was so poor at this tourney. In general I don't think wrestling is that tough to ref, so it's sad the tourney was tarnished a bit. 

HS
BigDrill's picture

Once they hit OT nothing before that really matters. Sure it was a close call that MANY of us disagree with, but I was glad to see Joey make the final. He had a legit shot, even in OT.

Go Bucks!

HS