Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
When Iowa State announced this week that Kanen Storr had asked for and been granted a release to transfer to another school, there were many questions to be asked. Storr was one of the best redshirts in the country last season and while he had struggled a bit during his first season in the line-up, it was still shocking to see a wrestler who seemed to be headed to the NCAA tournament forgo one of his four chances to wrestle at the championship event. The Leslie, Michigan native had taken the mat for Iowa State as recently as last Sunday, losing 9-7 in sudden victory to Christian Monserrat (West Virginia). In the statement announcing the news, head coach Kevin Dresser offered few details, “Kanen (Storr) requested permission to transfer to another institution. I am going to honor that request and allow him the one-time transfer exception.” However, when the head Cyclone joined Takedown Radio Saturday morning, he confirmed some of the speculation that had been running rampant since the news broke.
In response to questions about wrestlers leaving, Dresser responded, “I kind of feel bad for Kanen. I’ve always been one, I lay it on the line and tell it how it is, sometimes I get in trouble for that…He was being tampered with…by some former coaches, I don’t think he got a chance to give my guys a chance. That’s the untold story there.” He went on to say, he wasn’t interested in holding anyone against their will and indicated, “There are no hard feelings between the Storr family and Iowa State…He had a lot of things going through his head.”
After some further discussion, one of the hosts, Tony Hager, asked Dresser if coaches were allowed to be contacting wrestlers at other schools. The head Cyclone responded, “Nope, it is against NCAA rules so that’s another issue that I will stay away from but there will be ramifications from this, I’ll put it that way. Not on Storr but there will be ramifications.”
The accusation that former coaches contacting Storr eventually caused this transfer and that those contacts could be an NCAA violation narrows the list of potential offenders that Dresser could be referring to. The 2016-17 Iowa State coaching staff was led by Kevin Jackson with Travis Paulson, Trent Paulson, Angel Escobedo, and Kyven Gadson officially listed as part of the staff. Mike Moreno was also an interim assistant coach for the post-season and a graduate assistant. Kevin Jackson moved on to be a developmental coach for USA Wrestling after his ouster, the Paulsons both ended up at Virginia as assistants, Escobedo went back to Indiana where he is the associate head coach, and Moreno was picked up by Northern Colorado as an assistant coach. Gadson became the first full-time resident athlete in the newly formed Cyclone-RTC as he continues to compete at the Senior level. Based on the message from Dresser today, we can expect at least one of those schools to come under scrutiny. It remains to be seen where Storr will end up next season, but this story is just beginning to unfold.
You can listen to the entire interview starting around the 20-minute mark of this week’s Takedown Radio podcast.