Penn State Wrestling’s Anthony Cassar Reportedly Granted Two More Years of Eligibility
Penn State's reigning heavyweight national champion Anthony Cassar has reportedly been granted two extra years of eligibility, according to Bill Evans of NJ.com. Evans interviewed Cassar for a story that was published Friday morning and that explained his plans for the future and how his hometown of Montgomery, N.J. is preparing to name a street after him.
Wrestling sports information director Pat Donghia couldn’t confirm the report when contacted Friday afternoon and said that the team would make an announcement on medical redshirts when it was ready. Nothing was posted by Cassar or the team in the hours after Evans’ article was published.
The remark that Cassar received both medical redshirt years was casually mentioned about halfway through the article:
“Cassar was a senior this past season but applied to the NCAA to have two years of eligibility reinstated because of injuries that kept him off the mat early in his Penn State career. He found out recently he received both years back.”
Cassar was non-committal about whether he would compete for Cael Sanderson’s Nittany Lions next season. After graduating from Penn State this spring, he would be free to transfer and be immediately eligible as a graduate student.
“I knew there was a chance I could get zero, one or two years back and I was prepared to roll with it either way,” he told Evans. “The school has been working on it for a couple years, so it was great to get two years back.
“It’s not 100 percent right now, but I’m leaning towards wrestling for Penn State next year. Nothing is out of the equation for me, but I’m not looking too far ahead. Not having those four years of starting, it would be nice to have another couple matches in front of the Rec Hall crowd. It’s really just an honor to compete there. I’ll do what’s best for me.”
Cassar said his goal is ultimately to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. NCAA champions in 2019-20 will qualify for the Olympic Team Trials.
Sanderson repeatedly discussed the the possibility of Cassar receiving a sixth year of eligibility throughout the season.
As a first-year starter last season, Cassar enjoyed a breakout year, going 30-1 and winning both Big Ten and NCAA titles. The championship season came after a roller-coaster start to Cassar’s career. He spent two years off the mat due to injury and even left school at one point because of his health. After finally working his way into the lineup during the 2018 season, Cassar split time at 197 lbs. with Shakur Rasheed, who ended up winning the starting job for the postseason, leaving Cassar on the bench.
After the season, Cassar moved up to heavyweight and managed to unseat two-time All-American Nick Nevills as the starter. As this story develops, we will update it with new information.