Iowa State wrestler Paniro Johnson has had his suspension reduced by the NCAA


Iowa State wrestler Paniro Johnson has received some good news regarding his future eligibility.

After a one-year suspension during the 2023-24 season, the NCAA changed its ruling on Johnson’s case and reduced his punishment to a two-day suspension, coach Kevin Dresser said.

After wrestling unattached last season, Johnson will redshirt this past season and serve his two-event suspension next season. As a result, Johnson has three years of eligibility remaining.

Dresser had told reporters at the Cyclone Tailgate Tour in Des Moines and Algona this summer that this development had been in the works at the NCAA for some time. The NCAA officially changed its ruling on Tuesday.

Johnson was among several Iowa and Iowa State athletes accused of betting on sporting events involving their own schools.

NCAA rules state that betting on your current school, regardless of sport, would result in a loss of one year of ineligibility. Gambling on your own sport would result in a permanent loss of participation.

Iowa wrestler Nelson Brands had appealed to the NCAA about his case, which was dismissed in December 2023, causing him to miss the entire season. He was later granted an extra year of eligibility, but he confirmed to the Register that he was granted a medical hardship waiver because he missed most of the 2021-2022 season. His teammate Tony Cassioppi also appealed to the NCAA, coach Tom Brands said, but never saw the mat for the Hawkeyes in 2023-2024.

It is not known what led to the NCAA’s change in Johnson’s case, but his two-show suspension is similar to that of Iowa wrestler Cullan Schriever, who missed the first five dates of last season before his December made his season debut against Columbia.

There are only two sets of criteria under which athletes can receive a part-season suspension. The NCAA stated this as:

  • If a student-athlete bets on his own sport at another school, education about sports betting rules and prevention is required as a condition of reinstatement, and the loss of 50% of any one season of ineligibility will be taken into account.
  • For all other betting-related violations (for example, betting on professional sports), the cumulative dollar value of the bets will be taken into account, with the following conditions for recovery:
    • $200 or Less: Sports Betting Rules and Prevention Education.
    • $201-$500: 10% loss of ineligible season, plus rules and prevention education.
    • $501-$800: 20% loss of ineligible season, plus rules and prevention education.
    • More than $800: Loss of 30% of ineligible season, plus rules and prevention education.

Eli McKown covers high school sports and wrestling for the Des Moines Register. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @EMcKown23

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