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Penn State coach Cael Sanderson weighs in on his suspension of Ed Ruth

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Cael Sanderson, Penn State head wrestling coach, shared his thoughts on the one-month suspension of two-time NCAA champ Ed Ruth during the team's wrestling media day Wednesday.

It was announced Nov. 13 that Ruth had been suspended for violating team rules. At the time, Sanderson did not say what rules had been broken; however, on Monday, State College, Pa. police revealed that Ruth had been charged with driving under the influence for an incident at about 2 a.m. that morning where the defending 184-pound champ had hit a tree while trying to park his car. According to police, Ruth had a blood alcohol count of .281 percent, three times the legal limit in Pennsylvania.

“We had an idea of what had happened so he’s going to miss those matches and that’s a piece of the process," Sanderson told the press Wednesday.

“But he’s getting a lot of support and some things that he really needs for the long term, and that’s really the important thing. It’s the same plan.’’

“When you have a student-athlete like this, it’s more about for him and the program,’’ Sanderson said. “He’s been very apologetic and he’s embarrassed, and that’s probably the hardest part for him."

“We have our team rules and we want to do things the right way in the program when kids make mistakes," the Nittany Lions wrestling coach continued. "But kids make mistakes and it’s nothing personal against anyone."

“Kids make mistakes and he has to learn, and it’s part of coaching trying to educate kids and help them to make good decisions, obviously. He’s had a good attitude and he’s on track and doing what we’re asking him to do, which is a good thing.’’

Days after the suspension was announced, Ruth issued a public apology on Nov. 19.

Ruth has traveled with the team, but has not taken the mat for the Nittany Lions. However, Ruth wrestled unattached at last weekend's Mat Town Open at Pennsylvania’s Lock Haven University, where he won the 184-pound title.

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Ruth is a three-time NCAA All-American and two-time NCAA champ, winning the 174-pound crown at the 2012 NCAAs by beating Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui, 13-4, in the title bout. The following year, Ruth claimed the title at 184 at the 2013 NCAAs with a 12-4 win over Lehigh's Robert Hamlin in the finals. He is also a two-time Big Ten conference champ. This summer, Ruth was named Penn State Male Athlete of the Year.

Ruth is currently ranked No. 1 at 184 by a number of websites and publications, including InterMat.

Want to know more about Ed Ruth? Click here to see a full roster of College Wrestling Examiner stories about the Penn State senior.

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