Terry Brands
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Iowa wrestler throws Olympic medalist coach at NCAA Championships

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Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands had two words for Cory Clark after his pupil won an NCAA wrestling title on Saturday.

Throw me.

It took a bit of convincing, but Clark eventually did clinch Brands and take him to the mat in an unusual athlete-coach celebration. It drew an ovation from the St. Louis crowd and instant social media buzz.

Clark said he “freaked out” when he heard Brands’ order.

“I didn’t know what to do, kind of out of it out there,” said Clark, a senior who became Iowa’s first national champion since 2014. “I grabbed him. He said throw me. I tapped him on the back and went, no, I’m not going to throw you. Throw me. I go, no. He goes, throw me. I go, all right. I grabbed him and threw him. So that’s what happened. He probably wants it to seem like I tossed him for no reason. But I didn’t want to throw him; he wanted thrown. He was fired up.”

Brands had reason to be fired up. Clark came back from tearing wrist ligaments early in the season and reportedly separating his shoulder.

As for Brands, he was known as a fiery wrestler in his heyday. He won world titles in 1993 and 1995 but was beaten at the 1996 Olympic Trials by Kendall Cross, who took gold in Atlanta (as did Brands’ twin brother, Tom, who is now the head coach at Iowa).

Brands retired, then unretired and made the 2000 Olympic team, taking bronze in Sydney at age 32.

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USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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