Iowa’s Spencer Lee medically forfeits out of NCAAs, ending college career

Saturday, March 18, 2023 | 3:20 PM

After a stunning loss to Purdue’s Matt Ramos in the NCAA wrestling championship semifinals on Friday, Iowa redshirt senior Spencer Lee took a medical forfeit Saturday and will finish sixth.

Iowa issued the following statement: “It has been a long road of a recovery for Spencer Lee. He will medically forfeit out of the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships today in Tulsa.”

Lee, a 25-year-old Franklin Regional graduate, had two ACL repairs in January 2022.

Lee won his first three bouts in the tournament, but Ramos struck first in the semifinals with a first-period takedown and two-point near fall in the opening period.

Lee got an escape and then tilted Ramos for a four-point near fall in the second period to grab a 5-4 lead. Lee was awarded a takedown to extend his lead to 7-4 in the third period, but Ramos got an escape and pinned Lee near the end of the match.

Lee, a Franklin Regional graduate, will end his collegiate career as a three-time NCAA champion, a five-time All-American, a three-time Big Ten champion and a two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner.

His career record will be 98-6.

Lee was hoping to join an elite list of four-time NCAA champions. Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis (149) is also going for a fourth national title. Diakomihalis reached the finals.

The four-time champions are Oklahoma State’s Pat Smith (‘90-92, ‘94), Iowa State’s Cael Sanderson (‘99-02), Cornell’s Kyle Dake (‘10-13), and Ohio State’s Logan Stieber (‘12-15).

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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