Austin DeSanto’s abundant exuberance in celebrating recent victories caught up to the Iowa wrestler Tuesday.
The 133-pound sophomore has been suspended for one match by Iowa after being penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for the third time in his last four matches at the conclusion of his match against Nebraska’s Brian Peska on Sunday.
Near the end of the dual’s final match and close to securing his final takedown in a 25-10 technical fall, DeSanto picked Peska up, carried him over his shoulder toward the Iowa bench and gave a thumbs-up sign before depositing him on the mat for the final points of the match.
DeSanto then stood up and gestured toward coaches and athletes on the Nebraska bench to be quiet.
The antic drew the unsportsmanlike conduct call which cost the Hawkeyes a team point in their 20-13 victory.
It followed less dramatic displays by DeSanto following wins over ranked opponents but drew the same penalty and cost unbeaten Iowa a team point in its wins last month at Minnesota and at home against Rutgers.
Then ranked 10th, DeSanto was penalized following a 6-1 decision over the Golden Gophers’ seventh-ranked Ethan Lizak and again five days later following a 6-3 win over the Scarlet Knights’ third-ranked Nick Suriano.
“I want to apologize to my opponents and teammates for my actions on the mat,’’ DeSanto said in a statement. “I know they are disrespectful and there is no excuse. I accept the consequences of my behavior and the decision of coach (Tom) Brands. I have assured my teammates and coaches that I will better represent our team when I return.’’
DeSanto will sit out Friday’s 7 p.m. dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Maryland, Brands said in announcing the suspension.
Bettendorf’s Paul Glynn is the probable starter at 133 for the Hawkeyes in Friday’s dual, looking to add to an 8-4 record this season.
“Austin knows his behavior on and off the mat is a reflection of this university and program, and I am very pleased with his response to his matter,’’ Brands said. “I know he is eager to move forward.’’
Brands said DeSanto will return to the Iowa lineup for its Feb. 15 home finale against Indiana.
Ranked third nationally in his weight class, DeSanto is off to a 14-1 in his first season of action for Iowa. He joined the Hawkeye program after qualifying for the NCAA Championships a year ago as a true freshman at Drexel, where he went 29-7.