Ever since the 2023 NCAA Championships concluded, everyone has been waiting for the responses from Spencer Lee on one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history.
Lee spoke about his loss to Matt Ramos in the NCAA semifinals on the Barstool Wrestling Podcast, and answered a lot of questions that people had regarding his character and how he handled himself after being beat. Countless people hated Lee for forfeiting out and not showing the gratitude that they wanted, but Lee fully opened up on the situation.
“I saw a lot of people say I lost because I was hurt. That’s simply not true, I got beat. There is no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it, that is just the sport. I hate when people try to make excuses for me on why I lost… I got out-wrestled and beat, they’re taking credit away from someone who deserves it (Ramos),” said Lee.
Despite crediting Ramos and downplaying the rumors that numerous people brought up, it will be a loss that Lee will never forget, and is still bugging him to this day.
“It’s just so crazy about how much hate I got after the NCAA’s, like I’m hurt and I am still hurt, I’m just trying to get through it,” said Lee.
Lee is not the only member from the Iowa program to go through heartbreaking losses, as everyone saw the events unfold from Terry Brands and how he handled his loss after being beat by Kendall Cross in the Olympic Team Trials way back in 1996, and Lee is grateful that he has the strong Iowa support system that drew him to wrestling for the Hawkeyes in the first place.
“For me it’s electric, it’s exciting, and it’s extremely crazy in a good and sometimes bad way. I really enjoyed competing for the two most passionate and exciting coaches in the country,” said Lee.
“I always said I didn’t want Terry Brands coaching against me, I just loved how he was and fell in love with him, he was the one that recruited me to Iowa,” said Lee.
A big part of Lee’s decision to wrestle for the Hawkeyes in the first place was the culture of Iowa Wrestling, and everything that came with it. Iowa fans and the people around the competitors make the sport so much better, and are treated much differently than other programs around the country.
“I think wrestling is embedded in Iowa… it’s different here, the guys in Iowa are literally superstars,” said Lee.
Although it was one of the most shocking defeats we may ever see, Spencer Lee is humbled with his responses, and has given more credit to his opponents than anyone could have thought.
Spencer Lee will continue to be dominant in the sport for years to come, and supplements that with being a great person and respects everyone around him.
Didn’t address why he MF out if he wasn’t hurt. Why didn’t he “man up” and wrestle for 3rd or 5th?