Are all levels of collegiate wrestling made the same? in College Wrestling Posted April 17, 2014 · Report reply IMHO - The lack of support stems from the fact that wrestling fans are not a big group relatively speaking. We are passionate and will spend money and time. My theory is that you basically have an overlap in the fans that follow youth, Jr. High, HS, college and senior. We only have so much time and money we can spend on the sport to watch and support. Therefore we have to make choices. I have XX expendable money and XX vacation days that I can devote to wrestling. As an example, I can go to a HS tournament on Sat and a college match on Sunday. Do I go see a DI match or a DII match on sunday ? Chances are I would opt for the D1 match.Somewhat related, my theory above is why I am not in favor of the national duel concept. This is another multi day event which will require fans to spend more money and time. Since those resources are limited then the attendance will suffer at the duels or other events throughout the year. I feel you get more bang for your buck at a big tournament than you will at the national duels where your favorite team could be eliminated early and you may be watching matches that you do not care as much about or even leave. Thanks for your honesty. Going off your statement of "Do I go see a DI match or a DII match on sunday ? Chances are I would opt for the D1 match." Please, let me ask you this: If you had the choice to watch that dual between a DI team that was ranked, say, 15th-20th vs. another DI team, a mid-major, who consistently struggles to remain competitive, or hit a tournament that features some of the best athletes in DII, DIII, NJCAA, et al, which would you choose and why? I make no claims that all levels are the same talent-wise. That would be foolish. However, are there really more fans for DI than there are for all other levels combined? DI accounts for roughly 20% of all college teams across all levels, but likely doubles or triples the attendance of the national tournaments of DII, DIII, NAIA, NJCAA and NCWA combined. For tournaments we attend, outside of the DIs that routinely hover in the top eight to 10, the depth /back ups are not all created equally. The Penn States, Iowas, Oklahoma States, et al have guys who are third on the depth chart that could reasonably start at other DIs that aren't currently as competitive. I'll give you just one of countless examples we see each season. An NJCAA kid who had never qualified for his state's high school tournament goes up against a DI kid who was four-time qualifier and three-time mid- to high place winner in high school and competes for a fast rising DI program. The NJCAA kid takes down the DI kid with a high crotch, then hits him with a cross face cradle, turning the DI kid and pinning him in less than two minutes. The DI kid's workout partners are two 2014 All-Americans. The NJCAA kid's partners were a handful of guys who all placed in high school once. On paper alone, this shouldn't have been debatable as to who would win, but it happened and happens with frequency. That said, are all NJCAA kids competitive with DI guys? No, but many are. Are all NJCAA guys who beat DI guys at open tournaments DI material? No, but many are. The point is that I believe that the wrestling community in this country really does the entire sport a disservice by ignoring most things outside of DI. We cheer and rah-rah for the Taylors, Dakes and Stiebers, but just as quickly poo-poo the Levasseurs, the Joey Davises and Meneeleys because they aren't wearing a DI singlet when they win their multiple titles. I understand most people have limited time and resources, but supporting wrestling--not just one level--should be more than saying, "I support college wrestling." Heck, Council Bluffs, Iowa will be the home to the NJCAA Championships the next three seasons. Omaha, while not New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, has nearly 1,000,000 people in its metropolitan area. Will the community, if notified of the event, respond or will it simply wave off the hard work and dedication of these young men because they're not Cornhuskers, Hawkeyes, Cyclones or Panthers?