I think this is wake up call to the wrestling community. Hard work, dedication and motivation does not always prevail. The facts of All Americans coming out of the Cleveland area are not relevant because they don't wrestle for Cleveland State.
When need people to step up with big financial contribution. We have a market segment of working class to middle class families. Blue collar people. We need the sacrifice of a few so that many will preserve it. Examples would be ASU are fully endowed with a big contribution. The goal should be to preserve and endow. Not to stop the bleeding.
I saw some interesting statistics on ESPN about the NCAA. Viewing was up 10 percent from last year, with a total 694,000 viewers. And had 1.65 millions minutes viewed on WatchEspn app. The largest viewing city? Oklahoma City. In Fact OKC, and Tulsa have switched as the number one viewing for the last six years. The state of Oklahoma is the top state in viewing 6 years.
Wrestling is the 6th most popular sport in high school with a total of girls and boys participation at 270,000.
There are a total of 222 college programs in all divisions 1-3 ( 79 I/ 55 II/ 88 III) and about to be stay the same with the addition of FSU and dropping of CSU
Now your wondering why is this important? Its not. That's the point. Everyone wants to talk title 9, and AD's and whatever else comes up. Athletics is a business plain and simple. We ( wrestling fans, wrestlers) need to help ourselves. We have people we can go to, there are banks with money waiting to be loaned. We need to start taking responsibility for our programs.
We need to hold smaller programs accountable just like the big programs. How do we do that. I think three areas are very important.
Performance- No one is going to watch if the team is not doing well. Performance is a big factor in staying around. Ohio State won four national titles. One was wrestling. Their first ever. The AD showed up for the trophy presentation. Tom Ryan has the AD staff believing in wrestling. Well Done.
Coaching Hires/Selection and compensation- Everyone wants a big time coach. Who wouldn't. But there are a lot of guys out there that are busting their their tails and are doing well, and can DEVELOP wrestlers. I think that's the most important factor of a coach. Is development. Great example is Kevin Ward at Army. Did it on the Division 2 level and now he has made an IMMEDIATE impact at West Point. Compensation is a key factor is drawing in coaches and that comes from funding. Who wants to make 30k coaching wrestling? No one. And no good coach is going to take that offer when they know there is something better. Compensation is a huge factor for our sport right now. How much does the lowest football coach make on a team, probably about 3X as much as the worst school in Div. 1.
Academics/ Public Image- wrestling does not do well on the academic side of the mat. It doesn't do itself any favors when the national average as a whole is bringing down the whole image of wrestling. We need to tighten the ole headgear up in the classroom. Part of the reason is because wrestling spans two semesters. That is not good for grade point averages, especially when march is near the end of the spring semester.
Of course we need to write letters, and send well written opinions on why wrestling matters to cleveland state, and the area and what wrestling has done for each and everyone of us. But the VALUE of the sport, and what it does for the individual involved.