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  1. It is normal to want to move upward in competition, just like wrestlers themselves want to improve and advance in competition. However, the NCWA is mostly unrestricted in allowing a bunch of programs to grow and thrive in its all-encompassing environment, sort of like an open tourney does for individual wrestlers. It is open to a broad range of teams from JC's and four-year schools starting a varsity; to student-driven college sports clubs; college prep schools (Army/Navy); technical or trade schools (Apprentice); transitional schools changing divisions (Cal Baptist); etc. Also, throw in the fact of many schools avoiding the axe under title 9 compliance and you can see how relevant it has become. Also, it was nice to see the NWCA bail out the D3 teams by sponsoring a national tournament when the NCAA cancelled due to Covid-19.
  2. FYI - NWCA stands for National Wrestling Coaches Assn., while NCWA stands for National Collegiate Wrestling Assn.
  3. This statement seems contradictory where you say some programs within the NCWA "have been elevated to varsity status." You seem to admit that they are varsity even though they're in the NCWA? Or, do you mean they left the NCWA? I don't feel you need to be NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA to be a varsity. There are other governing bodies in intercollegiate athletics. How about non-NCAA sports like sailing for example? The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) being a prime example. There are a host of other organizations as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercollegiate_sports_team_champions Some wrestling programs might be in a sort of hybrid model or in transition just like when programs undergo NCAA provisional status and cannot compete for a champioship, either. The issue is very complicated and not cut and dry. Varsity college teams are simply teams that formally represent their respective colleges and universities "Clubs" run along the notion of an activity comprised of students at a college or university forming as a club due to a common interest that binds them together to pursue this shared interest. They are not funded like their "varsity" counterparts. And, not part of the athletic department with full-time coaches but managed exclusively by the students. Several teams in the NCWA fit this mode, but not all. Many smaller schools wanting to have a varsity program at their school may choose to compete as an NCWA team and possibly grow into an NCAA/NAIA or JUCO team. Many large D1 programs, such as, UCF (University of Central Florida) would prefer "club" status to avoid the funding a D1 would entail. UCF is a thriving club team and performs well against many varsity programs. It has nothing to do with the competition, but rather the school's overall support. Just like the NCAA has divisions, many high schools also have divisions, as alluded to in another comment above, allowing greater participation in the sport; It has a lot to do with the growing populations and creating more opportunities to compete. The NCWA was initially created due to Title IX compliance issues and losing many wrestling programs throughout the country. But now, providing opportunities for women in wrestling, men's programs have been added or reinstated. So the future looks better for our sport.
  4. There are "varsity" programs in the NCWA and they aren't just the transitioning schools either. The PSU branch campuses are varsity as is the Apprentice School. There are more athletic associations than just the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA ...the USCAA doesn't have wrestling as a championship sport but is moving towards it. With no official postseason championship, the NCWA has provided an avenue. Penn College of Technology also was approved as a provisional D3 member. They have had a team for the last four years or so. There are valid college non transitional programs in the NCWA. - by Jason Bryant Schreiner University in Texas lists as a varsity. Also, several JC's varsities are in NCWA.
  5. Wow!!! Looks like Alaska is a hot bed for Rifle even though no college wrestling.
  6. It is obvious to me NCAA DI is the top banana. D2, D3, NAIA and JUCO are pretty competitive at top levels. NCWA is like a catch-all-that-falls-through-cracks which at the top could be really good, also. Because Title IX paved the way for the creation of the NCWA in the first place, the other divisions suffered cut backs and continue to do so. D1 still attracts top-talent due to funding and national recognition but lost programs and is down to 77 teams, D2 offers financial aid but currently has about 60 programs, while D3 has over 100 teams, but is non-athletic scholarship. NAIA offers financial help with about 60 teams. JUCO has 77 teams with some help at some schools. CCCA (California Community College Assn.) has 20 teams. NCWA has 35 top tier programs and over 100 at a lower tier and can offer scholarships. The drawback with the NCWA is the funding for the program itself. If the program gains the support of the institution as part of the athletics and is funded, it has a better chance over the long run. If it is generated only by student support, then students must pay for it which can vary year-to-year. So it seems the better wrestlers will gravitate to the more viable programs. Still though, Title IX has caused a shift in the paradigm.
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