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Health of NCAA wrestling?

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How is the health of NCAA wrestling, meaning how is the sport viewed by NCAA? How profitable are the Championships compared to other NCAA sports? Did the viewership numbers do well on ESPN3 and ESPN for finals?

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I don't know specifics, but I read somewhere this year that the NCAA wrestling championships is one of only a few championships that actually make the NCAA money. I would assume that viewership numbers are good if ESPN continues to expand and focus on the coverage for this, AND to put it on prime time Saturday night.

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There are many challenges that wrestling and Olympic type sports face. None more a threat then the probability of the BCS schools effort to lower the number of men's sports required to keep is D1 designation. Think of Football, Basketball advent sacred. Where would wrestling fall? If that occurs, what remains are most Big 10, Ivy's and a few schools with out football. This is not an unimaginable possibility. The future will tell.

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There are many challenges that wrestling and Olympic type sports face. None more a threat then the probability of the BCS schools effort to lower the number of men's sports required to keep is D1 designation. Think of Football, Basketball advent sacred. Where would wrestling fall? If that occurs, what remains are most Big 10, Ivy's and a few schools with out football. This is not an unimaginable possibility. The future will tell.

The good news is that Football is facing its own crisis with the early retirements in the pros and the spinal and neck injury thing becoming a real threat. Lawsuits probably even more threatening.  Brain injuries.  People will always turn somewhere for violence and football is losing some of that.  Wrestling is the one violent sport where the athlete has a shelf life and the chance for healthy life post competition.  This isn't to say that football isn't great. I love it.  But the penalties and injuries and $$/ corruption (Pro owners and power deals and agents) is real too.  

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There are many challenges that wrestling and Olympic type sports face. None more a threat then the probability of the BCS schools effort to lower the number of men's sports required to keep is D1 designation. Think of Football, Basketball advent sacred. Where would wrestling fall? If that occurs, what remains are most Big 10, Ivy's and a few schools with out football. This is not an unimaginable possibility. The future will tell.

 

What?

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Trending up imho.  Better TV Coverage, huge crowds, rule changes, MMA popularity, filling MSG didn't hurt anything.  I suppose the concussion issues in both football and soccer may encourage a few more athletes to filter toward another tough sport, but I'm not certain about that. 

 

Wrestling stock is rising every day and from reading previous threads, I know plenty of you will laugh at what I say next. 

 

I realize, the thread is NCAA, but at the lower levels there are at least three negatives in my opinion...the herpes gladitorium and other skin issues.  I cringe at the thought of our sons and daughters picking that up.  Fire coaches that do not encourage every ounce of prevention at their disposal.   Secondly, the uniforms are costing us a lot of young middle school athletic participation.  I know a lot of you laugh at that, but basketball coaches everywhere are thankful as hell that we wear the uni's we do.  It's such an easy recruiting advantage in the middle school, that it's almost not fair.  I've seen it happen too many times. I know it's a fact, Jack.  Last, and probably least.  Girls should wrestle girls.  Let's encourage the sport. Boys wrestling girls is so gxxxxmned wrong, I can't believe anyone at any state association needs us to explain this.  Seriously, if you won't let them play volleyball, basketball or football against each other, why in the hell do you think it's ok to wrestle against each other.  Terrible to train young men to be physical with girls.  Terrible for the young man's ego to lose to a girl.  Lose, lose situation.  It's time to advance away from this practice.  Seems like Texas has passed us all in this regard.

Edited by smittyfan

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the NCAA does a decent enough job breaking out the finances. it's easy to find too. just google NCAA finances. 

 

http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/finances/revenue

 

http://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/2014-15NCAA_Financial_Statement.pdf

 

wrestling contributes next to nothing. the basketball tournament contributes just about everything. doesn't mean the wrestling championships doesn't provide a positive number, just that it's insignificant compared to basketball. a rounding error.

 

espn television ratings were flat last I looked. it would help if there was more than 1 weekend of programming. softball provides many more hours of programming, so even the ratings for the softball college world series are lower, theyre probably worth more to ESPN than wrestling is. 

 

lots the sport could do to improve it's station in the sporting landscape if it ever got collectively motivated. 

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Last night was so awesome, and it did not involve the vaunted team race at all.

 

Sure it did.   Iowa fans and haters were tuning in record numbers to see if Iowa could win a trophy or if they would be shut out.   Of course we all know they failed,and it was the talk of message boards across the country.  The team race was a very key factor on Saturday night.   

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I don't think wrestling is threatened financially as much as politically. Women's wrestling notwithstanding, it is predominantly a male sport and hence under a constant attack from the usual radfem crowd and their spineless enablers.

 

Since the threat is political far more than financial, the remedy is in the turnout not $ numbers. Of course, it helps a lot if the $ numbers also add up.

 

My $0.02

Edited by judaspriest

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The way to have girls wrestling is to have Women's wrestling as NCAA 1. The way to kickstart Women's wrestling is for the B1G to start women's teams. If Cael, TerryB, TomR, JRob all cut their pay to the level of the VP of the USA, it would probably pay for a 2 person coaching staff. Except for NW, they probably all have 2-5 dozen co-eds already on campus with HS or MS experience. 

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Not sure what this is asking, exactly.

 

The NCAA is a collection of member schools. In that standpoint wrestling is not doing well as there are over 350 Division-I schools but less than 75 of those sponsor wrestling.

 

As far as how the Division-I Championship is viewed by the NCAA management, I believe they are happy with any event that doesn't lose money. The Majority of their championships lose money and wrestling is one of only a handful that do not lose money. So, in that regard, they are happy. The championships do not need to be subsidized, which makes all the membership happy. But even if it did need to be supported, they would do it. The NCAA puts on great championships. They take a lot of pride in it.

 

As far as how ESPN views the event, well, they have a limited sampling. Most NCAA events that have any fan interest offer many more days and many more sessions that can be packaged. The wrestling championship is very compact and only has the potential for three prime time slots. With the tournament format it is very hard to cover the event well and package it for wrestling fans. The web platform has made it possible for the diehard fans but is not a good delivery method for the general wrestling consumer.

 

I have not seen this year's TV ratings but they have been stagnant for the last ten years. They team race has not been a factor in viewership, historically. Despite there being a lot of excitement with great matches, I wouldn't be surprised to see the ratings be the same or lower than last year's. If I were to guess, I would say that probably 600k tuned in for the session six finals on saturday night.

 

ESPN will likely put out a release talking about some improved metric, as they always do, but they never used constant metrics. It is merely PR to make it sound like the event is growing.

 

One thing I did notice from ESPN was the commercials leading up to the event. I have had more people that know nothing about wrestling talk about seeing commercials for it in the week leading up to it and even mention Baldwin.

 

The event is great. It is a show. But it seems to have the same number of fans in attendance and same viewership each year. Even with the increase in Flo coverage, I thought more high school wrestling fans would end up tuning in to the event as they aged out of high school. Flo is ten years old now so I would have expected to see growth in the event from their legion of young followers. I don't see it.

 

Part of the reason, I think is that it is an event you have to see in person. You can't really appreciate the NCAA wrestling championship without havig been there and felt the energy in the crowd. I would venture most wrestling fans are on an island and end up watching wrestling by themselves. We need to do better. I believe there are many possible solutions but the least controversial one may be simply using stadium endzone seating to allow more people the oportuntity to be exposed to the event. If the event is in so much demand as people say and there is no problem selling out the event no matter where it goes (as it seems) then I think we need a larger venue to get more people involved. Those in attendance are the biggest advocates of the sport. We need more of them.

 

http://board.themat.com/index.php?/topic/11950-general-crowd-observations/?p=205185

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@Pinnum. St Louis is soon going to have an indoor football stadium, no longer used for NFL. Maybe it can be reconstructed for permanent use as a site for wrestling and other traditional indoor sports. For St Louis to get to get a new NFL team, they will need a new stadium, just the way it is. The City would like to be the key host city for NCAA and other amateur sports. They have an opportunity to do so. I believe the Falcons stadium was subdivided for the Olympics before the first NFL game was played there. I don't know what other sports could be involved but....

 

Heck, if they demonstrated they could give 30,000 a good view, and actually draw that number, I might not even object to it being a permanent site. at least there would be no floorspace problem  

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@Pinnum. St Louis is soon going to have an indoor football stadium, no longer used for NFL. Maybe it can be reconstructed for permanent use as a site for wrestling and other traditional indoor sports. For St Louis to get to get a new NFL team, they will need a new stadium, just the way it is. The City would like to be the key host city for NCAA and other amateur sports. They have an opportunity to do so. I believe the Falcons stadium was subdivided for the Olympics before the first NFL game was played there. I don't know what other sports could be involved but....

 

Heck, if they demonstrated they could give 30,000 a good view, and actually draw that number, I might not even object to it being a permanent site. at least there would be no floorspace problem

Hosted events with that configuration multiple times...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dome_at_America%27s_Center#/media/File:2005_NCAA_North_Carolina_v_Michigan_State.JPG

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 Not quite sure about the bigger venue - you can probably watch basketball from afar but for wrestling, the upper part of the 200s levels was already getting a bit iffy. No idea how those in the 300s and 400s could truly enjoy it from that far away unless everyone was using binoculars.

 

Maybe my eyesight isn't what it used to be but I just don't see how you can practically make the venue any bigger unless you simply install giant screens.

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Not quite sure about the bigger venue - you can probably watch basketball from afar but for wrestling, the upper part of the 200s levels was already getting a bit iffy. No idea how those in the 300s and 400s could truly enjoy it from that far away unless everyone was using binoculars.

 

Maybe my eyesight isn't what it used to be but I just don't see how you can practically make the venue any bigger unless you simply install giant screens.

I don't think it would be an issue. You ca watch on the video board and feel the energy in the arena.

 

But maybe someone that was at Iowa's match with Oklahoma State on the football field can comment. It would be a similar view from the high seats.

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During the final 2 days at MSG, and to be fair, other sites, it is too easy to look at the big board  rather than the mat. So I also would like to know wat the actually watched at Kinnock stadium.

 

Obviously, all the major indoor stadiums has been host to NCAA B-Ball. The Final 4 is always in those places now, the Sweat-16 sites often are also, I am more interested in other sports that have had that format. (Years ago I saw an article on why BB is popular. reason 1- It uses the biggest ball of any common sport, making it easy to follow.. Reason 2, the main rules are simple to follow, a foul shot that goes thru the basket is 1, a field goal is 2 or 3. That is all a casual fan needs to know)   

 

It seams reasonable that 25,000 is about the max for practical viewing of normal indoor sports. 125,000 for traditional outdoor sports. Twice that for auto racing, but you are following a car not a person.

 

Although, for whatever its worth, in Inside the Third Reich, Albert Speer, as Hitlers Architect, wrote about the grand outdoor stadium for the new Capitol City, Germania. It would have sat 1/3 of a Million. They had worked out the dimensions and set up test viewing of Track and Soccer from the max distance and angle, and found satisfactory results. But I am skeptical.   

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