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$1.2 Million Donated to Brown Wrestling

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Our sport is on the upswing guys. I was kind of hesitant to say this but basically Cael and MMA have given a dying sport life and actually everything is showing it thriving in the next 10 years. The Ivy's putting this kind of money down on wrestling is an amazing sign. Bringing wrestling back to it's true heartland is good for the whole country. We may see wrestling expand into the SEC if it continues to attract money. We will see!!!!

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Bringing wrestling back to it's true heartland is good for the whole country. We may see wrestling expand into the SEC if it continues to attract money. We will see!!!!

I'd like to, but I don't share your optimism.

 

Make a very long story short: last Friday I played golf at an LA Country Club with a former UMichigan football player, who spent 5 years in the NFL and another friend who has a son that's currently a full-scholarship football player at USC.

 

The subject of concussions came up, as well as payment of NCAA athletes (the multi-thousand dollar stipend the USC player receives monthly, what my son received from his B1G school when travelling while wrestling, etc).

 

The former Michigan player has heard a few things regarding possible payments. One of the items is "Education for Life" something similar to a scholarship for life (likely football only, possibly bball), whereby students will have the option to return to school to earn a Masters, PhD or other degrees.with "free" tuition.

 

He seemed to think that the money would likely come from the conferences, not the NCAA or the individual schools. If it comes from the schools, athletic budgets would be severely depleted and it would be hard-pressed to see many of the "non-revenue" sports survive.

 

The SEC (and their network) cares about football. They like basketball and baseball. The others aren't much of a concern (or attraction) and certainly not something they would sink money into as there isn't a return.

 

Just another perspective...

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PInnum, while looking for schools(some Ivy's) for my four kids in the Northeast the last 10 years I will say there is not the negative buzz anymore reference wrestling like I used to hear 10 years ago. I am speculating about Cael and MMA but those seem to stand out to me when talking to the average person. The non wrestler communities at these Ivy's can only name PSU(Cael) and MMA but they know about wrestling because of those two things! Kind of like Chapel Hill's women's soccer but far more reaching The sport is gaining popularity-it just is in the last few years. Having a wrestler competing for almost every belt in UFC and Cael moving to Happy Valley stand out to me as I tour these east coast schools. Now the SEC is further off but I can see it happening if things keep going this direction. Again this is just my opinion from what I have seen and this Brown thing may be isolated but I don't think it is.  

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Old Marine

 

I think you are right. I share this feeling as well deep down. I don't want to get overly excited about what I am seeing at these ACC and Ivy schools but it is better than no expansion. But in the last few years some things have changed. We will see in the next 10 years but for the first time I am really stoked for my sport actually expanding instead of contracting. The SEC maybe a bit far fetched but if wrestling expands in the Ivy's as it is doing then the sky is the limit 

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PInnum, while looking for schools(some Ivy's) for my four kids in the Northeast the last 10 years I will say there is not the negative buzz anymore reference wrestling like I used to hear 10 years ago. I am speculating about Cael and MMA but those seem to stand out to me when talking to the average person. The non wrestler communities at these Ivy's can only name PSU(Cael) and MMA but they know about wrestling because of those two things! Kind of like Chapel Hill's women's soccer but far more reaching The sport is gaining popularity-it just is in the last few years. Having a wrestler competing for almost every belt in UFC and Cael moving to Happy Valley stand out to me as I tour these east coast schools. Now the SEC is further off but I can see it happening if things keep going this direction. Again this is just my opinion from what I have seen and this Brown thing may be isolated but I don't think it is.  

Maybe a bit of bias here on my part - but I think if you are talking about what's happening recently at Brown, Princeton, Columbia, and even other programs in the EIWA, I'd say what Rob Koll has been doing has more impact than either MMA or Cael.  Increasing alumni support, upgrading facilities, and demonstrating success on a national level - the specifics of Cornell's model are more scale-able to other Eastern schools than what Cael is doing at PSU.

Edited by redblades

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while great news, I'm not sure this gift has much to do with anything except that a couple of former Brown wrestlers ended up having a great deal of discretionary wealth. 

 

also redblades makes a good point. Cornell's success is probably a much bigger motivator for fellow Ivies than PSU or any Big Ten school succeeding.

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It is important to realize that, for the post part, the programs that we have lost over the last thirty years were often those that were the problem programs or that had the least fan interest in the program. There was never a drop of high school participation rates and for many programs there wasn't any drop in fans.

 

Cael's success is not disputed but just as you can't name (UNC women's soccer coach) Anson Dorrance, Cael is not a household name. He is a wrestling name. And his program is begining to get more of a mainstream reputation but his success has nothing to do with the investment into wrestling by some programs. You could draw a lot of parallels to Gable and how he energized Iowa wrestling but you wouldn't say he helped build wrestling (since we lost so many programs).

 

In reality, their impact is neutral at best. If Cael wasn't coaching, someone would have won those national titles and there may have been more programs that experienced a boost.

 

As a fan of smaller programs, it does make me wonder what the future will hold. Pennsylvania was always a unique wrestling state that there are so many D1 programs and so many different allegiances. There were many factions in PA with all of the different college programs available locally. I was saddened when we lost Millersville as a D1 wrestling program and I was frusterated when I heard many in the wrestling community say things like "that's fine, they aren't a real loss since they weren't much of a program anyways..."

 

I am not sure how much wrestling has gained from the shift of power East. I get the impression the culture of Iowa has lost out as there is no longer the Iowa-Iowa State rivalries. It is very possible that wrestling now has more people that are actually following a college program even with the loss to Iowa State since PA is a larger state and Penn State has more alums. But my real concern is how the factions in PA are consolidating. I am seeing many Pitt, Bloomsburg, and Clarion fans becoming Penn State fans. Even if they are not saying it vocally, their pride in Penn State is continuing to grow.

 

It has always been that the key stakeholders have been the alumni and fans. These are the people that keep programs alive. The support of select individuals is the reason we have the programs we have today and the wrestling culture in some states has helped to keep them secure as so many people are familiar with ex-wrestlers. This is nothing that MMA has done. In fact, I have heard a lot of negative correlations between MMA and wrestling coming from administrators in academia.

 

With the rise of Penn State wrestling, there is a very real loss of the allegiances of these key stakeholders. The reality is that wrestling fans in central PA can easily get their wrestling fix without Lock Haven having a program. This is true of many various programs in the state. I fear that there will be an increase in the people that respond to the prospect of losing these programs (as D1 teams or in general) will be met with the same response as the loss of Millersville.

 

Now, I don't blame Cael, or Penn State, since they are doing what they should. Sure, the Big Ten and ACC having their scholarship limit raised while most programs already didn't have enough funding to offer the old scholarship maximum is a hard thing to combat but that just an external decision that impacted wrestling.

 

More often than not, wrestling is being supported by a few key stakeholders at programs around the country which have prevented the number of D1 programs from dropping to 50. And, Cael, Gable, Smith(s), JRob, or any other coach at a top program has not benefitted the general D1 program. There has not been an increase in media revenue for wrestling broadcasts that has trickeled down to programs with less funding, nor has there been any revenue sharing or guarantees offered in competitions, which is so common in college sports these days. But it isn't their responsibility to do that. Their loyalties are to their employer and their job is to win. And they are doing it well. Their fans should be happy. As far as their fans are concerned, things are going well.

 

As far as MMA, I am still waiting to see the spike in any metric that would substantiate the claim that it helps wrestling. It seems that wrestling helps MMA a lot more by providing them well trained athletes and then allowing them to siphon off would be fans. The best claim I have ever heard about wrestling being helped by MMA is the claim that they sometimes mention a wrestling background. That is a weak benefit at best and one that isn't exactly well received by those in the academia communities where wrestling gets nearly all of it's infrastructure and support to survive.

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Pinnum

 

I agree and well written post. Maybe I am being overly optimistic but I am just regurgitating what I am hearing while I am looking at colleges. I always am surprised when the non wrestlers actually know about PSU or MMA and that most MMA champs were wrestlers. I just hear it a lot the last few years. Cael may not be elevating the sport out of the shadows but I really think MMA is surely doing that. Any rate our sport is at least staying healthy and I hope to see it expand out of the traditional powerhouse conferences and even maybe one day crack back into the SEC.  

Edited by PRyan2012

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I have not met one person that has attended a wrestling event because they heard about the sport through MMA.

 

Interestingly, I have talked to a few amateur MMA fighters that have spoke about how they hate wrestling because wrestlers are so good and make good fighters. People that want to get into MMA get into BJJ a lot more as they find many more beginners to train and grow with. You're not going to make up for years of wrestling training and you're not going to train as a wrestler for years if you don't like wrestling. BJJ is a lot more recreational which most MMA fighters are more recreational. Your typical fighter only fights a few times in their life and only trains for a few years.

 

There isn't recreational wrestling. Wrestlers are a lot more advanced in their wrestling.

 

If there are any stories about people who watched MMA and then heard about wrestling for the first time while watching MMA and have become big college or Olympic wrestling fans that are now attending events, I would be interested in hearing it. But I would venture to guess it is beyond extremely rare...

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I don't know any hardcore wrestling fans that have come to the sport through MMA but I definitely hear from MMA fans that they are now interested to learn more about college wrestling due to the background so many successful cage fighters have. to see that translate into eyeballs on the screen I think wrestling would need to make itself more accessible. 

 

anyway, FWIW, I think MMA does more to raise wrestling awareness than anything PSU is doing. my friends that went to PSU don't even know they have a team, just like they don't know PSU has a successful volleyball team either. same with Lehigh grads (though they still all remember the basketball team upset of Duke in the NCAA tournament). however I do have friends that are big into MMA asking me questions about former wrestlers. 

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There isn't recreational wrestling. Wrestlers are a lot more advanced in their wrestling.

Why is this?

 

Wrestling has been supported through the school system for many decades (local school districts, colleges, etc.).  There has been no financial incentive to create for-profit wrestling schools along the model of karate school or MMA gyms (that appeal to the general public or adults).  We have many clubs, but they are primarily aimed at developing elite youth wrestlers who intend to get college scholarships.  

 

Recreational wrestling could exist.  For example, the sport could attract people that are interested in the martial arts but don't want to get punched in the face.  If the bottom drops out of school-based sports at some point, I think wrestling gyms aimed at the general public would start cropping up.

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I don't know any hardcore wrestling fans that have come to the sport through MMA but I definitely hear from MMA fans that they are now interested to learn more about college wrestling due to the background so many successful cage fighters have. to see that translate into eyeballs on the screen I think wrestling would need to make itself more accessible. 

 

 

 

 

I agree with this.  I have friends who would never have watched wrestling before but now will watch with me because of the association with MMA.  what was once considered a cult subculture now has greater exposure and acceptance by many people who are fans of other combat sports.  It may not have translated to eyeballs on the screen but the majority of the college season is behind a paywall and/or difficult to find and follow.  

 

While Brown wrestling may not have any direct connections to MMA that we know of, they have had some substantial connections to judo.   

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Guys you are missing my point. Wrestling is getting more exposure. ESPN hits all rounds of NCAAs, MMA it gets mentioned all the time since most of the champs were former wrestlers. I even heard an announcer mention Cael's name in the Conner McGregor fight and also Burroughs. The ivys are getting more serious about wrestling and the ACC had two top 5 teams this year! People actually know what the sport is and that is progress. Now are my theories correct in why our sport has had a tick upward in popularity-I just gave some opinions as to why.

 

T nigs 23

 

That is correct. The martial artists now see it as a martial art. That is a huge change in mind set right there and some people are realizing that the only martial art you can take at you public school is wrestling.     

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I agree with this.  I have friends who would never have watched wrestling before but now will watch with me because of the association with MMA.  what was once considered a cult subculture now has greater exposure and acceptance by many people who are fans of other combat sports.  It may not have translated to eyeballs on the screen but the majority of the college season is behind a paywall and/or difficult to find and follow.  

 

While Brown wrestling may not have any direct connections to MMA that we know of, they have had some substantial connections to judo.   

 

Yep, World judo champ & Olympic medalist Jimmy Pedro wrestled for Brown in the late 80s/early 90s era

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Our sport is on the upswing guys. I was kind of hesitant to say this but basically Cael and MMA have given a dying sport life and actually everything is showing it thriving in the next 10 years. The Ivy's putting this kind of money down on wrestling is an amazing sign. Bringing wrestling back to it's true heartland is good for the whole country. We may see wrestling expand into the SEC if it continues to attract money. We will see!!!!

How can you say it's because of Cael??? It's obviously because of Gable.. He's been an ambassador to the sport and promoting it for the past 15 plus years since when he's stepped down from domination. Cael is too busy coaching and having any impact on what's going on. Let's be real here.

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Our sport is on the upswing guys. I was kind of hesitant to say this but basically Cael and MMA have given a dying sport life and actually everything is showing it thriving in the next 10 years. The Ivy's putting this kind of money down on wrestling is an amazing sign. Bringing wrestling back to it's true heartland is good for the whole country. We may see wrestling expand into the SEC if it continues to attract money. We will see!!!!

 

 

 

What has MMA done for it?   I haven't heard that connection.  

 

Neveremind, I see you've addressed it as I read further along the thread.  

Edited by Cletus_Tucker

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Yep, World judo champ & Olympic medalist Jimmy Pedro wrestled for Brown in the late 80s/early 90s era

 

Alex Ottiano too shortly after.  He was an olympian and a world medalist in judo (he may have won worlds even.  I can't remember.)  

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