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WRfan1

What about NAIA to freestyle

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I think NAIA switching to freestyle would require a commitment by both the NAIA and the colleges that offer wrestling to hire the right coaches or train the coaches already under contract.  I think it would allow them to recruit a different caliber of athletes or athletes with different goals.  It would be something unique that 90% of the colleges that still offer wrestling do not offer.    Given a change, no one is saying that a freestyle oriented division or team could not choose to attend a folkstyle tournament during the traditional folkstyle DI-DII-DIII seasons to get a different look or a "higher level of competition."  The results may not be as good as they could be if they were not training folkstyle "full time" but in reality 95% percent of those athletes more than likely had a decade or more of folkstyle training as a basis.  If wrestling is wrestling let them attend events like the CKLV, the Kaufman-Brand, Midlands, Southern Scuffle, etc.  

 

With all that said, I would hope that USA wrestling or the USOC would offer their full support to the NAIA if that was to happen.  They could provide educational training for "traditional" coaches, help identify new coaches, host regional training camps, open up training camps in Colorado Springs, host in-season regional, national, or international, tournaments, and provide and develop referees for the international styles.  

 

At the same time I would like to see current Di-DII-DIII teams try to add a spring freestyle-Greco season. (even if it is a shortened season)  Add some scholarships for women (which helps in Title IX) and allow the men under folkstyle scholarships to compete in Freestyle or Greco-Roman if they choose.  Schools already do this with indoor and outdoor track, track-cross country, and with two-sport athletes like the guys that run track and play football etc or girls who play soccer in the fall and softball or track in the spring etc.  While two-sport is probably more popular in DII and DIII, whose to say it cant happen in DI.  If a school only wants to offer one style, let them.  If a school doesn't want to participate, so be it because those that do can offer an enhanced opportunity and those that don't can focus on their folkstyle emphasis.  

 

Given a scholarship is only counted once for the purpose of Title IX.  Adding only scholarships for women increases their opportunities across levels does not hurt the numbers in the eyes of the feds.  It could help some schools with Title IX issues without hurting mens wrestling because those schools are already compliant.  If they considered allowing a woman's scholarship to be split or awarded as a partial more young ladies would have even more opportunities.  If a school wanted to offer men international scholarships, keep it equivalent to the number of female scholarships and start fundraising.

 

Again with that said if any division wants to add a spring season and the others don't so be it.  That division now has something unique to offer that the others don't.

 

I understand it would cost more money to add a spring season and it may cost more for the coaches, but the facilities already exist and the athletes are already on campus.  I for one would love to see University Nationals mean more than they currently do and I would prefer to see those athletes competing under the banner of their schools then their clubs.  I would love to see the Big Ten, Big Twelve, ACC Spring Internationals or events like the regional qualifiers we already have that are well attended.  Post graduates could stick around on campus and compete for their clubs than they currently do, or someone could wrestle for Boise State, Fresno State, or Oregon State as an undergrad and decide to continue their wrestling education at an Ohio State, Virginian Tech, or Cornell.  With more wrestlers, wrestling longer everyone has the opportunity to get better at wrestling no matter their style, level, or long term goals.

 

Just some thoughts that I wanted to express on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Sorry if I bounced around a bit, but there is a lot bouncing around in my head and I haven't spoken up in awhile.  Take my pie-in-the sky wrestling omelet and do with it what you will.  At the end of the day I just want to see the US get stronger, build more depth, and create more opportunities across all levels for each of the styles, divisions, and genders.

 

edited for some spelling, capitalization, and punctuation and also to say that the NWCA could jump on board if they would like as well.

Edited by KSchlosser

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I'd be curious to see if we would witness a spike in international enrollment at colleges and universities that offer Freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestling. Obviously not every Iranian, Russian, Georgian, Azeri, Mongolian, Turk, etc. is going to want to stay home to compete and go to school. I think it could open some really cool doors for the future of wrestling to attract and strengthen and grow wrestling both domestically and internationally.

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Will it really matter?  I think people underestimate the value of folkstyle.  The NAIA gives kids that wouldn't get scholarships at the NCAA level an opportunity to be part of something.   Freestyle or Greco instead?  Nah.   If anything maybe 2 seasons during the year  like how there is indoor and outdoor track.  Maybe have a Folkstyle Season and a Freestyle/Greco season.    California Jucos are already done in December,  they could be the proactive solution and have a FS/Greco during 2nd semester if we really want to go that route.   

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I still think NAIA to FS would be a great Option B.    NAIA already has many of the Women's programs, which wrestle FS, and is poised to be the first collegiate governing body to sanction  Women's wrestling.  Sure, some kids will always want to go the big schools, but I don't think DI future of college wrestling, especially if National Duals becomes the team championship.  Would a Pico go to an NAIA school, especially if it had a quality coach, if he knew he could continue to train exclusivity in FS?  Probably not, but maybe...

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Major problem is that NAIA schools are well dispersed about the country.  When I coached NAIA, we saw far more NCAA schools than NAIA schools during the season, and when we did it was mostly at tournaments with mostly NCAA schools.  Switching to freestyle would only allow for a limited number of freestyle events on the schedule--NAIA schools would still have to predominantly wrestle folkstyle.

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