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GaryAbbott

Remembering Dave Schultz

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I knew Dave Schultz while he was at Foxcatcher. John DuPont was recruiting a kid I coached in youth wrestling for Villanova, and I met DuPont and Schultz the first time at one of his high school matches.

 

My kid went to Villanova and had a great freshman year, only to have it all come to a screeching halt when the administration found out what DuPont was doing behind the scenes and dropped the wrestling program.

 

Anyway, Dave Schultz used to call me at my home every month or so, trying to sell me on some fund-raising game he was offering - something like a Monopoly board game but using local street names.

 

He was a nice guy and we had a lot of interesting conversations. But I never bought his game.

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When I was in elementary school OU came to Tulsa to wrestle a match. A few of my friends and I decided it would be fun to sit behind the OU bench and watch the match. The whole time we were talking to a guy on the bench asking him who so and so was, and no telling how many other annoying questions. Only later did we find it was Dave Schultz. I didn't know who he was at the time, but looking back I have always been amazed at the patience he had with us.

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As I read all of these great stories about the amazing Dave Schultz, I wish I had one of my own to tell but I don't. I was 10 going on 11 years old when Dave was murdered.

 

The one thing I will say is that I went to a dual meet at Iowa with my dad just a few weeks after he was shot. During the meet they showed a highlight clip of different U.S. wrestlers from all over. Dan Gable's picture of course came up, as did Bruce Baumgartners and others. The crowd cheered loudly of course, yet, when Dave Schultz's smiling face came up on the screen, Carver Hawkeye Arena was deafining. To this day, I don't know if I've ever heard a louder ovation in any amateur wrestling event.

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I knew Dave Schultz while he was at Foxcatcher. John DuPont was recruiting a kid I coached in youth wrestling for Villanova, and I met DuPont and Schultz the first time at one of his high school matches.

 

My kid went to Villanova and had a great freshman year, only to have it all come to a screeching halt when the administration found out what DuPont was doing behind the scenes and dropped the wrestling program.

 

Anyway, Dave Schultz used to call me at my home every month or so, trying to sell me on some fund-raising game he was offering - something like a Monopoly board game but using local street names.

 

He was a nice guy and we had a lot of interesting conversations. But I never bought his game.

 

Villanova was not dropped by the administration. It was dropped by duPont because, in my opinion, he didn't realize how much administration was involved in a college program, and he didn't like having to learn and abide by all the NCAA rules. John tried to make me feel responsible for his decision by asking me what I'd do if I was him. At that point I was being paid as a team foxcatcher coach and no longer part of Villanova. I said "Well John, there's no NCAA rules in freestyle and it seems Villanova will never give the team a wrestling room". The announcement it would be dropped came the next day.

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P.S. Ironically, as I proof-read this, I think Yarigan was murdered too.....another one of the greatest coaches of all-time in our sport!

 

Ed he actually died in a car accident. But, yes another talent leaving this world to early.

 

Just re-found this...had never replied before...I knew he had died in a car accident (Yarigan), but I had heard it was Mafia related....maybe not!

 

Fadz

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I knew Dave Schultz while he was at Foxcatcher. John DuPont was recruiting a kid I coached in youth wrestling for Villanova, and I met DuPont and Schultz the first time at one of his high school matches.

 

My kid went to Villanova and had a great freshman year, only to have it all come to a screeching halt when the administration found out what DuPont was doing behind the scenes and dropped the wrestling program.

 

Anyway, Dave Schultz used to call me at my home every month or so, trying to sell me on some fund-raising game he was offering - something like a Monopoly board game but using local street names.

 

He was a nice guy and we had a lot of interesting conversations. But I never bought his game.

 

Villanova was not dropped by the administration. It was dropped by duPont because, in my opinion, he didn't realize how much administration was involved in a college program, and he didn't like having to learn and abide by all the NCAA rules. John tried to make me feel responsible for his decision by asking me what I'd do if I was him. At that point I was being paid as a team foxcatcher coach and no longer part of Villanova. I said "Well John, there's no NCAA rules in freestyle and it seems Villanova will never give the team a wrestling room". The announcement it would be dropped came the next day.

 

What you are saying is probably true, since I was at a one-step remove from the situation. However, my understanding was that duPont had pledged a great deal of money for the building of a new field house to be named the "duPont Pavilion". In return Villanova gave him a wrestling program. However the story goes that DuPont didn't come through with the majority of the money and the venue was renamed. Also, there were allegedly less than savory things going on with the team that if they were revealed would make the University look really bad.

 

Perhaps duPont failed to produce the promised money because he didn't get his wrestling room, or because he was simply going nuts.

 

I didn't get any info from DuPont, merely from people who were around the team itself.

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