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MisterHand

National Championship plot just thickened

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There might not be 20k fans showing up to the duals in the first few years but I don't think it is unreasonable to think that 10k fans will show up to the duals. After all, there will be the top 8 teams in the country. Even if fans don't travel there will be enough high school and youth wrestling fans in the region to drive attendance.

 

 

See, I'm not convinced of that. They're targeting the third week of February. That's going to be stepping on individual and team state tournaments or their qualifiers. Attending some kick-@ss college duals is not going to be topping the list of priorities for high school fans, athletes, and coaches.

 

 

2) The article mentioned that conference champions will get an automatic berth to the team championships. How are the conference champions going to be determined; is it going to be by conference dual meet record, or will it be based on team standings in the individual tournament? If the latter, then it makes the team championship idea a little silly.

 

 

Given that the NCAA Wrestling Team Championship would come before the conference tournaments, it would be kind of difficult to have the team standings in the individual tournament determine automatic bids!

 

Excellent point. I blew right past that. :oops:

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Because of the spread of state's seasons and post seasons, it is almost impossible for anything to not overlap collegiate's premier events. Save moving everything late into later march early april.

 

I concede that the future fanbase of wrestling is critically centered around getting as many high school kids in the stands of these college events.

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I agree Scribe.

 

I am of the opinion that I can convince parents of youth and high school wrestlers, and high school coaches, to attend a two hour dual a lot easier than I can get them to attend any tournament event (even if it is only for the finals).

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Because of the spread of state's seasons and post seasons, it is almost impossible for anything to not overlap collegiate's premier events. Save moving everything late into later march early april.

 

I concede that the future fanbase of wrestling is critically centered around getting as many high school kids in the stands of these college events.

 

This is why I think the collegiate wrestling should be a spring, rather than a winter, sport. Move it away from the high school season, and you stand a better chance of getting the high school kids in the stands.

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Because of the spread of state's seasons and post seasons, it is almost impossible for anything to not overlap collegiate's premier events. Save moving everything late into later march early april.

 

I concede that the future fanbase of wrestling is critically centered around getting as many high school kids in the stands of these college events.

 

This is why I think the collegiate wrestling should be a spring, rather than a winter, sport. Move it away from the high school season, and you stand a better chance of getting the high school kids in the stands.

 

 

+1,000 to that. I've been hoping for that for some time now. Start the season with the holiday tournaments and have NCAAs the 3rd week of April instead of March.

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Because of the spread of state's seasons and post seasons, it is almost impossible for anything to not overlap collegiate's premier events. Save moving everything late into later march early april.

 

I concede that the future fanbase of wrestling is critically centered around getting as many high school kids in the stands of these college events.

 

This is why I think the collegiate wrestling should be a spring, rather than a winter, sport. Move it away from the high school season, and you stand a better chance of getting the high school kids in the stands.

 

 

+1,000 to that. I've been hoping for that for some time now. Start the season with the holiday tournaments and have NCAAs the 3rd week of April instead of March.

Great, there goes our ESPN contract.

 

Look...the fact is, our sport is most likely helped, not hurt, by the fact that our tournament is the same weekend as the first weekend of March Madness. Why? Because CBS has that contract, enabling our great sport to get onto ESPN virtually unopposed. If we were to push our tournament into April, we'd be fighting with 15 major league baseball games for that Saturday night time slot, likely relegating our individual national championship to ESPNU.

 

Further, we'd be unable to get arenas, in all likelyhood, with NHL and AHL playoffs starting (remember, regular season schedules can be worked around special events like ours, playoff schedules cannot, as Vince McMahon found out with the NBA playoffs a few years back). In other words, we'd likely find ourselves relegated to having our National Championship on college campuses again.

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It starts with audio which the The PSU "Train" has mastered...Social Media has also been mastered...ESPN will pull the plug in a second if things don't work so be careful what you wish for!!!

 

P.S. Who would they get to call the matches?

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SHP, IMHO you're off base here and pretty much all of your concerns can be addressed by moving to the 2nd weekend in April. First, there is NO saturday night baseball on ESPN so throw that one out. As to arenas with March Madness starting up that's what 8 arenas down the tubes right there. For NBA & NHL playoffs they start right around the 20th of April, plus not every team makes the playoffs. I don't have a clue what AHL playoffs have to do with the price of tea in China.

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Albany's Pepsi Center, where we recently held a championship, is an AHL facility.

 

I think SHP's point is that even if a team isn't in the playoffs, they black out those dates years in advance so the NCAA wouldn't be able to be considered. The scheduling of championships are years in advance so every program plans to make the 2015 league championships.

 

 

I am not sure that it couldn't be worked out pushed forward. But I think the NCAAs requires around 6 days of facility usage. The availability of facilities in the spring would make the bidding process harder.

 

But, with all that said, if the NCAA goes to a split dual/individual championship, and we move the schedule back, then the duals can take the march date and we will be able to find a smaller facility (Omaha, Des Moines, Albany, etc) that is willing work work with the NCAA to make it viable. I could see Albany giving priority over the NCAA that will bring people into the region over their long term lease holder Devils. Devils can play a game or two in Rochester or Glens Falls for those dates and the city would be happy to get 25,000 unique visitors over 3 days.

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Albany's Pepsi Center, where we recently held a championship, is an AHL facility.

 

I think SHP's point is that even if a team isn't in the playoffs, they black out those dates years in advance so the NCAA wouldn't be able to be considered. The scheduling of championships are years in advance so every program plans to make the 2015 league championships.

Exactly. Albany is an AHL venue, and Omaha was as of when they had their championship. I believe Des Moines was an AHL venue at the time it was awarded its championship as well.

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Albany's Pepsi Center, where we recently held a championship, is an AHL facility.

 

I think SHP's point is that even if a team isn't in the playoffs, they black out those dates years in advance so the NCAA wouldn't be able to be considered. The scheduling of championships are years in advance so every program plans to make the 2015 league championships.

Exactly. Albany is an AHL venue, and Omaha was as of when they had their championship. I believe Des Moines was an AHL venue at the time it was awarded its championship as well.

 

 

Well, I just checked and this past season if NCAAs had been held April 12-14 the NBA, NHL & AHL would still have been in their regular seasons. Plus I sure hope we never go back to Albany unless they have a new arena. My back and knees are still recovering from the lack of leg room there.

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Since when has any college sport done anything with their season to not step on high schools? Conference tournaments in roundball almost always step on state high school roundball tournaments around the country. The same is for any sport it seems (except football).

 

Of all the issues and discussion about the post-season, this is one the NCAA likely cares the least about. It means something to us, sure, but the fact is, if the NCAA were trying to schedule around high school state championships equidistantly, we'd never have any NCAA post-season championships.

 

The high schools surely don't pay any attention to the college schedules (even in wrestling-rich states like PA, where the PIAA finals were the same weekend as the EWL, EIWA and Big Ten Championships ... in the same state).

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Personally, I think this is a bad idea. It undoubtedly lessens the one undeniably great thing NCAA DI wrestling has going for it - the NCAA tourney. Instead of having one great tourney and one sub-par event (national duals), were very likely to end up with two mediocre events, at best.

 

I don't think this format will do anything to increase the sports popularity. Most HS students have been to a wrestling match, and hundreds of thousands have participated in wrestling over the years. People are aware of wrestling - they are choosing not to get more interested, unfortunately. A dual tourney on late night ESPN isn't going to change that.

 

I'd also be very, very cautions getting too far into bed with ESPN. What happens when the NCAA makes a major investment in this format, and then it doesn't pencil out for ESPN and they choose not to re-up the contract? I view them just as I do NIKE, they're our friend when then are, but as soon as it benefits them to kick wrestling to the curb in favor of televised poker tourneys or BMX races, you can count on getting the shaft.

 

If you are a small school, having a couple of AAs is currently a way to get some exposure and possibly jump start interest in the program. This format makes wrestling irrelevant to teams outside the top 10 to 15. Possible horrible ramifications.

 

Attendance and interest will be hurt by holding the duals during the HS post season. Wrestling doesn't have the same following the major sports do, we can't afford to have our HS kids unable to follow the national team championships.

 

That having been said, I am not a fan of duals to begin with (raised on freeestyle, sorry) , and would much rather see conference competition based on double/triple duals (like gymnastics) and tourneys with fewer dates (less travel expense) and possible simplified team tourney scoring. So, my opinion does come with some bias, but I truly doubt this format does anything for wrestling in the long run, and am hugely disappointed that this is best idea the powers that be could come up with.

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Attendance and interest will be hurt by holding the duals during the HS post season. Wrestling doesn't have the same following the major sports do, we can't afford to have our HS kids unable to follow the national team championships.

 

There's a large disconnect between the fanbases in college and high school wrestling. While we don't have the same following the major sports do, there are the hardcore fans who care about college AND H.S., but I believe the majority of HS wrestling fans nationwide don't know much about the national college scene.

 

When I was running InterMat, I noticed a large lapse in subscriptions when kids graduated from high school based on their recruiting profiles and rankings, etc. While the overall fan might be impacted, I don't think the kid impacts the attendance as much as many might think. There's too much disconnect between the HS and college field.

 

Your diehards attend the NCAA championships, not your average wrestler who only wrestles during the season and plays one or two other sports.

 

Dual meet attendance COULD rise if every dual matters and the bigger programs are scheduling the "mid-majors." Promoting duals in conference, especially during the end of the year, can make it more of a focal point into promoting the dual that would determine the automatic bid to the NCAA dual championships.

 

Again, I don't endorse one plan or the other, but I am for things that make home duals more prevalent and more accessible. Post-seasons will ALWAYS overlap. It's impossible to prevent all postseason college tournaments from overlapping every high school postseason tournament, unless the season gets pushed back to April.

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Attendance and interest will be hurt by holding the duals during the HS post season. Wrestling doesn't have the same following the major sports do, we can't afford to have our HS kids unable to follow the national team championships.

 

There's a large disconnect between the fanbases in college and high school wrestling. While we don't have the same following the major sports do, there are the hardcore fans who care about college AND H.S., but I believe the majority of HS wrestling fans nationwide don't know much about the national college scene.

 

When I was running InterMat, I noticed a large lapse in subscriptions when kids graduated from high school based on their recruiting profiles and rankings, etc. While the overall fan might be impacted, I don't think the kid impacts the attendance as much as many might think. There's too much disconnect between the HS and college field.

 

Your diehards attend the NCAA championships, not your average wrestler who only wrestles during the season and plays one or two other sports.

 

Dual meet attendance COULD rise if every dual matters and the bigger programs are scheduling the "mid-majors." Promoting duals in conference, especially during the end of the year, can make it more of a focal point into promoting the dual that would determine the automatic bid to the NCAA dual championships.

 

Again, I don't endorse one plan or the other, but I am for things that make home duals more prevalent and more accessible. Post-seasons will ALWAYS overlap. It's impossible to prevent all postseason college tournaments from overlapping every high school postseason tournament, unless the season gets pushed back to April.

 

 

I agree with Jason 100 percent and think this is why (1) high school coaches need to work to get their athletes following college wrestling and (2) the college wrestling events need to do more to draw in the high school scene and getting wrestling on TV so it is accessible to people not nearby college wrestling.

 

I remember sitting at home in my living room watching Penn State wrestling on PBS. Looking back, now, I realize that it was amazing to be able to watch as much wrestling as they showed on the State College PBS when you think about the fact that Penn State football couldn't regularly be watched. (There were limited sports channels then.)

 

But it is watching these matches that made me think college wrestling was a main stream sport, and though I didn't attend my first college match until years later it opened my eyes and made me connected. It was watching these matches that I was introduced to funk wrestling.

 

I think the rise in New York's success was aided by the Empire Sports network. The main ticket, and reason the network was organized was to cover the Buffalo Sabres hockey. In an effort to fill the programing around the big ticket they also covered some other 'minor' events. One of those events was the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships. This coverage, I believe, was HUGE for wrestling in New York. Especially in Western New York (Section V and 6) where we see more D1 recruits coming from in recent years. Youth and high school kids were watching fellow kids compete, with color commentary, at a large arena, while broadcast on the same network that carried the Buffalo Sabres.

Though the 2004-05 NHL lockout lead to the loss of the Empire Network due to the financial loss of losing the Sabres broadcast (bankruptcy, liquidation, or reorganization, I am not sure, I never researched it), I believe that New York was provided with a boost in performance.

 

It is kind of like the chicken and the egg. Are Iowa and PA states that support and are aware of wrestling because they have it on TV or do they have it on TV because they are aware and support it.

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I'm hoping this works and national exposure is very positive. That said, not one mention of the obvious. By including conference winners you assure the best teams aren't there. Here are last years champs: UMD; PSU; Okie; Hofstra; C; Pitt; Kent; Or. St; Uchat and Wyo. The other 6 probably IA; MN; tOSU; Ill MO. Okla or LU.

Top 16 teams March 17th: purloined from d1collegewrestling

1.Penn State Nittany Lions

2. Minnesota Golden Gophers

 

3. Iowa Hawkeyes

 

4. Cornell Big Red

 

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

 

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys

 

7. Illinois Fighting Illini

 

8. Lehigh Mountain Hawks

 

9. Northwestern Wildcats

 

10. Oregon State Beavers

 

11. Michigan Wolverines

 

11. Virginia Tech Hokies

 

13. Oklahoma Sooners

 

14. Binghamton Bearcats

 

15. Pittsburgh Panthers

 

16. Stanford Cardinal

Another issue this brings is that quite a few great matches won't happen and some terrible blowouts will occur. The early round blowouts could be very ugly and actually detract from new viewers ideas of the sport. Nevertheless, the Nat Duals now don't draw flies so I'm hoping this helps. Still think the VA. Duals format is best. You get a real feel for the various levels of wrestling by going there

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I'm hoping this works and national exposure is very positive. That said, not one mention of the obvious. By including conference winners you assure the best teams aren't there. Here are last years champs: UMD; PSU; Okie; Hofstra; C; Pitt; Kent; Or. St; Uchat and Wyo. The other 6 probably IA; MN; tOSU; Ill MO. Okla or LU.

Top 16 teams March 17th: purloined from d1collegewrestling

 

Another issue this brings is that quite a few great matches won't happen and some terrible blowouts will occur. The early round blowouts could be very ugly and actually detract from new viewers ideas of the sport. Nevertheless, the Nat Duals now don't draw flies so I'm hoping this helps. Still think the VA. Duals format is best. You get a real feel for the various levels of wrestling by going there

 

 

I don't think you will actually displace any of the top 6-8 teams and the remaining programs will all be justified, with the exception of maybe Chattanooga or App State in a down year but they should still have the right to be there by winning their conference. If we have learned anything this year it is that it is easy to change conferences so if you don't like what teams are getting automatic bids you can always jump conferences.

 

As far as blowouts, let's not act like that is anything unique to our sport.

 

NCAA Basketball:

1998 Midwest Regional, 1st Round: Kansas 110, Prairie View 52

2009 West Regional, 1st Round: Connecticut 103, Chattanooga 47

2002 Souith Regional 1st Round: Duke 84, Winthrop 37

1995 Southeast Regional 1st Round: Kentucky 113, Mount St. Mary's 67

1993 East Regional 2nd Round: North Carolina 112, Rhode Island 67

2009 East Regional 1st Round: North Carolina 101, Radford 58

2007 East Regional 1st Round: Florida 112, Jackson State 69

2001 East Regional 1st Round: Duke 95, Monmouth 52

1993 Midwest Regional 1st Round: Indiana 97, Wright State 54

2001 Midwest Regional, 1st Round: Illinois 96, Northwestern State 54

2008 West Regional 1st Round: UCLA 70, Mississippi Valley State 29

1999 East Regional 2nd Round: Duke 97, Tulsa 56

1999 East Regional 1st Round: Duke 99, Florida A&M 58

1991 Southeast Regional 1st Round: Arkansas 117, Georgia State 76

2007 West Regional 1st Round: Kansas 107, Niagara 67

Or how about football bowl games, where they are hand picked to be the best match-ups:

 

 

2012 Discover Orange Bowl No. 23 West Virginia vs. No. 15 Clemson 70-33

2005 FedEx Orange Bowl No. 1 Southern Cal vs. No. 2 Oklahoma 55-19

2002 FedEx Orange Bowl No. 5 Florida vs. No. 10 Maryland 56-23

 

 

 

The truth is that we might have one blowout a year and it will be at the home arena of the top seed. This will do nothing but energize their fans as they know they are in the championship and perform so well. Additionally, if a coach wants, he can freely put other athletes into the lineup when the match is already decided. This can help keep some of his starters fresh and since they will likely draw to determine what weight they will start at, it likely won't be the HWT every time.

 

I think the most important things are to have conference dual championships automatically earn their bid and have at large bids to ensure that the top 6 or 8 teams are in the field.

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I hope the decision makers have thought this through....because they could be turning a great product (the NCAA Championships held in March) into a not so great product with this decision. Also, bear in mind that programs with less resources (i.e. coaching staff and scholarships) have always had the opportunity to perform well as a team in March by placing a few individuals. This in turn would allow them to receive increased resources from their institutions, thus becoming stronger programs. Now, this may no longer be the case and could inevitably cause the loss of more Division I programs. If it were left to me I would simply change the title of the National Duals to NCAA Dual Meet Championships and leave the NCAA Championships in tact. Let the fans decide for themselves which school has the best team.

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Great, there goes our ESPN contract.

 

Look...the fact is, our sport is most likely helped, not hurt, by the fact that our tournament is the same weekend as the first weekend of March Madness. Why? Because CBS has that contract, enabling our great sport to get onto ESPN virtually unopposed. If we were to push our tournament into April, we'd be fighting with 15 major league baseball games for that Saturday night time slot, likely relegating our individual national championship to ESPNU.

 

Further, we'd be unable to get arenas, in all likelyhood, with NHL and AHL playoffs starting (remember, regular season schedules can be worked around special events like ours, playoff schedules cannot, as Vince McMahon found out with the NBA playoffs a few years back). In other words, we'd likely find ourselves relegated to having our National Championship on college campuses again.

 

What exactly has ESPN done for college wrestling that is so irreplaceable? An hour or two of mediocre coverage every year with their D team announcers? And to what end, what has been gained/salvaged by having ESPN cover the the NCAAs? More programs? No. More money for each current team? No. More money for the NCAA to use to do effectively nothing to help grow the sport? Ding Ding Ding!!!

 

Look, I'm all for new solutions, but I'd much rather we keep the format the same (the best three days of my year) and move the season to a date (sometime in the Spring) where we can at least try to attract current participants in wrestling (at the HS and youth level) to come and watch, versus an idea that guts the one good thing that college wrestling has going for it. I wouldn't change a thing to meet the whims of ESPN. If they cared at all about wrestling, they'd occasionally air a big dual or two, or show the finals of a major mid-season tournament.

 

I really don't have the same desire to go watch a dual that would undoubtedly be between 2 of the same 4 or 5 teams every year.

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1. ESPN: Coverage of the tournament is finally where it should be and we want to thrwart the only network that can afford to provide that coverage?? Football is probably paying for that coverage so if they take some money from it, it sucks but it is reality.

 

 

Getting off of ESPN would be an all time dumb move.

 

2. Pinnum hit it on the head: Local coaches and fans need to be more active to involve kids in college wrestling as fans of the sport. Simply coaching or worrying about next weekend's PW event is what keeps the average wrestler in a "small pond" meathead mentality. The sport needs it's professional leaders to step up and get kids to duals.

 

DI Coaches need to do their part!! Gone are the days of writing practice plans and recruiting only. If you are a mid major level school and think you can operate that way then you will never climb the ladder and I can point to plenty of schools jammed in the 30+ rank that sit around and lose recruits to the top 6 teams.

-Be active in your local wrestling community

-Have time for kids not on your DI team and promote your team through giving of yourself

-Involve HS/Club coaches in your program when ever possible, call for their support and make them feel glad to give it

-Promote big duals to the max, schedule them around local events to fill the arena

 

3. Moving to the spring.......not for that at all

-The season is too long for an athlete as is, if you've done it you can relate

-One thing I've learned about spring wrestling is that once the sun comes out and bikinis and short shorts start walking around, only the true believers in the sport keep training at a realistic level for their personal level, If a HS doesn't want to wrestle himself then, then why the heck would he take on the role of fanship?

 

Alternate ideas are needed in our sport more often and I think many have provided them and for that I am thankful. However, I think the coaches have done the right thing here and I for one am excited for the Duals and the NCAA Tournament.

 

Good programs will be prepping to take the "double" Better wrestlers will now have a stake in getting quality athletes to their team to compete at the next level and coaches will as well.

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So do you guys think because of a dual team championship series held in Feb., with not all the top individual wrestlers participating, the Championships that we know now will suffer? I personally think we'll still sell out our March Madness. The Dual Championship might be the hard sell actually. I do think the Dual Series maybe can bring attention to the average college sports fan who does not follow wrestling and create new fans and possibly new money to a program. It could also make the in season duals mean a little more, not sure of that.

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Look, I'm all for new solutions, but I'd much rather we keep the format the same (the best three days of my year) and move the season to a date (sometime in the Spring) where we can at least try to attract current participants in wrestling (at the HS and youth level) to come and watch, versus an idea that guts the one good thing that college wrestling has going for it.

 

 

How do you suppose we get more high school kids to attend an event that we keep selling out? The truth is: demand is now greater than the number of seats (or rather tickets since they are sold in all session packages) can accommodate.

 

The 3 day individual championship will continue to draw well. No change to our sport will impact that.

 

The real questions:

 

-Will putting an emphasis on dual meets make them relevant on campuses? I believe yes.

-Will small programs still be able to earn All-American honors and bring notoriety to their school? YES.

-Will schools have an incentive to recruit enough athletes and keep them in the program so that no weight classes are forfeited in duals? I think so.

-Will the National Duals allow a path for all conference champions to earn a bid? I hope so.

-Is dual strength or tournament strength a better indicator of school, alumni, and booster support? I think the better dual programs are the better supported programs.

 

 

This is the real issue I have with those that claim that this will hurt the small programs. Let's take Clarion as the example. The Clarion Wrestling program was officially a top-20 program this year. They had two All-Americans and qualified four athletes for the NCAAs. If someone was't familiar with how the sport operated, they might say "wow, this little D2 school has a D1 sport that finished in the top-20, let's check them out." So they go to a match and realize that the program that was top-20 was also 6-7 in duals on the year. The win over Indiana Tech was key to finishing over 500. When they attend a dual they realize that, for the post part, they only have 200-400 fans in the stands. It is tough to get excited about any program, even if someone puts a top-20 label on them, with so few fans. But Clarion has drawn well. Clarion typically draws well when hosting Eastern Michigan (over 1,500 fans) at home and they had a decent crowd when they knocked off North Carolina at home. The real key to dual attendance, however, is competitive duals. The same scenarios have been played out with other programs that have a few athletes perform well at the NCAA championships and thus inflates the "team" standings, such as American and Arizona State.

 

Now lets look at some other programs that weren't in the top 20. Let's look at Rutgers and Virginia Tech. They regularly put fans in the seat and put competitive teams out on the mat. Yes, both programs have under-performed, given their dual performance, at the NCAAs but that hasn't deterred fans from attending.

 

If I am an administrator or a booster, and these scenarios are presented to me, I see Clarion saying "we have 4 scholarships and finished in the top-20, if we are given more money we can finish in the top 10!" When I sit back and think about it, as a leader of a school or athletic department, I can't justify increasing funding for a sport that draws so few fans and is already considered successful. But if the team finishes 6-7 and is not a top-20 program and does not qualify for the NCAA championships but yet still has 4 individual qualifiers and two All-Americans then I can say "when we have a good dual team we draw fans. The majority of the dual losses, this year, were 3-7 splits, clearly we are an under performing program and an additional scholarship might go a long way in improving the program's standing and driving attendance."

 

If Rutgers or Virginia Tech were looking for support, I would provide them with help because I see that the fans are behind them and they are making improvements as a team. Individual athletes are risky. I have trouble, as an administrator, backing any program that is carried solely by one or two athletes. One of them goes down, gets in trouble, or you are just unable to recruit another diamond, the program is hurting again.

 

Furthermore, I am of the opinion that programs should wrestle regular season duals against programs that they can compete with. Go to tournaments to meet the teams that will blow you out but be competitive while on the mat in duals.

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So do you guys think because of a dual team championship series held in Feb., with not all the top individual wrestlers participating, the Championships that we know now will suffer? I personally think we'll still sell out our March Madness. The Dual Championship might be the hard sell actually. I do think the Dual Series maybe can bring attention to the average college sports fan who does not follow wrestling and create new fans and possibly new money to a program. It could also make the in season duals mean a little more, not sure of that.

 

Divot.....while I tend to agree with your thinking, here, I see a bigger issue which makes me uncomfortable. It seems as though ESPN might be attempting to take over artistic control of the championships, without taking on any of the risk in the event things do not work out as intended. This is of great concern to me in that I believe (per my previous post) that if things do not work out then we could lose more programs in the process, which we can ill afford to do. On the other hand if you tell me that ESPN wants to help fund some of the struggling Division I programs that are in need of resources to become more competitive then I am all for considering just how much artistic control should be given to ESPN. And for those of us who believe ESPN is doing the wrestling community a favor (i.e. without receiving anything back) with their coverage, I am simply not buying it. I have rarely seen any profit making organization give something for nothing, and I do not believe they will abandon coverage of our sport if we do not go along with their wishes. Of course this is just my opinion.

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So do you guys think because of a dual team championship series held in Feb., with not all the top individual wrestlers participating, the Championships that we know now will suffer? I personally think we'll still sell out our March Madness. The Dual Championship might be the hard sell actually. I do think the Dual Series maybe can bring attention to the average college sports fan who does not follow wrestling and create new fans and possibly new money to a program. It could also make the in season duals mean a little more, not sure of that.

 

Divot.....while I tend to agree with your thinking, here, I see a bigger issue which makes me uncomfortable. It seems as though ESPN might be attempting to take over artistic control of the championships, without taking on any of the risk in the event things do not work out as intended. This is of great concern to me in that I believe (per my previous post) that if things do not work out then we could lose more programs in the process, which we can ill afford to do. On the other hand if you tell me that ESPN wants to help fund some of the struggling Division I programs that are in need of resources to become more competitive then I am all for considering just how much artistic control should be given to ESPN. And for those of us who believe ESPN is doing the wrestling community a favor (i.e. without receiving anything back) with their coverage, I am simply not buying it. I have rarely seen any profit making organization give something for nothing, and I do not believe they will abandon coverage of our sport if we do not go along with their wishes. Of course this is just my opinion.

 

The NCAA will fund all athletes and coaches travel, housing, meals, and also the cost of putting on both events. They do this with all sports. As a result, ESPN and the NCAA will be supporting all programs that participate. No longer will Bloomsburg, Buffalo, and Cal Poly have to pinch pennies in order to raise money to attend the national duals.

 

The fact is that due to all of the conference sports networks, a lot of the games that ESPN use to get for next to no money are not being sold to them. They have some airtime that they need filled and they are interested in running wrestling because the ratings are so good for the individual championship (which doesn't have competition from basketball because CBS owns the rights to march maddness).

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