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The man who recommended ODU drop wrestling.....

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Dr Richard Sander

https://www.etsu.edu/globalsport/facstaff/richard_sander.php

He runs the consulting business that recommended the dropping of wrestling at ODU.

In his recommendation he said...

“Without question, the historic way of ‘doing business’ must be modified if ODU is going to be nationally competitive in NCAA Division I,” Sander wrote. “Each program (sport) must be reviewed and evaluated to determine its value and future. ODU must have a plan where significant resources be identified and allocated or reallocated to insure maximum value. The idea that significant new sources of revenue (and maybe some current resources) are available, is risky and improbable. Continuing sports that bring minimal return on investment will drain the sports that bring value and national recognition and exposure.”

He also said...

  • A male sport should be eliminated instead of watering down all of them.

“The study concluded, in no uncertain terms, that ODU should eliminate wrestling. It cited nationally declining numbers in the sport, including the fact that in 2007-08, there were 89 programs in the nation. Since then, that number had fallen 16%, to 75. Five of those schools are Division I in wrestling only.“

Here’s his email if you would like to let him know what you think of his study.

sander@etsu.edu

It’s obvious he is a football/basketball guy only and care less about any other sport, which I understand to a degree, but college athletics is more then just those 2 sports. 

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Do not email him. He did not make the decision, he made a recommendation that we don't like. He also has no power to reverse this decision, as he does not work for ODU. If it makes you feel better to say mean things about him, do it here. The only thing that happens if you email him is that you look bad.

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5 minutes ago, IronChef said:

Do not email him. He did not make the decision, he made a recommendation that we don't like. He also has no power to reverse this decision, as he does not work for ODU. If it makes you feel better to say mean things about him, do it here. The only thing that happens if you email him is that you look bad.

I disagree with this take 

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Old Dominion sponsors men’s golf. Men’s and women’s sailing. And women’s rowing, field hockey, and lacrosse.
It’s almost as if some of the sports that survive there cater to the children of the well-to-do.
It's that the purpose of The University? To cater to the elite?

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, CoachWrestling said:

I disagree with this take 

Seriously?

You think harassing a consultant that advises schools on which sports to drop is wise?

Let’s think logically here.  
 

What is more likely?  He gets harassed and then decides to stop suggesting wrestling be dropped?  Or he now believes that wrestling people are degenerate meatheads and advises even more wrestling programs get dropped?

  

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36 minutes ago, cjc007 said:

It's that the purpose of The University? To cater to the elite?

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 

I would hope not. Particularly In the case of public universities like ODU.

Edited by Katie

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At the high school level, boy’s wrestling is more popular than boys’ cross country, tennis, golf, and swimming and diving, and sailing. Yet ODU continues to sponsor those sports. Sickening. 

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11 minutes ago, potentiallydangerous said:

The idiot used the word "insure' when he meant "ensure." That should have been a disqualification right there.

There was also no reason to put the phrase doing business in quotation marks. If the author thinks the term is too informal (it isn’t), he should find a better phrase. The only thing worse than empty corporate jargon is incompetently written corporate jargon. 

Edited by Katie

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I don’t see a problem emailing him if you make a coherent argument.

The quote in the OP is contradictory IMO.  First he talks about being “nationally competitive,” but then at the end talks about “return on investment.”  Being nationally competitive doesn’t necessarily bring return on investment.  How did the wrestling team’s “national competitiveness “ compare with that of other sports there? 

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1 hour ago, Katie said:

I would hope not. Particularly In the case of public universities like ODU.

It's incredible that you think public universities do not make business decisions based on where alumni and other supporters might donate money. The fact that they are public is irrelevant to the fact that they are, first and foremost, businesses that have budgets.

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1 hour ago, 1032004 said:

I don’t see a problem emailing him if you make a coherent argument.

The quote in the OP is contradictory IMO.  First he talks about being “nationally competitive,” but then at the end talks about “return on investment.”  Being nationally competitive doesn’t necessarily bring return on investment.  How did the wrestling team’s “national competitiveness “ compare with that of other sports there? 

We don’t know what ODU’s states goal was and which questions the consultant was suppose to answer.   
 

I assume it is a financially sustainable athletic department that is able to gain admission to the American Conference based on the success of the football and basketball programs. 
 

The consultant answered the question.

Wrestling fans need to be proactive and supporting programs by making donations to the school (not RTCs or Camps) earmarked for wrestling.  And we need a season structure that is more about. The teams and not about one weekend in March for a few individuals.  
 

If you believe that wrestling is about All-Americans and just the individuals, then wrestling is not worse off with the loss of ODU. Because those athletes will remain in College wrestling.  The potential All-Americans that ODU has will be redistributed to other programs.  
 

The one guarantee that college wrestling has is that there will be All-Americans and National Champions.  It doesn’t matter if you have 10 wrestlers of 1,000 wrestlers, there will always be a best wrestler.  
 

This is why I am less concerned with focusing on them.  I want to focus on the teams and ensuring there are more teams and diverse opportunities for athletes.  I want there to be teams that can get recognition without needing All-Americans. 
 

There is no doubt that if teams were judged by duals, ODU would have been in a better position. They have a competitive dual team even when they don’t have All-Americans. 
 

Of course I am not arguing that this change to duals is a panacea.  I am simply saying that it significantly helps the position of the fringe top-20 programs. 

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10 minutes ago, lu_alum said:

Why would ODU reach out to someone at East Tennessee State University to conduct the study?

Richard Sander, Ed.D.

DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTER FOR GLOBAL SPORT LEADERSHIP,

Why wouldn't they? People use University personnel for studies all the time.

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54 minutes ago, wrestlingnerd said:

It's incredible that you think public universities do not make business decisions based on where alumni and other supporters might donate money. The fact that they are public is irrelevant to the fact that they are, first and foremost, businesses that have budgets.

Public universities are subsidized by taxpayers and are generally nonprofits, but that of course does not mean they don’t pursue revenue. They obviously do. 

I’m not shocked by this decision as lacrosse has been eating wrestling’s lunch at the college level for years, as I’ve discussed elsewhere. 

Nevertheless, I’m allowed to have my hopes about how public universities see themselves.

Edited by Katie

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3 hours ago, Katie said:

Old Dominion sponsors men’s golf. Men’s and women’s sailing. And women’s rowing, field hockey, and lacrosse.

It’s almost as if some of the sports that survive there cater to the children of the well-to-do.

It also has to do with Title IX.....In comparison it wouldn't surprise me if wrestling were more cost effective than women's sailing.  Wrestling can be more cost effective than every women's program but they won't axe one of those to go out of compliance. Not saying that's the only factor - there are many I am sure. 

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3 hours ago, Katie said:

Old Dominion sponsors men’s golf. Men’s and women’s sailing. And women’s rowing, field hockey, and lacrosse.

It’s almost as if some of the sports that survive there cater to the children of the well-to-do.

As a recent ODU graduate, I can say this is absolutely the case. Money influences EVERYTHING at that university, all the way down to which fraternity parties get busted by odu police and which do not. Being connected to the university through donations essentially makes you a god

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6 minutes ago, Idaho said:

It also has to do with Title IX.....In comparison it wouldn't surprise me if wrestling were more cost effective than women's sailing.  Wrestling can be more cost effective than every women's program but they won't axe one of those to go out of compliance. Not saying that's the only factor - there are many I am sure. 

It's mainly lack of alumni and community support. If alumni and the community generally rallied around wrestling, zero chance it gets dropped.

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Just now, wrestlingnerd said:

It's mainly lack of alumni and community support. If alumni and the community generally rallied around wrestling, zero chance it gets dropped.

I would agree with that - it's a common problem with a lot of mid/low tier programs. Many factors - but I guarantee you a men's sport gets axed first to keep compliance. I guess they ignored the trend of growing women's programs to offset that. Too bad - I'm not an ODU fan, but every wrestling fan on this board should be bummed about this decision. 

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1 minute ago, wrestlingnerd said:

It's mainly lack of alumni and community support. If alumni and the community generally rallied around wrestling, zero chance it gets dropped.

Going to disagree with this statement; unless you’re aware of some behind the scenes things that I am not. Most attendance at ODU home matches came from alumni, or members of the Hampton roads community. Students like me in attendance were relatively few. It was a common sight to see high school and middle school teams attend duals with their entire team. ODU’s annual dual with Navy packed the stands every year. In my opinion, ODU’s alumni and community support was as good as a mid-major program outside of “wrestling country” can hope for. 

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16 minutes ago, Underhook said:

Going to disagree with this statement; unless you’re aware of some behind the scenes things that I am not. Most attendance at ODU home matches came from alumni, or members of the Hampton roads community. Students like me in attendance were relatively few. It was a common sight to see high school and middle school teams attend duals with their entire team. ODU’s annual dual with Navy packed the stands every year. In my opinion, ODU’s alumni and community support was as good as a mid-major program outside of “wrestling country” can hope for. 

Do you know ODU's average attendance? i It's hard to find information outside of the top 25 attendance figures which is where they have been for the last 5 years.  I did find that their average was 819 in 2014. 

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