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Iowa Hawkeyes -- Culture with black athletes

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18 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

1. Iowa football issues have nothing to do with wrestling. Iowa wrestling has a small number of black participants, but so does every program.

2. Why does wrestling have so few black participants? I don't know. Some people say because it's a rural sport...but it's not. It's in every big city in the midwest and NE.

3. Unrelated, but Jeremiah Moody is great - watched him wrestle off a couple years ago and he's got some stuff. Would love to see him compete, but for some reason guys who would could be starters (or even AAs!) elsewhere seem to be content as backups in the Iowa room. I guess it worked out for Dan Dennis.

In this interview with Lee Kemp, he describes how living in the city as a young man influenced him to try basketball as a ninth grader (he was a scrub). A move to rural Ohio changed the scenery and he went out for the wrestling team as a sophomore. The rest, as they say, is history. The article is a good read.

https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/a-story-of-almosts/

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1 hour ago, Fletcher said:

 

2. Why does wrestling have so few black participants? I don't know. Some people say because it's a rural sport...but it's not. It's in every big city in the midwest and NE

10 of the 30 world team members across all 3 styles for America last year were black ...that’s 33 percent of the team, while black people are only 14% of the population so idk if “so few” is an accurate reflection of the numbers out but ,Nyc literally has like 3 wrestling teams, they honestly probably have more professional sport teams than high school wrestling teams . And if you polled any group of wrestlers anywhere in the US on how or why they started wrestling by far the 2 most common answers are going to be because my dad/brother/sister wrestled so I joined or they had a football coach convince them to try it out.also NJ is obviously a wrestling hotbed but even the cities here don’t have many programs, Camden has a middling team, I’m not sure the Newark schools have wrestling anymore , the Paterson high schools have trouble filling out most non football/basketball teams.Most public city schools have budget issues and wrestling is always one of the first on the chopping block, and even if they keep the team they aren’t going to be dishing out top dollar to bring in a good wrestling coach. At the end of the day it’s a niche sport and with programs like beat the streets taking off over the last decade and with Burroughs and Jden cox dominating the sport I’m sure if you revisit the numbers 5 to 10 yrs from now will we definitely see an uptick in the participation but it’s not something that just gonna explode over night.  

you also have to factor in that the nba is 80 percent black and kids from cities see these guys and they are millionaires and famous and they are like hey I wanna play b-ball and get rich too, I doubt to many kids who never wrestled see Jordan Burroughs and want to be just like him, unlike the millions that saw Kobe Bryant and wanted to be just like him 

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2 hours ago, npope said:

Wrestling teams are a very small sample of a larger population if one is comparing the team to the broader population of a given state, city, etc. There is no statistical reason to presume that such small samples "should" reflect the broader population. If wrestling teams were to include 100 members, then you might have something to talk about, but as it stands...I think Classic is just trying to stir the pot during a slow time on the forums.

As for the veiled implication that some universities, wrestling programs, coaches, etc., are (un)intentionally biased and racist, there are probably some that are - as individuals from all walks of life are likely to hold some biases. Sometimes those biases are against people of color, sometime they are against white people, sometimes against women, sometimes they are against old people, etc. Biases sometimes have a basis in fact, many times they don't. The "evil" in such biases is when a person acts on those biases by discrimination in how you treat others. Sometimes those biases and discrimination are institutionalized (and that is the big danger, IMO).

I think it is a huge stretch for Classic to suggest that specific wrestling programs have institutionalized racism. Certainly, it may exist, but the cited basis for that assumption (i.e., the lack of people of color in some programs) lacks statistical merit. Rather, it is just someone tilting at windmills.

Consider a reversal of roles - many basketball teams carry a disproportionate number of people of color on their roster (at least disproportionate if one uses the national percentages of racial composition). Using Classic's standards, there is discrimination at work and those teams should recruit more white players., right? And to those of you who will cite a program such as Wisconsin evidence of discrimination because they have no person of color on the roster (just this last year), would putting one person of color on the team really change anything? Would the evident alleged racism suddenly be gone? Quite honestly, basing such conclusions on the presence of one (or even a few) people of color in a single year smacks of tokenism - which really solves nothing and simply perpetuates the underlying issue.

And too, the composition of a given team is as much about the wrestlers' preferences as it is about a team and/or a school; its a talent-marketplace and both sides are making purchasing decisions, not just the program.

So, thank you Classic, for providing a topic worth at least two pages of a dog chasing its tail in these slow times on the forum. But I find it very ironic that you first raise this veiled allegation of discrimination in the same breath as you reveal yourself to possess similar biases with respect to white Midwestern males who like to hunt. That was particularly delicious.

Great post!

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54 minutes ago, Antitroll2828 said:

10 of the 30 world team members across all 3 styles for America last year were black ...that’s 33 percent of the team, while black people are only 14% of the population so idk if “so few” is an accurate reflection of the numbers out

This only proves the black athletes who do participate in wrestling are disproportionately successful. I suspect if we went thru the rosters of D1 schools, or even all Big10 schools, representation would be much less than the 14% general population standard.

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On 7/28/2020 at 7:31 AM, southend said:

Quick story, 7’2” George Leach, IU Basketball player for Bob Knight, from North Carolina, recruited by all the major schools, graduated 2002 from School of business.  
He was a frequent visitor at my house with other team members during his 4 years on the team. During casual conversation while discussing recruitment he did mention Iowa, and the visit he had with the coaches. And this stuck in my mind every since, me being an old white guy, he said Iowa has a tough time getting black guys on their teams because there aren’t any black people there, town and campus. He said he liked to be around black people.  His reason to dismiss the schools offer.  
I had to think hard about that ,which I would not have given a second thought to, but it came from a black mans perspective. 
So you have think about that as a reason also. 

This is key. Iowa is one of the whitest states in the nation. This fact might cause top black recruits choosing to go elsewhere AND it might result in the fan base being more racist or at least less sensitive to racial issues. 

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47 minutes ago, NJDan said:

This is key. Iowa is one of the whitest states in the nation. This fact might cause top black recruits choosing to go elsewhere AND it might result in the fan base being more racist or at least less sensitive to racial issues. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Iowa and Iowa State have more black wrestlers on their rosters than the very diverse racially-mixed state of New Jersey's public U's, Rutgers and Rider.

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15 minutes ago, NJDan said:

This is key. Iowa is one of the whitest states in the nation. This fact might cause top black recruits choosing to go elsewhere AND it might result in the fan base being more racist or at least less sensitive to racial issues. 

This.

If you were a young black man, looking at a scholarship offer between Iowa and PSU, and you see a team with zero black athletes (Iowa) and a team with four projected starters for next year (PSU, with RBY, Starocci, Brooks and Kerkvliet), I'm guessing that, at the very least, you'd feel slightly more comfortable in that practice room, for a variety of reasons. 

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3 minutes ago, Le duke said:

This.

If you were a young black man, looking at a scholarship offer between Iowa and PSU, and you see a team with zero black athletes (Iowa) and a team with four projected starters for next year (PSU, with RBY, Starocci, Brooks and Kerkvliet), I'm guessing that, at the very least, you'd feel slightly more comfortable in that practice room, for a variety of reasons. 

That and the number of Natty ships won in the last ten seasons

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16 minutes ago, PSUSMC said:

I wouldn't be surprised if Iowa and Iowa State have more black wrestlers on their rosters than the very diverse racially-mixed state of New Jersey's public U's, Rutgers and Rider.

Iowa State, yes. They've always been comparatively diverse.

Iowa, no. Both Rider and Rutgers have more diversity. Not a ton but more.

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20 minutes ago, jchapman said:

That and the number of Natty ships won in the last ten seasons

That too.

I remember searching through old threads here and reading that someone thought Cael and Cody were likely racist against black athletes because they were Mormon. 

I wanted to respond with something along the lines of "their current/future starting lineup suggests otherwise, bro", but decided it wasn't worth it. I'd guess that the PSU wrestling room is the purest of meritocracies. 

Edited by Le duke

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14 minutes ago, Le duke said:

That too.

I remember searching through old threads here and reading that someone thought Cael and Cody were likely racist against black athletes because they were Mormon. 

I wanted to respond with something along the lines of "their current/future starting lineup suggests otherwise, bro", but decided it wasn't worth it. I'd guess that the PSU wrestling room is the purest of meritocracies. 

But isn’t that the argument about Iowa football? They have a lot of black athletes, but don’t have a welcoming attitude towards them?

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13 hours ago, VakAttack said:

Not for lack of trying.  They've got Jesse Ybarra coming in next year along with Bretti Reyna.  Drake Ayala is coming in, too.  They were in on Roman Bravo-Young and Brevin Balmaceda.  They're in on Jesse Mendez and Cael Valencia right now.  Jason Renteria was on the roster and only left after some personal issues.  Tony Ramos is obviously historically one.  Justin Mejia bounced around a bunch of places, but wanted Iowa before any of them.  Perez Perez somewhat infamously hung around on the roster as a lower weight fill in for years.

Iowa has two Hispanic wrestlers on their team.  The guys that you named: Ybarra and Reyna.  They have no African American wrestlers on their team.  

This is significantly lower than the other top BIG-10 schools, which is concerning.  Going off the posted rosters, Penn State had 7 African American wrestlers out of 34 total, Nebraska had 4/35, Michigan had 5/35, and Ohio State had 7 minority wrestlers out of 26 total.  

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2 hours ago, NJDan said:

This is key. Iowa is one of the whitest states in the nation. This fact might cause top black recruits choosing to go elsewhere AND it might result in the fan base being more racist or at least less sensitive to racial issues. 

Doesn't seem to be a problem for Iowa State who had 7 minority wrestlers on a roster of 40.

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18 minutes ago, ShakaAloha said:

Doesn't seem to be a problem for Iowa State who had 7 minority wrestlers on a roster of 40.

Iowa State had a black coach recently and had another black coach, Douglas, just before Cael. Maybe that's part of the reason. Also, isn't ISU in more of a city compared to UI? 

 

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4 minutes ago, NJDan said:

Iowa State had a black coach recently and had another black coach, Douglas, just before Cael. Maybe that's part of the reason. Also, isn't ISU in more of a city compared to UI? 

 

This goes back to Harold Nichols days though. I remember from my college days.

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6 minutes ago, gimpeltf said:

This goes back to Harold Nichols days though. I remember from my college days.

Ah!  And Wikipedia says of Nichols: "He was considered to be "ahead of his time concerning race relations," and was a pioneer in bringing minorities into college wrestling, including African Americans, Hispanics and Cubans." 

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Some stats: 

2010 census shows that there are 8 states with less of a percentage of African Americans than Iowa - Iowa had at that time - 2.68% - approximately 89k - 42nd. 

Iowa for several years now has been consistently in the 6,500 range of HS wrestlers - it typically puts them at about 13-16 in terms of participation when compared to other states

IN 2020, 42 of the 330 NCAA qualifiers were African American - 12.7 % - This number has Benn in the 11.2-13% range for several years.

In 2019 9 ( I believe this is correct) of the 80 AA were African American- 11.15 % (43 qualified in 2019)

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1 hour ago, NJDan said:

Iowa State had a black coach recently and had another black coach, Douglas, just before Cael. Maybe that's part of the reason. Also, isn't ISU in more of a city compared to UI? 

 

Iowa City is bigger than Ames.

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6 hours ago, Fletcher said:

This only proves the black athletes who do participate in wrestling are disproportionately successful. I suspect if we went thru the rosters of D1 schools, or even all Big10 schools, representation would be much less than the 14% general population standard.

You ignored all the other points I made that go along with those numbers 

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3 hours ago, ShakaAloha said:

Iowa has two Hispanic wrestlers on their team.  The guys that you named: Ybarra and Reyna.  They have no African American wrestlers on their team.  

This is significantly lower than the other top BIG-10 schools, which is concerning.  Going off the posted rosters, Penn State had 7 African American wrestlers out of 34 total, Nebraska had 4/35, Michigan had 5/35, and Ohio State had 7 minority wrestlers out of 26 total.  

Can you share your methodology that determined that “this is significantly lower”.

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10 minutes ago, HokieHWT said:

Can you share your methodology that determined that “this is significantly lower”.

Sure, it's quite simple.  I looked at the official rosters for all the teams and counted the number of minority wrestlers listed on each roster.  

Iowa: 2 minority wrestlers/31 total wrestlers = 6% of team is minority wrestlers
Penn State: 7/34=21%
Ohio State: 7/26=27%
Michigan: 5/35=14%
Nebraska: 4/35=11%

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44 minutes ago, ShakaAloha said:

Sure, it's quite simple.  I looked at the official rosters for all the teams and counted the number of minority wrestlers listed on each roster.  

Iowa: 2 minority wrestlers/31 total wrestlers = 6% of team is minority wrestlers
Penn State: 7/34=21%
Ohio State: 7/26=27%
Michigan: 5/35=14%
Nebraska: 4/35=11%

Unsurprising the best teams recruit everyone well.

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