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USA Today article "Wrestling needs to rethink its calendar "

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This has been talked about for years and I have yet to find anyone opposed to the change. Basketball is going to overshadow wrestling every year. Getting out from under the shadow of the largest weekend of basketball is the best marketing move the sport of wrestling can take.

 

It will also open up the opportunity to utilize some larger venues that may not be available in March. When they moved the tournament off campuses it was a risk and one that has paid off. Attendance continues to grow and has been good for the sport and this appears to be the next logical step in that process.

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The pros of changing the calendar seem to vastly outweigh the cons.

 

There would be a lot more exposure for wrestling. There are a ton of casual sports fans out there. By that, I mean fans who don't live and die with wrestling like we do, but who love competition and sports in general and would pay more attention to wrestling if their eyeballs weren't sucked into the March Madness behemoth.

 

There would be better weather during the championships. Finishing in April should still give wrestlers time to get ready for finals.

 

What are the cons? The start of the season gets lost during Christmas season? I can live with that.

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Unfortunately I am not confident that the leadership in wrestling will embrace this concept. Seems to me that the mode of thinking of those that control NCAA Wrestling is similar to FILA. We lost wrestling from the Olympics. It's just a matter of time till we lose wrestling from the NCAA program.

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John Smith has long advocated making wrestlung strictly a 2nd semester sport. I'll be having lunch next week with a influential coach, i'll add that to my list of things to cover. I am in agreement. The NCAAs in May or June would be much more pleasant.

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While it may be a start more will need to be built off if it than just the move making a major difference. Not sure too much more exposure will come just because they move the season away from March Madness until we find a way to get the main stream media to at least feel covering the national championships is important. Sure their are less sports stories in April, but they still need a reason to publish wrestling over something else. Moving it away from basketball may open up a few more possible venue for the final to be held in, but its not like all of them were taken up by basketball before. Making it a 2nd semester sport may help alleviate some of the holiday break issues, but I think that a much bigger issue at the high school level than it is with the college guys and high school isn't likely to shift one sport to a modified season. But all in all if the movement helps spark people to make some additional things to occur I'd say it's worth thinking about.

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I think you have pre-season tournaments as soon as the 1st semester grades are in. January through April, then regionals/conference tournaments. I'd want the NCAA tournament to be held about 1 week before the 2nd semester finals. That would dodge the Masters and opening day, and be finished before the Indy 500.

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This is a good idea but what impact would it have on the college guys who are preparing for the US Open? Already most years it's a quick turnaround, this would not let them train freestyle hardly at all before competing in the most important Olympic Qualifier and 2nd biggest event on the calendar. Thoughts?

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I think you have pre-season tournaments as soon as the 1st semester grades are in. January through April, then regionals/conference tournaments. I'd want the NCAA tournament to be held about 1 week before the 2nd semester finals. That would dodge the Masters and opening day, and be finished before the Indy 500.

Would also greatly restrict which arenas would be available to us, with professional pumpkin-pushing and hockey teams (NBA, NBDL, NHL, AHL, and others) needing to have their arenas available for potential playoff games.

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This is a good idea but what impact would it have on the college guys who are preparing for the US Open? Already most years it's a quick turnaround, this would not let them train freestyle hardly at all before competing in the most important Olympic Qualifier and 2nd biggest event on the calendar. Thoughts?

 

This matters for like 3 guys in a given year. And during Olympic years those guys would be redshirting anyway.

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This is a good idea but what impact would it have on the college guys who are preparing for the US Open? Already most years it's a quick turnaround, this would not let them train freestyle hardly at all before competing in the most important Olympic Qualifier and 2nd biggest event on the calendar. Thoughts?

 

I understand the concern, but wouldn't we be better served growing wrestling's popularity in this country by improving NCAA wrestling's appeal to the fan rather than being concerned about it's impact on collegiate wrestlers who want to enter the US Open?

 

Obviously, NCAA football and basketball are kings. In the past decade, it seems to me that NCAA baseball is gaining a lot of exposure for it's championship and minor sports like NCAA lacrosse are making strides.

 

Concentrating on NCAA wrestling makes a lot of sense to me. Most of the powers in wrestling are large state universities with big alumni bases.

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I would move in the opposite direction...Wrestling is a year around sport with all the summer camps etc...Some of the best tournaments are wrestled prior to January(Understand the Scuffle dates)...Split the B1G schedule and have either regional or conference tournaments in early February and the NCAA Tournament at the end of February!!!

 

P.S. Can't imagine someone saying "Hurry January" vice the traditional November...

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I would move in the opposite direction...Wrestling is a year around sport with all the summer camps etc...Some of the best tournaments are wrestled prior to January(Understand the Scuffle dates)...Split the B1G schedule and have either regional or conference tournaments in early February and the NCAA Tournament at the end of February!!!

 

P.S. Can't imagine someone saying "Hurry January" vice the traditional November...

 

 

I agree. It makes a lot more sense to me to just push everything up two or three weeks. It would be a much easier adjustment and wouldn't compete with MLB. The NCAA wrestling finals should be sometime after the Superbowl, but before March Madness.

 

I think another thing that needs to happen is that we need to a better job of tapping into our biggest natural fan base (high school wrestlers) to grow viewership for NCAA's. I no longer coach, but I still work in a high school, and I'm struck every year by the number of kids on our team who pay almost no attention whatsoever to what is going on at the collegiate level. I'm sure it is the same at many other schools. For the sake of the sport we need to really try to instill a sense of solidarity in our younger wrestlers. If they want to see wrestling survive, then they need to be wrestling fans in addition to wrestlers. High school and youth coaches should make an effort to have team nights where they watch big name college teams on the big screen at school or somebody's house. They should have contests where kids pick their favorite teams and wrestlers and follow them to see who is doing the best. If there was a concerted and coordinated effort on the part of high school and youth coaches to do these sorts of things, you could dramatically expand the fan base for wrestling, and many of these kids would turn into lifelong fans. (It will also improve their own wrestling by exposing them to better technique and giving them heroes to imitate.)

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Aly -

 

conflicting stances there.

 

moving NCAA's up would attract LESS endemic fans.

 

that would mean having NCAA's at a time when most high school coaches and wrestlers are in their own season and at state tournaments. in which case, they can't travel, they can't enjoy the spectacle of ncaa's, and they can't pay as much attention to it.

 

this is the major problem, imo, of the timing of national duals.

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I'd be in favor of moving the season out rather than up, as I'm inclined to believe that the warmer weather would equate into more fans traveling out for duals, tournaments, etc.

 

Whatever the case though, the date needs to move. No more competing with MM.

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I was thinking maybe after...Some of the NCAA CHAMPIONS would venture into these High School Tournaments and see how those new "TEAM" recruits were doing...I'm sure the PIAA wouldn't want Cael, Mr. Wright, Mr. Ruth etc to stop and say hello...You cheer for Ed Ruth and he cheers for you...Keep jacking your jaws!!!

 

You can't ask for the season finale in February and then talk about tapping into high schoolers as fans. The two thoughts don't work together. You shouldn't make a habit of agreeing with mopar.

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