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CollegeWrestling4444

The only thing that matters in college wrestling....

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I think most coaches don't know this is coming!!! We did not know the AD was thinking about cutting us at Liberty! In fact we had just beat the ACC champs in a dual meet. Not many Liberty programs can say that. So, when they dropped wrestling we were completely surprised. And I think the same at UNCG!

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Wrong. You must have missed the part where I posted since 2006 all the teams that had been cut. All 12 of them. About 30 spots taken away from college wrestlers from each school. That's 360 spots. Did the Internet presence save any of those 12 teams?

 

You seem to not understand the situation division I wrestling is in. It needs to be corrected now. There is no time to give.

No, you are the one that doesn't understand. You are making these things mutually exclusive when they are not. 12 teams being cut does not mean that the internet presence of wrestling is not a great thing. What you are saying is that the two cannot be simultaneously pursued, and it is a ridiculous statement.

 

Look at this excerpt from an article on ESPN (http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story ... vid-taylor)...

 

Jeff Jernacke of the NCAA credits a dedicated online following for much of the recent expansion. Among all the NCAA's sports, wrestling's Facebook and Twitter feed are the second most trafficked, with more than 200,000 members.

 

"Lots of people like basketball and baseball," says Jernacke, who was in charge of the 2012 championships, "but wrestling fans are some of the most active and passionate online fans we've ever seen."

 

The Big Ten Network has also seen an uptick in viewership and feedback. The Chicago-based network broadcast 55 live events this season, an offering that was up more than 600 percent from 2010. According to BTN VP Elizabeth Conlisk, this season's 55 events were seen by 27 percent more viewers than the 2011-2012 season.

 

"Wrestling has some of our most dependable numbers and our most active fan base in terms of quality feedback," says Conlisk. "When we air a wrestling match, the fans watch."

 

The online presence of wrestling and the passionate internet discussions are good things. Getting organized for the specific purpose of saving programs and starting new ones is a great thing. Those are not mutually exclusive goals, but rather symbiotic ones.

 

Nice article, but what expansion is he talking about? Not expansion in the number of programs. The presence of wrestling on the Internet means absolute zero. Is it good to have discussion and talk about it, but when it relates to growth of programs, it's a non factor.

 

My AD could care less about the Internet presence of wrestling, or any other non revenue sport. It just isn't important. Fun? Sure, but not as important as you think.

 

Being involved in the whole process of coaching and also now trying to preserve teams gives me a different view.

I agree with Barrett that the two aren't mutually exclusive - and I think even your posts prove that point.

 

First you start a thread on an Internet wrestling forum titled "The only thing wrong with college wrestling..." and end your initial post with "Let the discussion begin." However, later you say that "[t]he presence of wrestling on the Internet means absolute zero. Is it good to have discussion and talk about it, but when it relates to growth of programs, it's a non factor." (Seems kind of contradictory to me.)

 

At any rate, I appreciate your passion and, from his current and prior posts, it's obvious that Barrett also has a passion for growing the sport. We're all on the same side here.

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I do agree we are on the same side here.

 

Being "in the fire" in college athletics, I know there are many misconceptions about our sport.

 

Being at 3 different colleges, I have a good sense how athletic administrators see and feel us.

 

D 2 and D 3, and NAIA wrestling continues to grow and even flourish.

 

Being at D I is such a different beast. I'll be honest, sometimes I rather stop coaching and put my full time energy into sustaining, building and growing college wrestling programs. However, that won't pay the bills

 

Not that coaching is :-)

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Can some of the teams that are flourishing at the D2 and D3 level possibly make a move to D1? I know there are some teams that could be competitive. Does this happen often? What would be involved in the process of moving a wrestling team up to D1? Just curious if this is a feasible option.

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Can some of the teams that are flourishing at the D2 and D3 level possibly make a move to D1? I know there are some teams that could be competitive. Does this happen often? What would be involved in the process of moving a wrestling team up to D1? Just curious if this is a feasible option.

 

I have been looking into this recently and I believe it is feasible and would help the sport--similar to ice hockey.

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I didn't quote the whole article but the expansion it was talking about referred to TV ratings, ticket sales at nationals, and Internet following/broadcasts. I agree that none of these things will impact the decision of an AD at a struggling school directly. The Boston U AD does not care about the Big 10 network's ratings or the NCAA wrestling twitter account.

 

But those things all affect the overall health of D1 college wrestling, and the healthier the whole sport is, the easier it is to fight the program saving battles at the bottom of D1.

 

But I would wholeheartedly agree with a title that said "the thing that matters most."

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The issue I have is that people like to cite these things as showing how healthy our sport is but the reality is that the reason basketball and football doesn't have a large twitter following is because their fans only follow their school and/or major media outlets. How many of our fans are only on twitter because it is a good way to get twitter updates on tournaments? How many people that would identify as Cornell wrestling fans are also following Lehigh, Columbia, Penn State, Cal Poly and other schools on twitter?

 

Yes, it is great to tought a wrestling program's twitter account's number of followers but when you look at the number of followers that follow the majority of D1 programs you realize that they are not getting those fans into their gym or turning them into donors or actually doing anything to help the program. Yes, there may be a lot of people engaging on twitter in the wrestling world but it is not exactly indicitive of the following of programs rather the sport in general. The sport's following is growing which is evidence by the NCAAs and slowly overflowing to events like the Scuffle. However, the NCAA makes very little money off the wrestling championships (though it makes more than nearly all the other sports which lose money) but as a result there is no revenue sharing to the programs. We need to do more to make it institutional based so there are more programs with real fans following them. One way to do that is to expand the number of lower tiered programs to allow more to be competitive. Having more partially funded programs like Cal Poly, Bloomsburg, Gardner-webb and others would drastically help the sport. It would reduce the costs for programs and allow for more competitive duals at the lower end while allowing more athletes to get a scholarship at the Division-I level. This would, further, expand the NCAA championships following and would help get even more rounds on TV--expanding exposure to these schools when they sneak an athlete into a teevised round. When this happens, wrestling will be much safer.

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I’m getting onto this late and I typically don’t contribute here (lost password – it is pain to recover, so I made new username), but I think something resonated and thought I would respond. In looking at the list of schools that have dropped wresting, what is common about all of them? They are larger state schools or just plain don’t care or produce (Wagner, Dusquene) enough to be successful.

 

I think the bottom line is about money – it is just how AD’s look at it. At smaller enrollment driven schools, it is hard work to get students to attend on a yearly basis. Look at a larger state school – I bet at least 30 students per year (average wrestling team size) go back home during orientation and it is a drop in the bucket. Same with wrestling – if 30 students don’t attend in a freshman class of 4,000 because they drop wrestling, who really cares?

 

Who has added wrestling recently (last decade)? – off the top of my head… Newberry, Coker College, Seton Hill, Ferrum, King College (TN), Bendedictine, etc. These are all smaller enrollment driven schools. 20-30 students going to Ferrum College in a freshman class of 400 just because they have a wrestling team is a big deal and means money. Add onto the fact of location. Some of these schools are being added in the South. While wrestling is not strong in the south, these teams are populated by kids from the North and NE. No offense to any schools up north, but why deal with cold weather and fully-dressed girls when you can go South and get warm weather, hot girls, wrestle and get a good education? Based on the job market in the NE, there is a good chance you’ll be moving down that way (or Texas, AZ, etc. if living out west) at some point in time. Lastly, you can hire a coach that teach a couple classes or can handle some other on campus duty and kill 2 birds with one stone.

 

I’m not sure if I am providing an answer, but some things to think about. I think progressive ADs should try to look at the value added to an institution. Larger schools haven’t or just don’t care. ADs at smaller schools have found ways to increase enrollment and $$ by offering programs/majors/sports that appeal to students. Throw in some other factors that they can’t control (location, weather) there is a recipe for success.

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Perhaps the wrestling community should start a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of increasing participation in wrestling at all levels. Then, with a few goals in mind --- for example, by 2025 increase the number of D1 schools with wrestling to 100, start to market directly to the AD's of schools that do not have wrestling. When I say market, I mean (pardon the bball reference) a full court press directed specifically at those AD's. Direct mail, annual seminars and conferences to which these AD's are invited, telemarketing campaigns to the alumni of these schools, on-campus presence at student events, tables at other sporting events, etc.

 

All the wrestling community needs to do "if they really want to do this" is organize, secure donations, and start getting the job done. The less time spent debating and the more time spent doing will at least allow the community to go down fighting.

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Perhaps the wrestling community should start a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of increasing participation in wrestling at all levels. Then, with a few goals in mind --- for example, by 2025 increase the number of D1 schools with wrestling to 100, start to market directly to the AD's of schools that do not have wrestling. When I say market, I mean (pardon the bball reference) a full court press directed specifically at those AD's. Direct mail, annual seminars and conferences to which these AD's are invited, telemarketing campaigns to the alumni of these schools, on-campus presence at student events, tables at other sporting events, etc.

 

All the wrestling community needs to do "if they really want to do this" is organize, secure donations, and start getting the job done. The less time spent debating and the more time spent doing will at least allow the community to go down fighting.

 

 

Best idea so far. I think this would work at the state level and national level.

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Saw a great interview with Wade Schalles where he said that wrestling coaches need to befriend the AD. Let the AD know what your guys are doing other than wrestling, tell him about GPAs Grad rates, community involvement, Etc...

 

That goes back to getting the word out, If the team is in the paper for doing good things around the community. If they get press for things other than athletic accomplishment, and keep there noses clean, dropping the program is much harder.

 

The President, AD and the public needs to know that the team exists and is doing good things.

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Been reading these boards for quite a few years (since i was a competitor) and now as a coach (coached on both the d2 and d3 levels) i'd actually like to chime in. So for the most part what I've gathered is the way to save programs is to (A) fire coaches if the teams fail to perform on the mat, (B) raise a lot of money, © have a internet presence, and (D) rely on rich alumni to help fund our programs.

As a former collegiate coach allow me to explain something to some of you that may not be familiar with how things work.Many times decisions to cut programs are made by AD's that can't see the value in wrestling. Saving wrestling programs is not as easy as one may think, these coaches are busting their balls trying to make there programs viable both on and off the mat, mostly with little to no help from the administration.. So I'm also guessing many of you on this board that storied programs like OKST,IOWA,PSU,MINN,MIZZ are all in no danger of ever being eliminated. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your sadly mistaken.. So what can we do? If every program is at risk, how can we create more programs and continue to keep the ones we have. SIMPLE: Be the ones who make the decisions on the future of the programs.

A lot of people blamed Carl Adams for not making BU wrestling "untouchable" but I blame Adams for not becoming a decision maker...Adams was at BU for 31 years or so, theres no way in heck he shouldn't have become the AD there.Coaching is a young mans game. Anything past 15 years is probably a little too long. Anyone think Edinboro is in danger of losing their program. Look at how many of our former great coaches/wrestlers are in higher education administration (not many). We need more AD's, Chancellors and Board of Trustee members. Just think, how awesome would in be in 5 years if Koll handed the program over to Hahn and became the AD at Yale or Dartmouth. How important is the Rutgers AD job now? We need a wrestling guy in there! the common theme on these boards is that the coaches need to CEO's and i don't necessarily disagree with that but more importantly we need to be BOARD MEMBERS.. If you cant beat the man, become the man. Lastly, I've spent the last few days looking at all the AD's from all the d1 schools and their athletic background (I would list them but this post is long enough).. lets just say you should take a look for yourself, your going to be surprised and not in a good way. *Think about how we all talk about the great job that Koll has done with Cornell? well take a guess at what Andy Noel's background is in... btw, guess what Alabama's AD'S background is in. How cool would it be if Kevin Jackson was the AD or Chancellor at LSU... I know not all may agree but when one of the big programs gets eliminated, the wrestling community will be in shock while we lament how Coach SO n SO was a great coach for 40 years... meanwhile the AD will be some retired XC runner who could give two sh*ts about wrestling... Its time to cut out the middle man, we have to be decision makers...

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Been reading these boards for quite a few years (since i was a competitor) and now as a coach (coached on both the d2 and d3 levels) i'd actually like to chime in. So for the most part what I've gathered is the way to save programs is to (A) fire coaches if the teams fail to perform on the mat, (B) raise a lot of money, © have a internet presence, and (D) rely on rich alumni to help fund our programs.

As a former collegiate coach allow me to explain something to some of you that may not be familiar with how things work.Many times decisions to cut programs are made by AD's that can't see the value in wrestling. Saving wrestling programs is not as easy as one may think, these coaches are busting their balls trying to make there programs viable both on and off the mat, mostly with little to no help from the administration.. So I'm also guessing many of you on this board that storied programs like OKST,IOWA,PSU,MINN,MIZZ are all in no danger of ever being eliminated. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your sadly mistaken.. So what can we do? If every program is at risk, how can we create more programs and continue to keep the ones we have. SIMPLE: Be the ones who make the decisions on the future of the programs.

A lot of people blamed Carl Adams for not making BU wrestling "untouchable" but I blame Adams for not becoming a decision maker...Adams was at BU for 31 years or so, theres no way in heck he shouldn't have become the AD there.Coaching is a young mans game. Anything past 15 years is probably a little too long. Anyone think Edinboro is in danger of losing their program. Look at how many of our former great coaches/wrestlers are in higher education administration (not many). We need more AD's, Chancellors and Board of Trustee members. Just think, how awesome would in be in 5 years if Koll handed the program over to Hahn and became the AD at Yale or Dartmouth. How important is the Rutgers AD job now? We need a wrestling guy in there! the common theme on these boards is that the coaches need to CEO's and i don't necessarily disagree with that but more importantly we need to be BOARD MEMBERS.. If you cant beat the man, become the man. Lastly, I've spent the last few days looking at all the AD's from all the d1 schools and their athletic background (I would list them but this post is long enough).. lets just say you should take a look for yourself, your going to be surprised and not in a good way. *Think about how we all talk about the great job that Koll has done with Cornell? well take a guess at what Andy Noel's background is in... btw, guess what Alabama's AD'S background is in. How cool would it be if Kevin Jackson was the AD or Chancellor at LSU... I know not all may agree but when one of the big programs gets eliminated, the wrestling community will be in shock while we lament how Coach SO n SO was a great coach for 40 years... meanwhile the AD will be some retired XC runner who could give two sh*ts about wrestling... Its time to cut out the middle man, we have to be decision makers...

Probably the best post I've seen on this or any message board in a LOOOONG time.

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Been reading these boards for quite a few years (since i was a competitor) and now as a coach (coached on both the d2 and d3 levels) i'd actually like to chime in. So for the most part what I've gathered is the way to save programs is to (A) fire coaches if the teams fail to perform on the mat, (B) raise a lot of money, © have a internet presence, and (D) rely on rich alumni to help fund our programs.

As a former collegiate coach allow me to explain something to some of you that may not be familiar with how things work.Many times decisions to cut programs are made by AD's that can't see the value in wrestling. Saving wrestling programs is not as easy as one may think, these coaches are busting their balls trying to make there programs viable both on and off the mat, mostly with little to no help from the administration.. So I'm also guessing many of you on this board that storied programs like OKST,IOWA,PSU,MINN,MIZZ are all in no danger of ever being eliminated. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your sadly mistaken.. So what can we do? If every program is at risk, how can we create more programs and continue to keep the ones we have. SIMPLE: Be the ones who make the decisions on the future of the programs.

A lot of people blamed Carl Adams for not making BU wrestling "untouchable" but I blame Adams for not becoming a decision maker...Adams was at BU for 31 years or so, theres no way in heck he shouldn't have become the AD there.Coaching is a young mans game. Anything past 15 years is probably a little too long. Anyone think Edinboro is in danger of losing their program. Look at how many of our former great coaches/wrestlers are in higher education administration (not many). We need more AD's, Chancellors and Board of Trustee members. Just think, how awesome would in be in 5 years if Koll handed the program over to Hahn and became the AD at Yale or Dartmouth. How important is the Rutgers AD job now? We need a wrestling guy in there! the common theme on these boards is that the coaches need to CEO's and i don't necessarily disagree with that but more importantly we need to be BOARD MEMBERS.. If you cant beat the man, become the man. Lastly, I've spent the last few days looking at all the AD's from all the d1 schools and their athletic background (I would list them but this post is long enough).. lets just say you should take a look for yourself, your going to be surprised and not in a good way. *Think about how we all talk about the great job that Koll has done with Cornell? well take a guess at what Andy Noel's background is in... btw, guess what Alabama's AD'S background is in. How cool would it be if Kevin Jackson was the AD or Chancellor at LSU... I know not all may agree but when one of the big programs gets eliminated, the wrestling community will be in shock while we lament how Coach SO n SO was a great coach for 40 years... meanwhile the AD will be some retired XC runner who could give two sh*ts about wrestling... Its time to cut out the middle man, we have to be decision makers...

 

BYU had a wrestling friendly AD (Rondo Fehlberg) but no administrative or true booster support for its program. Fehlberg was run out and the program was dropped.

 

Obviously, it is better to have a wrestling friendly AD than not, and AD's have more pull than coaches. That said, AD's still have to answer to the administration, the administration still has to answer to the board, and everyone has to answer to the boosters. You want to keep programs, get some wealthy, aggressive, assertive boosters. Money talks.

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BYU had a wrestling friendly AD (Rondo Fehlberg) but no administrative or true booster support for its program. Fehlberg was run out and the program was dropped.

 

Obviously, it is better to have a wrestling friendly AD than not, and AD's have more pull than coaches. That said, AD's still have to answer to the administration, the administration still has to answer to the board, and everyone has to answer to the boosters. You want to keep programs, get some wealthy, aggressive, assertive boosters. Money talks.

 

Why do we alway look for other people to fund our programs? We all say 'we need to find a wealthy donor to donate $100,000 a year towards our endowment to help us be safer but we need more people giving their own money. Why don't we have 100 people giving $1,000 a year or 200 people giving $500 a year? Everyone who is on this board should be writing checks to programs. It is easier to upset one donor than it is to upset a bunch of donors.

 

Sadly, too many people, and often those that had success on the mat and were on scholarship, are the ones that don't open their check books rather they feel as though they are a part of the sport and give in other ways. If you're not giving money, you're not giving anything necessary to ensure there is a program. And fyi: attending camps doesn't count as giving money to a program.

 

If you're a Penn State fan who enjoys programs coming into your gym so you can beat up on them, you certainly have an interest in helping them stay around so you can enjoy them returning for many years. There is nothing wrong with writing a check to Rider or Lock Haven as a Penn State fan. I mean, I seriously doubt any Penn State, right now, thinks that their donation will make Penn State lose a National Title to one of these schools. The same is true for all of the other programs.

 

We need all these programs more than people realize.

 

How many people have ever reached out to an administrator at a school to thank them for the program or to compliment them on the success of one of their athletes?

 

We all know that Sacred Heart is the weakest program in Division-I right now. But how many of you know that they have New York State Champion and NHSCA SR National Champion, TJ Fabian, joining the program in the fall? How much of an impact do you think it would have if you sent a letter to the administration thanking them for the program and letting them know you were excited about the program landing a top prospect and then included a check for $50 or $100 earmarked for the wrestling program?

 

How many people enjoyed watching Franklin & Marshall's Richard Durso win the EIWAs and make a run to the quarterfinals at nationals? How significant do you think it would be to the Division-III school's administrators if you sent them a letter stating how much you enjoyed watching their student compete and included a $50 or $100 check to the wrestling endowment?

 

The reality is that the less funding the program has, the more significant the impact micro donors have. You can give $100 to Iowa and it doesn't have much of an impact and get noticed but there are many other programs that are in need of a new bike or practice room mats or something and will be very appreciative.

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BYU had a wrestling friendly AD (Rondo Fehlberg) but no administrative or true booster support for its program. Fehlberg was run out and the program was dropped.

 

Obviously, it is better to have a wrestling friendly AD than not, and AD's have more pull than coaches. That said, AD's still have to answer to the administration, the administration still has to answer to the board, and everyone has to answer to the boosters. You want to keep programs, get some wealthy, aggressive, assertive boosters. Money talks.

 

Why do we alway look for other people to fund our programs? We all say 'we need to find a wealthy donor to donate $100,000 a year towards our endowment to help us be safer but we need more people giving their own money. Why don't we have 100 people giving $1,000 a year or 200 people giving $500 a year? Everyone who is on this board should be writing checks to programs. It is easier to upset one donor than it is to upset a bunch of donors.

 

Sadly, too many people, and often those that had success on the mat and were on scholarship, are the ones that don't open their check books rather they feel as though they are a part of the sport and give in other ways. If you're not giving money, you're not giving anything necessary to ensure there is a program. And fyi: attending camps doesn't count as giving money to a program.

 

If you're a Penn State fan who enjoys programs coming into your gym so you can beat up on them, you certainly have an interest in helping them stay around so you can enjoy them returning for many years. There is nothing wrong with writing a check to Rider or Lock Haven as a Penn State fan. I mean, I seriously doubt any Penn State, right now, thinks that their donation will make Penn State lose a National Title to one of these schools. The same is true for all of the other programs.

 

We need all these programs more than people realize.

 

How many people have ever reached out to an administrator at a school to thank them for the program or to compliment them on the success of one of their athletes?

 

We all know that Sacred Heart is the weakest program in Division-I right now. But how many of you know that they have New York State Champion and NHSCA SR National Champion, TJ Fabian, joining the program in the fall? How much of an impact do you think it would have if you sent a letter to the administration thanking them for the program and letting them know you were excited about the program landing a top prospect and then included a check for $50 or $100 earmarked for the wrestling program?

 

How many people enjoyed watching Franklin & Marshall's Richard Durso win the EIWAs and make a run to the quarterfinals at nationals? How significant do you think it would be to the Division-III school's administrators if you sent them a letter stating how much you enjoyed watching their student compete and included a $50 or $100 check to the wrestling endowment?

 

The reality is that the less funding the program has, the more significant the impact micro donors have. You can give $100 to Iowa and it doesn't have much of an impact and get noticed but there are many other programs that are in need of a new bike or practice room mats or something and will be very appreciative.

 

 

All true BUT you need macrodonors because they have pull. They have connections, they have lawyers, and they have a source of funds that board members and administrators (who are all essentially professional fund raisers) can't afford to alienate.

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Why do we alway look for other people to fund our programs? We all say 'we need to find a wealthy donor to donate $100,000 a year towards our endowment to help us be safer but we need more people giving their own money. Why don't we have 100 people giving $1,000 a year or 200 people giving $500 a year? Everyone who is on this board should be writing checks to programs. It is easier to upset one donor than it is to upset a bunch of donors.

 

Sadly, too many people, and often those that had success on the mat and were on scholarship, are the ones that don't open their check books rather they feel as though they are a part of the sport and give in other ways. If you're not giving money, you're not giving anything necessary to ensure there is a program. And fyi: attending camps doesn't count as giving money to a program.

 

If you're a Penn State fan who enjoys programs coming into your gym so you can beat up on them, you certainly have an interest in helping them stay around so you can enjoy them returning for many years. There is nothing wrong with writing a check to Rider or Lock Haven as a Penn State fan. I mean, I seriously doubt any Penn State, right now, thinks that their donation will make Penn State lose a National Title to one of these schools. The same is true for all of the other programs.

 

We need all these programs more than people realize.

 

How many people have ever reached out to an administrator at a school to thank them for the program or to compliment them on the success of one of their athletes?

 

We all know that Sacred Heart is the weakest program in Division-I right now. But how many of you know that they have New York State Champion and NHSCA SR National Champion, TJ Fabian, joining the program in the fall? How much of an impact do you think it would have if you sent a letter to the administration thanking them for the program and letting them know you were excited about the program landing a top prospect and then included a check for $50 or $100 earmarked for the wrestling program?

 

How many people enjoyed watching Franklin & Marshall's Richard Durso win the EIWAs and make a run to the quarterfinals at nationals? How significant do you think it would be to the Division-III school's administrators if you sent them a letter stating how much you enjoyed watching their student compete and included a $50 or $100 check to the wrestling endowment?

 

The reality is that the less funding the program has, the more significant the impact micro donors have. You can give $100 to Iowa and it doesn't have much of an impact and get noticed but there are many other programs that are in need of a new bike or practice room mats or something and will be very appreciative.

 

 

 

 

Well, I should have said all true except for one point. It is NOT necessarily easier for a school to get away with pissing off one donor rather than many microdonors. Microdonors who are disappointed will send letters, sign petitions, piss and moan, and go away. A disappointed T. Boone Pickens will ruin you.

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You mean, like when a donor is so committed to wrestling at his school and in general that he decides to fund a club that allows many athletes to be able to train for the Olympics and maybe decides to give it a name after his citrus based business and then has built a first class state of the art facility at his alma mater to be shared by the club and his old college program so that they can share resources and help the program? You mean a donor like that would never face having his program cut?

 

How wealthy do these wealthy donors have to be?

 

The more supporters the program has, even if they are not wealthy individuals, has a much greater impact. Schools don't want to disenfranchise large groups of alumni.

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Pinnum, you are right, but as you probably know, 99% of the people who come on this board will fight tooth and nail to get the last word in on a thread they are supposedly passionate about but then never write a check of any size to support their own program unless they're buying tickets to attend an event, let alone do what you suggest and write a check for other programs.

 

I think it is much more likely that one wealthy individual will decide to write a six-figure check than several dozen middle-class fans write even a quarter of that amount worth of checks.

 

Unfortunately, it is now a coach's job to secure that kind of support, because fans will very rarely offer support unsolicited. I have consistently found that the coaches who are the best communicators and proactively reach out to their alumni base and their communities receive the most donations. You can probably count on two hands the D1 coaches who manage their networks optimally.

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Everyone who is on this board should be writing checks to programs. It is easier to upset one donor than it is to upset a bunch of donors.

 

 

How much of an impact do you think it would have if you sent a letter to the administration thanking them for the program and letting them know you were excited about the program landing a top prospect and then included a check for $50 or $100 earmarked for the wrestling program?

 

How significant do you think it would be to the Division-III school's administrators if you sent them a letter stating how much you enjoyed watching their student compete and included a $50 or $100 check to the wrestling endowment?

 

I like this approach. And if there ever was the right time to mobilize it is now.

Divide all the remaining Division I teams into regions or segments. Further sub-divide if you have to. Every wrestling fan choose a segment, or subsegment, and write letters EVERY year supporting those programs. At the very least, choose a single school.

 

Those who can donate money, whatever amount, donate it. Every year!

Everybody else, just keep on with the letters. But make them letters of substance. KNOW about the schools, Know about the wrestlers. Their records. The recruits. The wrestling alumni.

 

Frankly, you write your letters and sign your petitions much too late, AFTER the program has already been dropped.

 

With the right minds behind it, this can be done. If you care that much about college wrestling, make it a real part of your life.

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I think that wrestling is one of the last true meritocracies – the best person at the weight gets the spot regardless or race, color, creed, height, etc. With our more popular sports, it is about “fitting into a system” or being the right fit (“we need a shooting guard”). I think that wrestlers have pigeon-holed themselves into this “great success = great coach” mentality while there is so much more to that. A “does not work well with administration” coach means something much different in football than in wrestling.

 

I think wrestling coaches need to make their program vital assets to a university. I personally think that many big-school ADs are glorified used car salesmen looking for their next gig, but that is the game you have to play. It is going to be harder to cut the wrestling if the coach knows you, your kids go to the same school and sees you around. Go to the football game or talk to the AD about something besides sports. I try to tell my kids that life is not fair and to make it unfair in your favor. It is easy to cut a position if that is all he knows you as – although it happens, it is harder to cut a person or a family.

 

I try to treat my own job as if mine or someone’s life depends on it. A colleague that I don’t have much in common with now may start a business someday that he wants my help with – he may think of me/my skill set when he does it. I met a Division I coach a few years ago where I was taking some night graduate classes. We talked some wrestling, I gave him my card and asked to him to contact me if he needed anything. I even took my kids to their matches. I never heard from him again. I was a marginal at best wrestler in my day, but I get e-mails from my alma mater and coaches have actually taken time to speak to me. Guess who gets my paltry few hundred $ a year that my wife doesn’t spend? Guess which coach had his program dropped?

 

Obviously there are circumstances out of one’s control such as the AD who just doesn’t understand or want wrestling, ADs trying to bolster themselves for their next job or the harsh reality of economics. However, we can’t make our job harder by alienating bosses, not reaching out to the community and taking the time to embrace a wrestling community that will open its wallet when it sees a reason to.

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