Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
zhawk

NCAA proposal would radically alter championships structure

Recommended Posts

i was coaching at the 1972, 1973, and 1974 NCAA chsmpionships. I think ISU won in 1972 and 1973, OU won in 1974, but Iowa State was in the hunt to the end. Gable going to Iowa forever changed the landscape of college wrestling. Prior to that from the mid 1960s thru 1973 Iowa State was arguably the most dominant program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Increasing importance to duals across the country can help wrestling at so many levels. Perhaps more so in creating interest in the local communities across the country. Realistically, who likes sitting in a gym all day watching some one you root for wrestle for a few minutes, hopefully a few times throughout the day? Sometimes it is painful and most times a real commitment.

 

Attending the NCAA tourney is not available to many; time, travel and money.

 

Does helping with local interest increase the fan base?? Who knows for sure? I think so, and more importantly it is worth the effort.

 

The NCAA Championship attendee fan base is well above forty years old. It is an older and ageing fan base. Many of our best fans who attend are dying off and not being replaced. Studies show that in the next fifteen years the attendance at the D1 tourney can be reduced by forty percent.

 

Today we have 77 D1 Programs with Boston U a future loss. How may college D1 fans will we have if we have 70 programs? 60 programs? 50 programs? 40 programs?

 

How many fans were in the stands at the NCAA gymnastics championships with 15 teams?

 

Duals may create local interest that will translate to a broader interest?

 

I think those on the NCAA committee reviewing this with a realistic vision of what the future will be with out trying change??

 

I've seen absolutely zero empirical evidence to back up any of your claims.

Duals have been around forever and have done nothing for the sports' popularity outside of 4 or 5 notable schools. The data show 6 decades of failure for duals increasing wrestling's popularity. The premise that duals are the answer, when historically they''re associated with near empty gymnasiums filled mainly with wrestler's parents and girlfriends, is a nonstarter. Also, the idea that now we'll be officially eliminating over 2/3 of participating schools before the post season even begins isn't going to help popularity at all.

 

I also don't get the "no one wants to watch matches all Saturday" reasoning. Most fans of the sport I talk to enjoy watching great competitors from other schools go at it, as well as the ability to watch 3 or 4 matches at a time and pick the most exciting to focus on. And for folks that don't live in a college town, who wants to drive for an hour to watch 10 matches, many of which may be boring - never mind the fact that the dual may very well be decided by match 7 anyway?

 

I'm all for new ideas, but duals aren't a new idea, they're a relic from a bygone age, and are best recognized for low attendance. The one good thing NCAA wrestling has going for it is the conference and NCAA tournaments - why anyone would even consider messing with this in favor of a format that has never been popular outside of a few schools?

 

And I don't buy for a minute that the NCAA tourney fanbase is dying off. That tourney sells out faster each year, and the average age of the folks that sit around me at the NCAAs is no older, and may be younger, than it is any college football or basketball game I've attended in the last few years . And it'll only help things when the NCAA puts it in a place that people can actually get to (read no more Omaha or Des Moines).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is plenty of empirical evidence. Empirical evidence just means that a position is not merely reasoned (thought experiment or game theory) but is rather based off of an observation or research. Performance metrics can come from any number of sources. It sounds like you’d rather implement the scientific method and run an experiment with a control to try to determine the feasibility. I am all for that. How do we do it? We implement the change, monitor the effect, and make changes as needed.

 

However, I don’t think you really want to do that…

 

Let’s look at some data we do have. The programs with the best attendance report their attendance figures based on duals, and many of them do not host a tournament during the season. Additionally, if there were more tournaments, and fewer duals, as some people propose, we would have each program hosting fewer events and with only 77 programs have many athletes wrestling each other multiple times during the year.

 

Personally, I would rather see top athletes meet less often but have each meeting be marketed and hyped when it does happen, in a dual. It is a lot more exciting to see top athletes meeting for the first time at the NCAAs than it is to see rematch #4.

 

Those that advocate for more tournaments often cite the attendance figures and number of matches for the non-starters. But how many people actually attend tournaments? How many people attend the Nittany Lion Open at Penn State, or the former Body Bar or New York Collegiate at Cornell? The number of fans is often misleading. It is easy to say that you have good attendance when there are 20 programs in attendance and 300 athletes are sitting in the stands with their parents while seating is reduced to accommodate for the additional mats. But the reality is that duals draw better, allow for more matches to be wrestled in front of their home communities and are less burdensome on student-athletes.

 

What about the claim that they are better for the non-starters? Well, they are for redshirts who are not technically college wrestlers but rather college wrestlers who happen to be competing in an open event that happens to have college wrestlers in it. But what about the other non-starters who can actually wrestle college matches? Every tournament requires all but one program to travel, which results in a lot of money being spent for travel and hotels. Then you guarantee that half of the field only gets two matches. This means, for half of the athletes in attendance, they would have been no worse off getting two matches via exhibition bouts prior to one of their home duals where they could compete in front of home fans and not have to have all of the time and money spent. I think the exhibition bouts need to be added to more duals and we should use it to help promote the sport and get our athletes in the room more matches while being a part of marquee events.

 

What about the top drawing programs? How do they market their programs? Is Iowa known for their tournaments? Is the Nittany Lion Open the hardest ticket to get on the Penn State schedule?

 

When we look at the empirical evidence we see that teams that don’t draw well, do in fact, wrestle more tournaments, while teams that draw well wrestle more duals.

 

2012-13 Dual attendance Rankings (Tournaments wrestled/tournaments hosted)

 

1. Iowa (0/0)

2. Penn State (2/1)

3. Minnesota (2/0)

4. Ohio State (2/0)

5. Oklahoma State (2/0)

6. Iowa State (2/1)

7. Lehigh (1/0)

8. Missouri (3/0)

9. Cornell (2/1)

10. Virginia Tech (3/1)

 

When I look at the data, I see that duals have been proven to be the best package to market to fans. How many of the die-hard fans that are on this forum even attend more than two college tournaments during the season? I bet the number is fairly low.

 

For me, the empirical evidence is clear. For the NCAA and ESPN who have also conducted research and have their own empirical data, they too, are clear in what is needed.

 

I am interested in seeing your empirical evidence, though…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For me, the empirical evidence is clear. For the NCAA and ESPN who have also conducted research and have their own empirical data, they too, are clear in what is needed.

 

excellent post. thank you for sharing. and the the quote above is really all anyone should need to know. espn wants a product, and that product is two colleges competing for 1.5 to 2 hours. the wrestling community should help them deliver that product. no one is asking for drastic changes. there are no weight classes being removed and no changes to rule book.

 

its an exciting time for college wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where is ESPN's evidence that this will help wrestling, outside of the fact they say so? While its possible this format could help bring more notoriety to the top 6 to 8 programs in the country, those aren't the schools anyone is worrying about. So because Iowa/OSU is nationally televised, Campbell or NC State is going to start drawing more at duals? At this point, that outcome can't be anything more than a guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where is ESPN's evidence that this will help wrestling, outside of the fact they say so? While its possible this format could help bring more notoriety to the top 6 to 8 programs in the country, those aren't the schools anyone is worrying about. So because Iowa/OSU is nationally televised, Campbell or NC State is going to start drawing more at duals? At this point, that outcome can't be anything more than a guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where is ESPN's evidence that this will help wrestling, outside of the fact they say so? While its possible this format could help bring more notoriety to the top 6 to 8 programs in the country, those aren't the schools anyone is worrying about. So because Iowa/OSU is nationally televised, Campbell or NC State is going to start drawing more at duals? At this point, that outcome can't be anything more than a guess.

 

Interesting that some seem to have posed this whole debate as being driven by NWCA (notably Koll and Moyer) vs. Sanderson and Brands; I wonder if in fact the primary antagonists may be ESPN vs. Big 10 Network? Espcially when you think, who stands to lose if there is another media venue showing wrestling to a national audience...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where is ESPN's evidence that this will help wrestling, outside of the fact they say so? While its possible this format could help bring more notoriety to the top 6 to 8 programs in the country, those aren't the schools anyone is worrying about. So because Iowa/OSU is nationally televised, Campbell or NC State is going to start drawing more at duals? At this point, that outcome can't be anything more than a guess.

 

Interesting that some seem to have posed this whole debate as being driven by NWCA (notably Koll and Moyer) vs. Sanderson and Brands; I wonder if in fact the primary antagonists may be ESPN vs. Big 10 Network? Espcially when you think, who stands to lose if there is another media venue showing wrestling to a national audience...

Interesting thought...remember, 50% of the Big Ten Network is owned by News Corp., owner of Fox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of the teams referenced place strong emphasis on dual meets and take responsibility to promote their programs independently from the university. Other schools not shown here such as UVa and UTC have meaningful stature on campus and attendance at duals. PSU, IOWA, Mini and OSU have strong dual schedules, more so than tourneys.

 

 

No one can predict for sure if these propositions will work, but no doubt, staying the course without change is much riskier.

 

It is nice to see that this NCAA Committee gives a darn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So because Iowa/OSU is nationally televised, Campbell or NC State is going to start drawing more at duals? At this point, that outcome can't be anything more than a guess.

Nobody knows for sure about anything in the future, but Iowa/OSU being nationally televised (especially as part of a national tournament) creates a prestigious event which can create excitement at other schools with a chance of qualifying for.

 

We've seen it happen in plenty of other college sports, then end of year tournament gets the final on TV (edited an tape delayed), then the final starts airing live, then the semi-finals, soon the prelims are on TV. Local papers and news shows are covering teams who are just looking to qualify for the tournament, students get excited and start coming to games, etc.

 

It happened a long time ago for Basketball, more recently in Baseball (not long ago the final of the CWS was on tape delayed and edited, now ESPN is covering every game of the regional tournaments), and it's now happening with lacrosse. It's a model that works, why wrestling insists on ignoring that is beyond me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It happened a long time ago for Basketball, more recently in Baseball (not long ago the final of the CWS was on tape delayed and edited, now ESPN is covering every game of the regional tournaments), and it's now happening with lacrosse. It's a model that works, why wrestling insists on ignoring that is beyond me.

 

exactly. go to the major sports websites, espn, cbssports, etc. college wrestling doesn't even show up as a category in "other" or "olympic" sports. but college baseball does. cycling does. lacrosse does. if wrestling can't keep pace with lacrosse, an expensive regional sport with comparatively low HS participation numbers, then it is going backwards. televised sports are exploding and wrestling needs to be part of that. espn, nbc sports, big 10 network, everyone wants more school v school programming in 2 hours blocks. they don't want the all day tournaments. not yet anyway. but grow the dual meet rivalries and team dual tournament and maybe soon they will.

 

the model is there and other sports are taking advantage of it. wrestling isn't, to it's detriment. i know change is scary but wrestlers are tough folks. they can handle some minor alterations to their competition schedules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's a model that works, why wrestling insists on ignoring that is beyond me.

 

Because people at the top of the wrestling totem pole too often consider the sport an "insider sport" and know very little to nothing about marketing for mass appeal. It's a sport that has historically been run by wrestlers for wrestlers. Even the threat of extinction won't change some people's minds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where is ESPN's evidence that this will help wrestling, outside of the fact they say so? While its possible this format could help bring more notoriety to the top 6 to 8 programs in the country, those aren't the schools anyone is worrying about. So because Iowa/OSU is nationally televised, Campbell or NC State is going to start drawing more at duals? At this point, that outcome can't be anything more than a guess.

 

I am sorry if ESPN has not provided you with their data.

 

While I think duals will help the smaller programs with attendance and allow them to more easily be recognized for their successes, I won't address that issue here.

 

Lets assume that Gardner-Webb, Davidson, Clarion, Franklin & Marshall, and Grand Canyon never see an increase in fan attendance. Let's also assume, as most agree, that the dual championship and added exposure of television will help promote the brand of wrestling by way of the top 8 or ten programs.

 

So how will this increased exposure for these programs help the smaller programs? We all know the reason wrestling programs have been axed is money. Small programs are, typically, more dependant on their revenue generation than larger programs. So the rich will get richer as they get more exposure, resulting in a larger fan base, more season ticket sales, and more apparel being sold. We can look to college football, basketball, and even baseball to see what will happen.

 

Since seeding in the national tournament will be important for a program as being seeded third rather than fourth could mean the difference between wrestling in the national dual finals on ESPN or not being on National television, teams will schedule to ensure they will have a schedule that will boost their RPI. Additionally, as more programs increase attendance their incentive for hosting home duals will increase. Think of Iowa as Syracuse Basketball. Syracuse has no need to play any non-conference games away from the Carrier Dome (and outside of tournaments, hasn't done so in over 10 years) rather electing to pay programs to come play them at home. Iowa could cover the cost for George Mason or Hofstra to come dual them and still make the dual feasible for Iowa. This directly helps GMU and Hofstra as they don't have to use the money from their budget and are able to wrestle a top program, wrestle in a great atmosphere, and travel like a Division-I program.

 

Programs like Lehigh, Cornell, Penn State will all have an increase in their brand as they gain exposure and there is a big emphasis on duals. You will see strategic scheduling and teams competing for few dual options. Teams will be locked in to their conference duals but their non-conference duals will be important for qualifying for the national duals.

 

This isn't just to say that top teams will all wrestle home dates and all of the smaller programs will be on the road. This past year Davidson set an attendance record when they hosted Ohio State. If the dual would have been at Ohio State they likely wouldn't have drawn too well even though they average more fans but it was a huge success for Davidson.

 

There will be instances like Xavier or Gonzaga in basketball or Boise State in football when programs struggle to attract the teams to come compete. I could see this issue facing Wyoming. But they will get the matches, the scheduling will just be harder and they may not get big home matches too often. However, they can build a long home winning streak, dominate their conference, and earn regular trips to the national duals increasing their local fan following and brand with each trip.

 

I do think the smaller programs will benefit from a dual centric season but even if they don't there will be a trickle down to them and the worst case scenario is that it won't change the landscape from anything we already have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NCAA D1 Tourney is a wonderful event. It absolutely does nothing to grow college wrestling opportunities at D1.

 

It won't "save" D1 wrestling. It does bring positive light to the sport, no doubt. It does make a small profit for the NCAA, which provides credibility. Each are positives. However, over the past thirty or so years 170(?) programs have been dropped. Stay the course and we will ride it to a predictable end. At the very least, those on that wrestling committee are promoting review of the Nat Duals are not status quo and aren't going to see wrestling go down with out a fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not make it a wrestling coaches priority to butts in the seats at any event...that is the problem with wrestling...not a lot of fans out there...most are related to a wrestler at the event...most events are when there are other wrestling events already going on at a different level. E.g. Saturday and Sunday when many colleges are wrestling...many youth clubs and high school clubs are wrestling too...

 

-Jeff Pape

WrestlingGear.Com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The NCAA D1 Tourney is a wonderful event. It absolutely does nothing to grow college wrestling opportunities at D1.

 

It won't "save" D1 wrestling. It does bring positive light to the sport, no doubt. It does make a small profit for the NCAA, which provides credibility. Each are positives. However, over the past thirty or so years 170(?) programs have been dropped. Stay the course and we will ride it to a predictable end. At the very least, those on that wrestling committee are promoting review of the Nat Duals are not status quo and aren't going to see wrestling go down with out a fight.

 

 

I don't see how the single most successful aspect of college wrestling in every way from money, to getting butts in the seats, to generating the ESPN like publicity we clamor for is even partially to blame for schools dropping programs.

 

Don't fix what ain't broken... and the NCAA individual tourney is NOT broken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pinnum, I understand your argument and your position but your whole 'Im sorry ESPN hasn't showed you their data" shtick is lame and avoiding the question. If you are going to cite some sort of a data set or study as one of your reasons then you should be able to present it and open it up for analysis. Otherwise you should leave it out of your argument. Its got as much credence as me saying "I ran some numbers and clearly an individual tournament is the best available option but no you can not see my evidence or my study, you just have to trust me."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrestlingphish - you make a fair point.

 

Let me try this from a different angle.

 

ESPN is the 'worldwide leader in sports' and everyone is trying to get exposure through the network. They provide great exposure to the masses. There is no network that is watched more religiously and on in nearly every bar. The production quality is great.

 

Now, how many sports have taken off as a result of the expanded coverage provided by ESPN? How many sports, or events, have been on ESPN and then flopped? ESPN, I would argue, is the reason the NCAAs have become a hot ticket and a destination event. When people see the event on TV they then think about attending one in the future. Without the exposure they might have never even known that there was a championship let alone that it is a packed out event with festivites surrounding it.

 

Now, about the NCAA. Has anyone ever been to an NCAA championship and not found it to be of the highest quality? Ever been to the college cup (soccer), out in Omaha (Baseball), or to the softball, ice hockey, lacrosse, or even track and field championships? All of these events are premier events that have more invested into them than was once warranted. They made them great events, just like wrestling, because the NCAA has the budget to be able to take some losses on events to ensure the standard of quality is high.

 

There has been a lot of debate over the NWCA and their national duals. Some of the complaints has been how the event is handled and executed. All those people should be happy to hear that the NCAA, one of the leading experts on premier championship event management, and the entity responsible for the pinnacle event in our sport, wants to manage the event for us.

 

We are being courted by the two biggest names in college sports and each of them want to give us more exposure and better events. They have done the research and find it to be a sound business decision on their end. Why are we holding out? Do we think we can get a better solution elsewhere? I don't think the status quo has been that great for the sport a a whole and I don't buy the notion that the programs that are constantly battling for the team title are concerned about the smaller programs. I have always been most concerned about the smaller programs and these changes I see helping them greatly.

(Mobile)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duals are duals...but they contain an inherent flaw that makes them very difficult to use as a barometer of a 'good' or 'great' team....many times the goal is to 'stay off your back' or to not get majored or TF'd.

The only place where someone must actually win to score points is in the current individual format. Even when the top teams meet, there are 3-4 matches where one wrestler is the clear favorite and the other is just trying to keep the point differential to a minimum. This means that you have 5-6 good matches(which have the possibility of turning into a bad, stalling, please don't beat me by too much proposal) and the others are clearly the latter.

Wrestling to win vs. wrestling to not get beat too badly...there is just no contest, IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are people really worried that the popularity of the individual tournament is going to suffer because of the change in the way they award the team trophy? is the concern that the wrestlers will somehow suffer, or not preform as well? i dont get what the problem is.

 

and the way you can trust that espn knows what they are doing is they are worth about, oh, lets say 50 billion dollars. they also pay a lot of people a lot of money to figure out ways to grow a 50 billion dollar business in a competitive marketplace.

 

please, lets not worry so much about the precious, fragile, individual tournament. its not going anywhere. they will also have a tournament to find out who the best college wrestlers are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please, lets not worry so much about the precious, fragile, individual tournament. its not going anywhere. they will also have a tournament to find out who the best college wrestlers are.

 

Well, Some of us are concerned, because the NCAA Championships as they stand today, are the purest way to determine the very best college wrestlers in the United States, and a valid measure of the best teams.

 

Whatever happens in the future, my concern is that, they Bastardize the Individual Championship, to polish up the Dual Tournament in an attempt to create something better....in their minds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, Some of us are concerned, because the NCAA Championships as they stand today, are the purest way to determine the very best college wrestlers in the United States, and a valid measure of the best teams.

 

Whatever happens in the future, my concern is that, they Bastardize the Individual Championship, to polish up the Dual Tournament in an attempt to create something better....in their minds.

 

ok, valid fears, but what about the proposed changes are going to bastardize the tournament? also, why is the current system so perfect? to truly find the best wrestler, you wouldn't limit the tournament to one wrestler per team, or to only D1 wrestlers, or require that the athletes be enrolled in a school to begin with.

 

no one is proposing we chuck the baby out with the bathwater. whats the legitimate worst scenario you can imagine should the changes take place?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...