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Being reported on Intermat that NWCA withdrawing proposal

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http://twitter.com/caelsanderson

 

Cael's tweet:

" the nwca's intent was to keep the proposal hidden until it got passed. It took 20 days to see it. Dishonesty all around"

 

Cael's tweet:

"Birds are chirping the NWCA is circling back with another slightly modified proposal to pass next week..unbelievable!! Hope Im hearing wrong"

 

Investing in youth programs and camps will go a long way farther to improve the popularity and business viability of our sport. Far more than changing the format of the national championship. The current national team tournament is a far better format than the national dual tournament for deciding the best team.

 

These significant changes require much more due process than is being offered. This significant change seems to be supported by a minority of supporters while being pushed through in the way that certain health care reforms were pushed through congress a couple of years ago.

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This may come as a shocker but, no one cares about college wrestling. We should be happy that 30,000 will show up to our finals. Duals are a snoozefest. If you think small schools will have more luck with this format you must be voting for Ross Perot. The charm of the NCAA's is a kid from App State might sneak through to the finals...I don't see an App State dual team even making the national duals.

 

What is the NWCA anyway?

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I see people saying 'the current format is the best' but not explaining why? Has Cael outlined his reasoning for opposing the dual meet championships?

 

Personally, I think the changes are right for the sport and would create a 'team' championship that is easier to follow and more exciting for the casual spectator. I agree with almost all the arguments for the proposal and don't see much against it except for 'that's not how we do things around here, this is a conspiracy' from the perennial powerhouses. I want to be a PSU fan and was starting to drift in that direction with their recent success but I am now questioning if Cael has the sports best interest in mind or just his own teams. This could actually be good for helping bring even more interest to the PSU dual's and help them move into & fill out the Byrce Jordan Center.

 

I also don't feel it takes away from the individual tournament. Most people that attend are either die-hard fans or family/friends of participants. It would still be the pinnacle of folkstyle wrestling and just as exciting to watch.

 

My 2 cents.

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Personally, I think the changes are right for the sport and would create a 'team' championship that is easier to follow and more exciting for the casual spectator.

 

How? I can understand the appeal of a dual meet tourney for rabid wrestling fans, and especially those of particular schools that might have stronger dual meet teams than tournament strength, but who are these "casual spectators" that are now going to be more excited with a dual meet tournament? A casual spectator sits on his couch flipping channels. He doesn't pay to travel to college wrestling dual meets.

 

A dual meet tournament is not a bad idea at all. The potential serious downside to the proposal, and the one that needs to be considered thoughtfully over a period of time and not rushed, is this: Will the elimination of the team race from the NCAA tournament damage the tournament? The answer to this question has to be unequivocally, 100 percent NO, otherwise the proposal of a dual meet tournament determining the team champs must be dropped. And I don't know the answer to this question. My initial reaction was no it would not damage the tournament, but after talking to many folks who disagree, I'm starting to think the answer is yes. Most people can only afford to go to one major wrestling event per year, and the drama of the team race, all wrapped up in a few days, is one of the highlights of the whole NCAA tournament, in addition to the great individual wrestling of course. So if we're going to abandon the team race for a Dual meet tournament, we better be darn sure we're not taking anything away from the NCAA tournament, because we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot and potentially losing more fans than we gain.

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I have talked to a lot of people about this. And I have introduced a lot of people to the sport, including taking people that have never watched wrestling before to duals and the NCAAs.

 

The feedback I have gathered is overwhelmingly supportive of a national duals and a simplified understanding of a team title.

 

I think there are so many positives to the national duals and have only heard fears that things might change as the counter argument.

 

If selling youth kids on campus is the answer to build our brand then why hasn't attendance increased as high school wrestling participation has boomed in the last 20 years and the number of available programs to watch compete at the college level has dwindled? The answer to that is rather simple: the system isn't one for fans. Athletes shy away from watching wrestling when they no longer compete, unless if they have been in it long term. One of the primary reasons is because they remember long days in gyms and don't want to spend that much time trying to follow multiple athlete story lines. One on one team is easy to understand and makes it easy for fans to develop favorite wrestlers to follow.

 

Don't tell me the NCAAs are more popular than duals when we only get 50 spectators for every athlete participating at the NCAAs. That ratio is no better than Duquesne averaged for home duals and they had a much better ratio for their last ever dual with Franklin & Marshall. All of the real data supports the move to duals. Some people just don't want to upset the status quo...

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NWCA? doesn't they sponsor a national tournament for club teams? Why not try and workout some of the kinks at the club level?

 

You're confusing the NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) with the NCWA (National Collegiate Wrestling Association).

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My initial reaction was no it would not damage the tournament, but after talking to many folks who disagree, I'm starting to think the answer is yes. Most people can only afford to go to one major wrestling event per year, and the drama of the team race, all wrapped up in a few days, is one of the highlights of the whole NCAA tournament, in addition to the great individual wrestling of course. So if we're going to abandon the team race for a Dual meet tournament, we better be darn sure we're not taking anything away from the NCAA tournament, because we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot and potentially losing more fans than we gain.

 

Most everyone else knows who the favorite is going in and it is rarely tightly contested. Some media outlets play it up a little prior to the tournament, but it generally runs according to script.

 

There are very few fans that can follow the various complex scoring situations that play into the tournament team race. So everyone else has to wait for the scoreboard to updated between rounds to know who is leading at that point, with little reference on upcoming scoring situations for the following rounds.

 

The thing with dual scoring is that you can see it play out right in front of you. The atmosphere of a tightly contested dual is much more fan friendly in terms of excitement.

 

What the NWCA has proposed is to keep the best of both tournaments and give the wrestling fans and wrestlers both. A real team battle in dual and the finest individual matchups in the individual tournament.

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I would like to read Cael's comments to better understand his point of view on this. Can anyone post this information? Also, can someone please list the coaches/individuals on both sides of this argument?

 

Follow the twitter link above. It is a pretty good peak into Cael's noggin. If you follow it closely, you will get to see the stuff that he deletes. It has been enlightening for me.

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I would like to read Cael's comments to better understand his point of view on this. Can anyone post this information? Also, can someone please list the coaches/individuals on both sides of this argument?

 

Follow the twitter link above. It is a pretty good peak into Cael's noggin. If you follow it closely, you will get to see the stuff that he deletes. It has been enlightening for me.

 

 

I am surprised that with the coverage the SID gives PSU wrestling and his involvements in tweets that there have been no actual releases or interviews made by Cael. It is just short one liners that have sporadically come out at less than 140 characters a pop.

 

This is what I honestly find most perplexing about the whole thing. Maybe I have missed Cael's interviews but Bryan Smith, Rob Koll, Drew Pariano, John Smith, and Tom Brands have all at least articulated their views in a way that allows a real discussion to take place.

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As long as attendance at the NCAA individual tournament does not go down, then I don't see any negatives for having a Dual tournament. But rushing into it won't reassure anyone. Imagine if attendance went down at NCAAs. It's one of the only championship events that makes money. If we're talking about saving college wrestling, I don't think we want that event to lose any of its income.

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Personally, I think the changes are right for the sport and would create a 'team' championship that is easier to follow and more exciting for the casual spectator.

 

How? I can understand the appeal of a dual meet tourney for rabid wrestling fans, and especially those of particular schools that might have stronger dual meet teams than tournament strength, but who are these "casual spectators" that are now going to be more excited with a dual meet tournament? A casual spectator sits on his couch flipping channels. He doesn't pay to travel to college wrestling dual meets.

 

A dual meet tournament is not a bad idea at all. The potential serious downside to the proposal, and the one that needs to be considered thoughtfully over a period of time and not rushed, is this: Will the elimination of the team race from the NCAA tournament damage the tournament? The answer to this question has to be unequivocally, 100 percent NO, otherwise the proposal of a dual meet tournament determining the team champs must be dropped. And I don't know the answer to this question. My initial reaction was no it would not damage the tournament, but after talking to many folks who disagree, I'm starting to think the answer is yes. Most people can only afford to go to one major wrestling event per year, and the drama of the team race, all wrapped up in a few days, is one of the highlights of the whole NCAA tournament, in addition to the great individual wrestling of course. So if we're going to abandon the team race for a Dual meet tournament, we better be darn sure we're not taking anything away from the NCAA tournament, because we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot and potentially losing more fans than we gain.

 

 

I would consider causal spectators to be students, alumni and other general fans of the school. As an example, I don't follow basketball or 'know' the sport very well. But when the Pitt basketball team qualifies for the NCAA tournament I start to pay attention and will root for them even though I have no connection to the school, beside living in Pittsburgh. I even turn on the TV to watch them play if I see/hear the schedule. I could care less about the individuals on the team and know even less about the individual match-ups and nuances of the game but its easy for me to look at the scoreboard and understand what is going on. I've even gone to a few games with friends out of curiosity because of the excitement the team generates when they are doing well. I guess I could say the same for Football, Hockey, Baseball, etc. There is something to be said for the excitement & fan friendliness of 'team' sports. Emphasizing that aspect of our sport could help with the 'casual fan'.

 

In addition, individual wrestling matches are hard to follow. Even to people that have been to dozens++ matches but never wrestled themselves. I remember my mother and grandfather asking me questions time & again about what was going on in wrestling matches even though they are intelligent people that had gone to countless events.

 

Then try explaining how the team score was calculated at a tournament without tripping over your own words, counting on your fingers, making a funny face, changing the reasoning twice, then ending with "I don't know, that's just what the announcer said".

 

A really good example of this is that last year the OAC conference (D3) named the wrong team champion after the tournament....only a few days later was an announcement made of the error. Explain that to the casual fan.

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I'll give you an illustration at the state level.

 

Arizona coaches for years wanted a dual meet championship in addition to the individual championship. The individual state championships for all four classes were held at one facility. There was interest in the team races.

 

Then the Arizona Interscholastic Association approved the dual meeet championship as the way to determine the team championship. No team score was kept at the individual championship and no trophies awarded.

 

The dual meet championships drew flies. The only people in attendance were from the 4 schools in the semi finals and finals. Arizona dropped the dual meet championships a couple of years ago.

 

Arizona isn't a great example solely on a state basis, since it isn't a wrestling hotbed. But, it does mirror the nationwide interest in wrestling.

 

Jim Gibbons has said we could hold the invitational in Alaska and 10,000 would show up. I guarantee you that it might help get the sport more TV exposure, but it won't increase the number of wrestling fans attending the tournament. College wrestling fans follow their schools team, if they don't have anybody it in it, they by and large don't go.

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Tirapell, no disrespect but I am interested in hearing what happen to your team and why you guys didn't win. If I remember correctly you guys were highly ranked 1 or 2 of the years while you were at IL. and had a disappointing finish.

 

Honestly, I'm not bashing you or the program but you are one of a few guys that are willing to post on here with your name so your input is well respected. If you decide that you would rather not talk about your team I do understand because someone may take your comments the wrong way.

 

I dn't remember how you guys finished or even who won but I remember thinking that you guys might win it before nationals.

 

 

This thread really isn't about Illinois in 2001, but real quick:

 

We really never had a shot to win. We were trying to get into the Top 4 and had a pretty good tournament, but it was a high scoring year team-wise and we ended up 5th. We had 2 NCAA Champs (seeded 3rd and 4th), 1 runner-up (seeded 7th), and 1 3rd (seeded 5th). We had one major upset at 184 with our #2 seed. He lost to Hrovat in the quarters in overtime and tore his ACL in the match to place -- more bad luck than bad wrestling.

 

125: seeded 11th, finished top 12

133: DNQ

141: unseeded, 1-2

149: 3rd seed, champ

157: unseeded, 1-2

165: 5th seed, 3rd

174: unseeded, 2-2

184: seeded 2nd, 2-2

197: seeded 7th, 2nd

285: seeded 4th, champ

 

The way I see it, it went about as good as it could have with every wrestler but 1 wrestling far above their seed. It just wasn't meant to be I guess. Some years 89 points would have gotten us 2nd or 3rd, just not that year.

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Look, here's the point though...Tom Brands may have drawn some fire from me today, but he is right on one thing: You probably won't see wrestlers going for bonus during the NCAA Championships like we do now, and that might well hurt the on-mat product. That's a very serious consideration, and one that has to be brought up. (actually, this is one thing that drives me nuts about opens...winning by bonus means nothing...it's no coincidence that I've been to two in the last four years, and both of them were because other events were being held there the day before or after)

 

 

BTW, Tom Brands said he didn't go to the 2011 National Duals because it wasn't an end-of-season National Championship, and now he's against this proposal because it's an end-of-season National Championship. While his reasoning is defensible, his evolving position isn't easily, unless he means he didn't want National Duals to exist in the first place. While I understand his new position, it conflicts with his old position (BTW, if you're wondering, I have the interview with Scott Casber on my hard drive...the interview was two years ago today, and if anybody wants it, PM me with your e-mail address).

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I have talked to a lot of people about this. And I have introduced a lot of people to the sport, including taking people that have never watched wrestling before to duals and the NCAAs.

 

The feedback I have gathered is overwhelmingly supportive of a national duals and a simplified understanding of a team title.

 

I think there are so many positives to the national duals and have only heard fears that things might change as the counter argument.

 

If selling youth kids on campus is the answer to build our brand then why hasn't attendance increased as high school wrestling participation has boomed in the last 20 years and the number of available programs to watch compete at the college level has dwindled? The answer to that is rather simple: the system isn't one for fans. Athletes shy away from watching wrestling when they no longer compete, unless if they have been in it long term. One of the primary reasons is because they remember long days in gyms and don't want to spend that much time trying to follow multiple athlete story lines. One on one team is easy to understand and makes it easy for fans to develop favorite wrestlers to follow.

 

Don't tell me the NCAAs are more popular than duals when we only get 50 spectators for every athlete participating at the NCAAs. That ratio is no better than Duquesne averaged for home duals and they had a much better ratio for their last ever dual with Franklin & Marshall. All of the real data supports the move to duals. Some people just don't want to upset the status quo...

 

 

Really good points. Individual tournaments look more well-attended due to more competitors and teams being present. But per competitor or per team, duals are far superior.

 

I just think, like the NWCA apparently does, we need to at least be open to ways to improve visibility in the sport and not be stuck in the status quo because "it's always been done this way". Since 1980, we don't have a very good track record with staying the same.

 

Maybe the current dual format is a bust -- I'm not saying it's the answer. But we all know the potential behind duals and I think we can mostly agree we've hit our peak with what we can do for an individual tournament.

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This whole thing has really made me become less of Cael fan. I still respect the opinions of him and Brands (they have earned it), but it is really a shame that they can't take their focus from what is best for them to what is best for the sport. Obviously, that is the problem here - they want to keep a monopoly on the sport. Koll is a great promoter of the sport and I think he sees the bigger picture. I wish all coaches could do this.

 

I just don't see any real reason why the dual format would not be better than the individual. SHP, I don't think it will down play the importance of bonus points at NCAAs much because a team champion will still be crowned at the individual tourn. Even though, they would not be crowned the "NCAA champion" team, I am sure it will still hold enough prestige to make it a goal for many. Plus, most wrestlers are just focused on advancing and only picking up bonus if they can do so with little risk.

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