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Letter from NWCA President Rob Koll

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I'd prefer not starting another thread on the same topic. But I have a feeling that this would get lost being mixed in with all the dialogue that's taken place in the other threads that are up. This is a letter from Rob Koll. It should give everyone here some insight into what is taking place and the mindset of the NWCA members for moving foward with this proposal.

 

http://www.nwcaonline.com/nwcawebsite/News/2012/09/11/division-i-national-duals-update

 

Sep 11, 2012

 

To: Wrestling Stakeholders

 

Fr: Rob Koll, President/NWCA

 

Re: DI National Duals Update

 

Date: September 10, 2012

 

On behalf of the NWCA Board of Directors, we want to provide you with a status report on an NCAA DI National Duals proposal that is going before the NCAA Championship Cabinet for a vote on September 11. If it passes there, it must still make it through the Presidents Council in November. I’m guessing that many of you have heard bits and pieces of this because it has been quite controversial among our DI wrestling coaches and extended community.

 

As a matter of background, National Wrestling Hall of Fame member, John Graham, initially created this national dual meet concept in 1981 by forming Virginia Duals. In 1989, John Graham asked that the NWCA assume control of the event so it could eventually become a true National Dual Meet Championship. The National Duals was eventually titled, the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in honor of one of the founding members of the NWCA (Cliff Keen).

 

Over the years, the event enjoyed considerable success but never really became the true national dual meet championship it was intended to be because one or more of the top teams would routinely abstain from participating each year. It has become apparent to us that the only way a true National Dual Meet Championship will ever be realized is if the NCAA sanctions it. For this reason, we have been communicating this strategy to the wrestling community for a period of time.

 

The need for a national dual meet championship has never been greater as evidenced by the following:


    [*:1p2ajnqf]We need a way to make intercollegiate wrestling more relevant on every college campus. Here is our DI trend from 1982 to 2012 operating under the current individual NCAA Championship model: 147 teams/1982, 110 teams/1992, 87 teams/2002, 77 teams/2012. We believe growing our spectator base during the regular season around exciting dual meets (that lead to a post season championship) will substantially grow our spectator base and make wrestling more relevant on each college campuses.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]The DI wrestling spectator base has been stagnant for over a decade. Ten years ago, we had 3 teams with an average fan base of 4000 or more and 10 other teams with 1000 fans or more. Ten years later, it is relatively unchanged. A careful analysis of every mainstream spectator sport in America tells us that they have one thing in common. Essentially, the outcome of every regular season competition ultimately determines advancement to the post season. This dynamic is critical for creating fan and media excitement in intercollegiate wrestling.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]The new duals concept provides an opportunity for more student athletes to participate in a national championship who otherwise would not have the opportunity to compete in the individual championships.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Our sport needs and deserves to have a second marquee event that is nationally televised (ESPN is interested in televising NCAA National Duals in addition to an NCAA individual championship).
    [*:1p2ajnqf]The NCAA has conducted a demographic study of the spectators who attend the NCAA DI Championships and has discovered that we have an aging fan base we need a strategy to attract a younger crowd and/or new fans to our sport. We believe the dual meet format will be much more attractive to school alumni and non-wrestling fans.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Historically, university administrations have not hesitated to eliminate intercollegiate wrestling programs even though they have placed high in the NCAA individual championships. Some recent examples would be Fresno State, UC Davis, and University of Oregon all had recent Top 25 finishes and NCAA champions within a few years of being dropped. Examples of smaller schools are:


    [*:1p2ajnqf]Liberty University dropped wrestling after advancing 4 wrestlers to the NCAAs
    [*:1p2ajnqf]UNC Greensboro dropped wrestling after advancing 5 wrestlers to the NCAAs that year (most ever).
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Slippery Rock dropped wrestling after advancing 5 wrestlers to the NCAAs (most since 1973)

The NCAA will continue to completely support the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as is (recognizing All Americans, providing per diems, etc.). The one caveat that has clearly created the most controversy among our coaches is that the official team champion would be crowned at the dual meet championship and no longer the individual championship. While the NWCA hoped to have team scores at both championships, it became clear that the NCAA can’t bend on this.

 

On August 3, 2012, the DI representatives of the NWCA Board of Directors (Brian Smith/Missouri, Rob Koll/Cornell, Mark Cody/Oklahoma, Chris Ayers/Princeton, Mike Rogers/F&M, Jim Zalesky/Oregon State, Tom Ryan/Ohio State, Steve Garland/Virginia), discussed the caveat of the NCAA no longer keeping team score at the individual NCAA Championships. The discussion ended in unanimous support of the NCAA National Duals concept with the following strategies to overcome the team scoring concern at the individual championships (should this get passed):


    [*:1p2ajnqf]The NWCA can keep team score at the individual NCAA Championships much like the independent BCS group keeps a national ranking for football teams.


    [*:1p2ajnqf]The NWCA can sponsor secondary national dual meet championship (like the NIT for basketball) for all teams that do not advance to the NCAA DI National Duals.

Immediately following our August 3 Board meeting, this concept was presented in its entirely to all DI coaches who were in attendance at our convention. Approximately 2/3 of our 77 DI wrestling programs were represented at the NWCA convention. As you can

 

imagine, there was some very spirited debate but when all of the dust settled, we were able

 

to get unanimous support from every head/assistant coach in attendance. Over the past few weeks, numerous coaches called for yet one more vote so that EVERY coach could voice his opinion. We subsequently conducted a vote where all 77 DI coaches voted and the measure passed 39-36-2. In addition to being supported by a majority of DI coaches, we also have the support of some very prominent and influential administrators such as:


    [*:1p2ajnqf]Bob Bowlsby, Big12 Commissioner and former athletic director at Stanford & Iowa.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Col Billy Walker, Deputy Athletic Director at Air Force and former chair of the NCAA Wrestling Committee.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Dave Martin, Associate Athletic Director at Oklahoma State University and current chair of the NCAA Wrestling Committee.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Derek van der Merwe, Deputy Athletic Director at Central Michigan University and former chair of the NCAA Wrestling Committee.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Jim Fallis, former Athletic Director at Northern Arizona University and former NCAA Championship Cabinet member.
    [*:1p2ajnqf]Dan Gable

All that said, the NWCA has decided to lend its full support to the proposal as the NCAA Wrestling Committee puts it in front of the NCAA Championship Cabinet for a vote on September 11. Of course, it is impossible to speculate how that vote will turn out.

 

We recognize that the new National Duals concept is NOT a “silver bullet” by itself as it relates to saving college wrestling teams. That is why the NWCA is contracting with Dr. Coyte Cooper at University of North Carolina to develop/implement a comprehensive marketing kit for FREE to all college programs. We must also dedicate considerable time to addressing our DI conference infrastructure challenges (football and basketball conference realignment have made numerous wrestling conferences vulnerable). Further, we must continue to improve intercollegiate wrestling’s overall ranking with the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) so we have better eligibility and graduation rates. Moreover, we have also invested heavily into coaching development so that our coaches are the absolute best stewards of their respective programs. Needless to say, we still have a lot of work ahead of us but we are making great progress on all fronts.

 

Simply stated, growing the spectator and media support and convincing the key decision-making administrators on each campus that there is a huge community outpouring of support for their wrestling program is imperative to protecting the precious 77 DI wrestling programs we have remaining. It’s hard for many administrators to justify spending $300,000 to $500,000 per year for a wrestling program with home dual meet crowds of less than 50 and multiple forfeits in the lineups (despite whatever success a few wrestlers might have at the individual NCAA Championships). While there are some calculated risks in this move, we believe it pales in comparison to the risk of doing nothing.

 

We believe Albert Einstein said it best. “The definition of insanity is when you continue to do the same things and expect a different outcome.” We have lost over one half of the DI wrestling programs since 1975 under the current NCAA Championship model. We believe that if we don’t act, we could end up like men’s gymnastics with 16 college teams remaining. For us to think we can transform intercollegiate wrestling into a mainstream spectator sport under our current NCAA Championship infrastructure is to suggest we can accomplish something that no mainstream spectator sport in America has been able to do.

 

In summary, I believe legendary wrestler and wrestling coach Dan Gable said it best: “I am for moving forward whether it works or not, especially if there is little risk that it can set us backward. Going from there, I am not a status quo guy. If this works, we will have improved college wrestling 100% by going from one great event to two. There isn’t much in life we can improve by 100%.” One thing is for certain. We have a passionate wrestling community that will NEVER let wrestling fail. If this concept doesn’t pass, we will find an alternative. We will be sure to keep you abreast on our progress of the National Duals proposal as well as other important initiatives. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions.

 


    [*:1p2ajnqf]
    National Duals Proposal

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Outstanding letter. Thanks for posting.

 

Dan Gable's quote at the end is perfect.

 

For those that are screaming for data, am curious at exactly what analyses you want done -- what data, from who and what math would you like to see done, then what actions would you take based on the results you would expect (or perhaps not expect)? It's too easy to shout for more data --- to be heard you need to be explicit in exactly what data, what your hypothesis is you need to have tested, and what alternative solutions might be that you want tested for.

 

The situation we are in reminds me of a cartoon I have up in my office ... where a guy behind a desk tells a fellow in front of his desk "Let's ask for even more data so we can put off making a decision" Another way to say it is "analysis paralysis" .... you can measure things six ways to Sunday and never actually do anything. A lot of groups have this issue. Koll's note above has some critical data pieces ... let's take action now.

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How would Liberty, UNC-Greensboro or Slippery Rock been helped by a Dual Championship Format? They would never have qualified for the tournamnet so even if the NWCA did this several years ago there is no reason to believe these programs would still be around. At least under the current format they had a presence at the team championship.

 

You know, I have been warming up to the change a bit, but at the same time, I continue to feel insulted by how the NWCA is going about this. These talking points that keep bringing up dropped programs are flat out disingenuous. How college wrestling decides it's champion has nothing to do with it.

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The cited examples of programs that have been dropped is moot point. Under the new proposal not a single one of those teams would make the dual tournament anyway so how would the plan have changed anything for them besides taking away their right to be considered a top 25 team as a result of their scoring at NCAA's? If anything, the new proposal would have hurt those teams even more.

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data I would like to see:

 

EXACTLY how does this specific change plan on saving programs from being dropped...not some generalized grow the fan base remarks, or just saying the past hasn't worked...I mean is it beyond the realm of possibility that maybe the sport we love is simply a niche sport?

 

EXACTLY how is the ESPN TV money going to directly go to save programs, and not just to the NCAA and general schools athletic funds...and how would school like Slippery Rock, etc have been saved by a dual championship that they would never have participated in? I believe many of the programs dropped recently were not because of a lack of funding.

 

EXACTLY how are the teams going to be selected, seeded, etc. Will is be a let everyone get a piece even though deserving teams get left in the cold situation that college football has now with the BCS. In other words, if the top 4 or 5 teams are from the Big Ten one year, will it be seeded in such a way to let other teams into the final 4? OR will it be set up to not allow more than a specific number of schools from one conference into the tournament or final 4? Who is in charge of the seeding?

 

EXACTLY how are teams relevant rankings going to be done, will it now be necessary for teams to face a certain number of high ranked teams to get an RPI up? Will it be better to have a patty cake schedule? Can some smaller teams afford to travel all over to face top teams that won't travel to smaller schools like PSU did for Utah last season? Can program traveling budget then in essence be a limiting factor for team success?

 

EXACTLY how will the changes filter down to different levels of wrestling, will all levels mimic the D1 and be forced into a National Duals scenario...if so, will travel be paid for by the NCAA here also in addition to the individual tournament? Since the NCAA team title will not be at the individual tournament how long until the NCAA decides to quit funding 2 trips?

 

all of these specifics should have been laid out months before a vote of any type...if someone tried to present something in a boardroom or research plan the way it has been handled here they would be out on the streets no time...

 

I am sure there are more questions, but it seems most of the data so far is about why wrestling needs help and not about how this is the solution to fix it. Sure, you can say that things are not working now so we have to try something different. However, change for the sake of change rarely works in pretty much any industry on the planet.

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data I would like to see:

 

EXACTLY how does this specific change plan on saving programs from being dropped...not some generalized grow the fan base remarks, or just saying the past hasn't worked...I mean is it beyond the realm of possibility that maybe the sport we love is simply a niche sport?

This is a plan, not data. Fair to ask the question though.

EXACTLY how is the ESPN TV money going to directly go to save programs, and not just to the NCAA and general schools athletic funds...and how would school like Slippery Rock, etc have been saved by a dual championship that they would never have participated in? I believe many of the programs dropped recently were not because of a lack of funding.

The first part of this is a question about what the plan is, the second part is ask for a question on cause and effect, it is not data that could be analyzed. Still, fair enough.

 

EXACTLY how are the teams going to be selected, seeded, etc. Will is be a let everyone get a piece even though deserving teams get left in the cold situation that college football has now with the BCS. In other words, if the top 4 or 5 teams are from the Big Ten one year, will it be seeded in such a way to let other teams into the final 4? OR will it be set up to not allow more than a specific number of schools from one conference into the tournament or final 4? Who is in charge of the seeding?
This is again about the plan, it is not about data. Very reasonable to want to know more about the plan.

 

EXACTLY how are teams relevant rankings going to be done, will it now be necessary for teams to face a certain number of high ranked teams to get an RPI up? Will it be better to have a patty cake schedule? Can some smaller teams afford to travel all over to face top teams that won't travel to smaller schools like PSU did for Utah last season? Can program traveling budget then in essence be a limiting factor for team success?
Again, what is the plan.

 

EXACTLY how will the changes filter down to different levels of wrestling, will all levels mimic the D1 and be forced into a National Duals scenario...if so, will travel be paid for by the NCAA here also in addition to the individual tournament? Since the NCAA team title will not be at the individual tournament how long until the NCAA decides to quit funding 2 trips?
More questions about the plan. Fair enough.

 

all of these specifics should have been laid out months before a vote of any type...if someone tried to present something in a boardroom or research plan the way it has been handled here they would be out on the streets no time...
Does seem like there is some real beef on how the process worked. But from what I'm seeing here is that what people want is more specifics on how the process would work and how money would flow.

 

I am sure there are more questions, but it seems most of the data so far is about why wrestling needs help and not about how this is the solution to fix it. Sure, you can say that things are not working now so we have to try something different. However, change for the sake of change rarely works in pretty much any industry on the planet.
You again refer to data ... this is the part I don't get. You mainly have questions on how things would work. You aren't pointing out the specific statistical analyses you want performed. What data, what analysis?

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He cited those examples of programs that did well under the old individual championship format AND STILL GOT CUT. It is a direct response to Cael's politicking behind the scenes with other coaches.

 

 

Right, folks missed the point. Even with success getting individuals to the individual championship, teams were being dropped. The current approach has led to, or at least accompanied, the dwindling of the sport.

 

The approach being proposed is not being proposed as a singular solution. It is a step in the right direction to improve awareness and interest in the sport. We can continue to build on this in the future, if it proves to be successful.

 

Folks are making up pretend justifications so that they can knock them down. Slow down, breath a bit.

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Ok, if it 'improves awareness and interest in the sport', what brings more awareness to the Oregon wrestling team? Having two AA's one being a national champion and finishing 22nd at the national tournament, or having two AA's one being a national champion and not making the National Duals tournament?

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data I would like to see:

 

EXACTLY how does this specific change plan on saving programs from being dropped...not some generalized grow the fan base remarks, or just saying the past hasn't worked...I mean is it beyond the realm of possibility that maybe the sport we love is simply a niche sport?

This is a plan, not data. Fair to ask the question though.

EXACTLY how is the ESPN TV money going to directly go to save programs, and not just to the NCAA and general schools athletic funds...and how would school like Slippery Rock, etc have been saved by a dual championship that they would never have participated in? I believe many of the programs dropped recently were not because of a lack of funding.

The first part of this is a question about what the plan is, the second part is ask for a question on cause and effect, it is not data that could be analyzed. Still, fair enough.

 

EXACTLY how are the teams going to be selected, seeded, etc. Will is be a let everyone get a piece even though deserving teams get left in the cold situation that college football has now with the BCS. In other words, if the top 4 or 5 teams are from the Big Ten one year, will it be seeded in such a way to let other teams into the final 4? OR will it be set up to not allow more than a specific number of schools from one conference into the tournament or final 4? Who is in charge of the seeding?
This is again about the plan, it is not about data. Very reasonable to want to know more about the plan.

 

EXACTLY how are teams relevant rankings going to be done, will it now be necessary for teams to face a certain number of high ranked teams to get an RPI up? Will it be better to have a patty cake schedule? Can some smaller teams afford to travel all over to face top teams that won't travel to smaller schools like PSU did for Utah last season? Can program traveling budget then in essence be a limiting factor for team success?
Again, what is the plan.

 

EXACTLY how will the changes filter down to different levels of wrestling, will all levels mimic the D1 and be forced into a National Duals scenario...if so, will travel be paid for by the NCAA here also in addition to the individual tournament? Since the NCAA team title will not be at the individual tournament how long until the NCAA decides to quit funding 2 trips?
More questions about the plan. Fair enough.

 

all of these specifics should have been laid out months before a vote of any type...if someone tried to present something in a boardroom or research plan the way it has been handled here they would be out on the streets no time...
Does seem like there is some real beef on how the process worked. But from what I'm seeing here is that what people want is more specifics on how the process would work and how money would flow.

 

I am sure there are more questions, but it seems most of the data so far is about why wrestling needs help and not about how this is the solution to fix it. Sure, you can say that things are not working now so we have to try something different. However, change for the sake of change rarely works in pretty much any industry on the planet.
You again refer to data ... this is the part I don't get. You mainly have questions on how things would work. You aren't pointing out the specific statistical analyses you want performed. What data, what analysis?

 

I guess the answer would be data an research on how this will improve anything...all of the "data" presented is on why wrestling isn't mainstream...there is not a shred of marketing or polling research on how this plan helps. One way to get data would be to simply create a national duals that works, draws large attendance where ever it is, and is a suitable national championship before shoving it through.

 

Is there any research on dual meets being more exciting for a casual viewer? Is there any data on will people be willing to travel to a final 4 if their team is not involved? If so how far would they be willing to travel, and how much would they be willing to spend? What percentage of devoted fanbase would be willing to travel for essentially 2 or three dual meets? Again, how far and how much? Will it be necessary to have the event in Iowa every year along with the other divisions to generate a large crowd? The only data in this regard is from last year, when it seems the answer is probably yes.

 

Any data on how much money would need to be generated to save the programs that recently were lost? How much money of the TV contract would actually get into the hands of these programs? Would this be even close to what is needed to sustain wrestling? Correlation rarely implies causation, and most of the "data" presented so far is very loosely corollary at best.

 

Maybe our fanbase isn't aging as much as it is timed so the younger parents and athletes are busy with their own events? Any data on why even some of the top programs draw 2,000 fans or less to meets? What percentage of people would be willing to attend meets on weekend during the high school season vs right after?

 

If the proponents feel that a team dual title is the true way to label a champion that is one thing, but I do not think there is any data regarding how this will help save anything beyond some platitudes and a hope and a prayer mentality.

 

The onus should be on the side of those wanting the giant change to provide yes both the data and plan months or years ahead of any votes. I don't see any data showing that this would even be a part of a solution besides presumptions.

 

I have no idea how the team I root for voted in any of this, and am not for or against it one way or the other, but it just seems that there is way more questions on both proof of concept and actual concept for such a huge change.

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How would Liberty, UNC-Greensboro or Slippery Rock been helped by a Dual Championship Format? They would never have qualified for the tournamnet so even if the NWCA did this several years ago there is no reason to believe these programs would still be around.

 

 

Liberty and UNC-Greensboro both won their conference tournaments in 2010, I think it's safe to assume that both teams would have had an excellent shot at winning their conference dual championships and thus qualifying for the national dual championships that year.

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He cited those examples of programs that did well under the old individual championship format AND STILL GOT CUT. It is a direct response to Cael's politicking behind the scenes with other coaches.

 

 

Right, folks missed the point. Even with success getting individuals to the individual championship, teams were being dropped. The current approach has led to, or at least accompanied, the dwindling of the sport.

 

The approach being proposed is not being proposed as a singular solution. It is a step in the right direction to improve awareness and interest in the sport. We can continue to build on this in the future, if it proves to be successful.

 

Folks are making up pretend justifications so that they can knock them down. Slow down, breath a bit.

 

I would think the pretend justifications are being made by those presenting the plan without showing how any of this will change anything. Something they should have the responsibility of doing.

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How would Liberty, UNC-Greensboro or Slippery Rock been helped by a Dual Championship Format? They would never have qualified for the tournamnet so even if the NWCA did this several years ago there is no reason to believe these programs would still be around.

 

 

Liberty and UNC-Greensboro both won their conference tournaments in 2010, I think it's safe to assume that both teams would have had an excellent shot at winning their conference dual championships and thus qualifying for the national dual championships that year.

Liberty won their conference (East Regional) every year from when they restarted their program to when they dropped it.

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I guess the answer would be data an research on how this will improve anything...all of the "data" presented is on why wrestling isn't mainstream...there is not a shred of marketing or polling research on how this plan helps. One way to get data would be to simply create a national duals that works, draws large attendance where ever it is, and is a suitable national championship before shoving it through.

I get the desire to have a more detailed plan and the desire not to have hit 'shoved through'. I'll defer to the powers that be on the process being followed.

 

Is there any research on dual meets being more exciting for a casual viewer? Is there any data on will people be willing to travel to a final 4 if their team is not involved? If so how far would they be willing to travel, and how much would they be willing to spend? What percentage of devoted fanbase would be willing to travel for essentially 2 or three dual meets? Again, how far and how much? Will it be necessary to have the event in Iowa every year along with the other divisions to generate a large crowd? The only data in this regard is from last year, when it seems the answer is probably yes.

A lot of questions here. As a grouping, they seem fair. I'd flip this around a bit though .... what thresholds would you feel are necessary for you to say .... OK, yes, we can try this? Before doing the research, you should know what will be 'good enough' in your mind. FYI, I think the answers in general will be fairly low. I don't expect huge travel to arise from this. Instead, it will be TV that will make the difference.

 

Any data on how much money would need to be generated to save the programs that recently were lost? How much money of the TV contract would actually get into the hands of these programs? Would this be even close to what is needed to sustain wrestling? Correlation rarely implies causation, and most of the "data" presented so far is very loosely corollary at best.

I like these questions. Gets to the heart of the plan. However, the initial answers may not be the final answers since I think the full expectation is that this will be a long, hard-fought battle to save and revive our sport. There are no silver bullets.
Maybe our fanbase isn't aging as much as it is timed so the younger parents and athletes are busy with their own events? Any data on why even some of the top programs draw 2,000 fans or less to meets? What percentage of people would be willing to attend meets on weekend during the high school season vs right after?
It is hard to refute a trend. Parents and athletes have been busy with their own events for a long time. Sounds like the data is firm in the fact that our fan base is aging. I'm not sure what the questions above are getting at.

 

If the proponents feel that a team dual title is the true way to label a champion that is one thing, but I do not think there is any data regarding how this will help save anything beyond some platitudes and a hope and a prayer mentality.

I have seen data saying that we have a problem. I have seen discussion on a TV contract with these championships being televised. I've seen data that people do attend dual meets even though there is no dual meet champion crowned. I've heard reasoned arguments that one way to engender more fans is to better promote the team aspect of our sport. It would be interesting to see more 'data' on this point.

 

The next point is a separate point .. not directed at the post above. I think the folks that are clamoring for data, need to narrow down what data they are looking for to a few select points. I think when someone rattles off a lot of different requests for data rather than throwing out a few clear hypotheses that should be tested, it hurts the case of the person making the request. Seems like obstruction rather than clearly thought out rationale.

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How would Liberty, UNC-Greensboro or Slippery Rock been helped by a Dual Championship Format? They would never have qualified for the tournamnet so even if the NWCA did this several years ago there is no reason to believe these programs would still be around. At least under the current format they had a presence at the team championship.

 

You know, I have been warming up to the change a bit, but at the same time, I continue to feel insulted by how the NWCA is going about this. These talking points that keep bringing up dropped programs are flat out disingenuous. How college wrestling decides it's champion has nothing to do with it.

 

 

Ironically, Liberty is the program that would have benefited the greatest from this format.

 

For those of you that don't know, Liberty had a relatively solid dual meet program. Their team basically have 10 athletes that were all capable of qualifying for nationals (though no top 20 guys). They finished the year 14-7 with their biggest win coming over a 16-4 Maryland program that had knocked off American, Virginia, Navy, Northern Iowa, Penn, and North Carolina.

 

I think you see more match-ups coming into play with duals and thus duals and results are more exciting. You can have two teams that are nearly balanced in tournaments but the dual can be a blowout due to poor matchups and you can have a team that is not as deep in a tournmanet setting that matches up well and knocks them off in a dual. This is good for sport. It is good for wrestling and is the reason sports radio talk about the matchups of two teams for a week leading up to a game.

 

 

 

Liberty beats Maryland

Maryland beats Navy

Maryland beats #18 American

#18 American beats Arizona State

#18 American beats #20 Oregon State

#18 American beats #22 Pitt

Navy Beats #8 Lehigh

#20 Oregon State beats #12 Missouri

#20 Oregon State beats #25 Wyoming

#8 Lehigh beats #11 Michigan

#8 Lehigh beats #9 Rutgers

#8 Lehigh beats #1 Cornell

#1 Cornell beats #6 Virginia Tech

#1 Cornell beats #5 Minnesota

 

So if wrestling were like football, where each dual was vital to your post season, there would be people arguing that Liberty could match-up well with Cornell or Minnesota. Now, I think wrestling is easier to determine matchups than football and so my point is not that people would literally be claiming Liberty or Maryland could beat Cornell and Minnesota. My point is that there are a lot more dual results out there that tell us about the excitement level in wrestling than we give it credit for.

 

How many people would have honestly thought that it would have been possible for Liberty to actually be able to have a fan call in to a talk radio show and argue (albeit, a weak arguement, but still justified with some results) that Liberty could potentially beat Navy, American, Arizona State, Oregon State, Pitt, Missouri, Lehigh, Wyoming, Michigan, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, and Cornell?

 

These are the results that make duals exciting. Duals are exciting when you realize all the teams that beat teams that shouldn't. This is why college football is so exciting. The number of home duals typically averages the number of home football games.

 

 

Scenario that could have played out in 2011 if we had an NCAA duals:

 

If each dual was vital to a team's post season run, Lehigh fans (and students) would hate the fact that Navy could have spoiled their chances to make it out of the EIWA. Luckily for them, Lehigh stormed back and knocked off a strong Cornell squad to justify their bid to the NCAA duals. Navy would be arguing that they should be considered for an at large bid and will cite their win over Lehigh which will rally their boosters who get upset when they aren't selected.

 

Oregon State beating bubble team Missouri wouldn't have gone over too well for the wrestling fans in the state of Missouri. You would hear high school coaches talking at a tournament saying "Can you believe they lost that dual? Their whole season is shot now." While another man counters, "No way is our season over. With the schedule we have we just need to knock off a few top teams and we are right back in the mix." Ironically, this is the SEC football arguement each year, where Missouri is, now a member.

 

And, yes, Missouri bounced back. They went on to post wins over American Lehigh, Boise State, and Oklahoma State.

 

 

There are so many scenarios that play out each year in duals that can make people excited about wrestling without having to follow each wrestler's individual results.

 

Sometimes it is the fact that a team spoiled something great that builds a rivalry the most. The fact that Minnesota spoiled Penn State's undefeated season at the first dual, last year, when most fans thought Penn State would run the table to their next national championship crushed some PSU fans, energized Minnesota fans, and made the rest of us just sit back and shake our heads in amazement.

 

This is what sport is all about!

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How would Liberty, UNC-Greensboro or Slippery Rock been helped by a Dual Championship Format? They would never have qualified for the tournamnet so even if the NWCA did this several years ago there is no reason to believe these programs would still be around.

 

 

Liberty and UNC-Greensboro both won their conference tournaments in 2010, I think it's safe to assume that both teams would have had an excellent shot at winning their conference dual championships and thus qualifying for the national dual championships that year.

Liberty won their conference (East Regional) every year from when they restarted their program to when they dropped it.

 

 

So if I'm reading this right guys, you are saying that teams outside the top 20 will be one of the 16 in the tournament as long as they win their conference? Well that's news to me, and that also means the conference title must be determined by when????

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How would Liberty, UNC-Greensboro or Slippery Rock been helped by a Dual Championship Format? They would never have qualified for the tournamnet so even if the NWCA did this several years ago there is no reason to believe these programs would still be around. At least under the current format they had a presence at the team championship.

 

You know, I have been warming up to the change a bit, but at the same time, I continue to feel insulted by how the NWCA is going about this. These talking points that keep bringing up dropped programs are flat out disingenuous. How college wrestling decides it's champion has nothing to do with it.

 

 

Ironically, Liberty is the program that would have benefited the greatest from this format, but yet would have never been saved since they were dropped so the school could move their football program to the FBS level, in hopes of increasing the Liberty brand.

 

For those of you that don't know, Liberty had a relatively solid dual meet program. Their team basically have 10 athletes that were all capable of qualifying for nationals (though no top 20 guys). They finished the year 14-7 with their biggest win coming over a 16-4 Maryland program that had knocked off American, Virginia, Navy, Northern Iowa, Penn, and North Carolina.

 

I think you see more match-ups coming into play with duals and thus duals and results are more exciting. You can have two teams that are nearly balanced in tournaments but the dual can be a blowout due to poor matchups and you can have a team that is not as deep in a tournmanet setting that matches up well and knocks them off in a dual. This is good for sport. It is good for wrestling and is the reason sports radio talk about the matchups of two teams for a week leading up to a game.

 

 

 

Liberty beast Maryland

Maryland beats Navy

Maryland beats #18 American

#18 American beats Arizona State

#18 American beats #20 Oregon State

#18 American beats #22 Pitt

Navy Beats #8 Lehigh

#20 Oregon State beats #12 Missouri

#20 Oregon State beats #25 Wyoming

#8 Lehigh beats #11 Michigan

#8 Lehigh beats #9 Rutgers

#8 Lehigh beats #1 Cornell

#1 Cornell beats #6 Virginia Tech

#1 Cornell beats #5 Minnesota

 

So if wrestling were like football, where each dual was vital to your post season, there would be people arguing that Liberty could match-up well with Cornell or Minnesota. Now, I think wrestling is easier to determine matchups than football and so my point is not that people would literally be claiming Liberty or Maryland could beat Cornell and Minnesota. My point is that there are a lot more dual results out there that tell us about the excitement level in wrestling than we give it credit for.

 

How many people would have honestly thought that it would have been possible for Liberty to actually be able to have a fan call in to a talk radio show and argue (albeit, a weak arguement, but still justified with some results) that Liberty could potentially beat Navy, American, Arizona State, Oregon State, Pitt, Missouri, Lehigh, Wyoming, Michigan, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, and Cornell?

 

These are the results that make duals exciting. Duals are exciting when you realize all the teams that beat teams that shouldn't. This is why college football is so exciting. The number of home duals typically averages the number of home football games.

 

 

Scenario that could have played out in 2011 if we had an NCAA duals:

 

If each dual was vital to a team's post season run, Lehigh fans (and students) would hate the fact that Navy could have spoiled their chances to make it out of the EIWA. Luckily for them, Lehigh stormed back and knocked off a strong Cornell squad to justify their bid to the NCAA duals. Navy would be arguing that they should be considered for an at large bid and will cite their win over Lehigh which will rally their boosters who get upset when they aren't selected.

 

Oregon State beating bubble team Missouri wouldn't have gone over too well for the wrestling fans in the state of Missouri. You would hear high school coaches talking at a tournament saying "Can you believe they lost that dual? Their whole season is shot now." While another man counters, "No way is our season over. With the schedule we have we just need to knock off a few top teams and we are right back in the mix." Ironically, this is the SEC football arguement each year, where Missouri is, now a member.

 

And, yes, Missouri bounced back. They went on to post wins over American Lehigh, Boise State, and Oklahoma State.

 

 

There are so many scenarios that play out each year in duals that can make people excited about wrestling without having to follow each wrestler's individual results.

 

Sometimes it is the fact that a team spoiled something great that builds a rivalry the most. The fact that Minnesota spoiled Penn State's undefeated season at the first dual, last year, when most fans thought Penn State would run the table to their next national championship crushed some PSU fans, energized Minnesota fans, and made the rest of us just sit back and shake our heads in amazement.

 

This is what sport is all about!

Well put. I'm excited for this to begin.

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So if I'm reading this right guys, you are saying that teams outside the top 20 will be one of the 16 in the tournament as long as they win their conference? Well that's news to me, and that also means the conference title must be determined by when????

 

Yes, similar to other NCAA end of season events the winner of conference "x" will send their representative to the NCAA Duals Championship regardless of the team's rank. I haven't seen any details, but supposedly each conference will have a means to determine the conference duals winner.

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