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AnklePicker

Are Regional Training Centers an unfair advantage?

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9 minutes ago, AnklePicker said:

IMO RTCs, great for international wrestling, bad for ncaa wrestling. 

Can't say I share your opinion, but can't say its because you're wrong.  Truth is it very well may be bad overall for NCAA wrestling.  That then leads to the question which is more important to you (anyone)..a more even NCAA field or better senior level international results.

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I also disagree that RTC's are bad for NCAA wrestling. RTC's are good for the sport entirely, and this goes for the high school kids all the way up to the Snyders, J'Dens, JBs, Dakes and DTs of the sport. 

There was a year or so where Iowa fans crapped all over themselves claiming PSU was using the NLWC to "slush fund" the PSU program. Pyles addressed this specific paranoia nicely on FRL today. It isn't like incoming athletes need to be told the senior guys at NLWC make money. The same goes for JB at Nebraska, Snyder and Stieber at OhioRTC, all the former Hawkeyes that are still wrestling …… etc. 

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AMERICAN WRESTLING IS THRIVING. Please don’t mess this up and scrap the RTC system that’s obviously working so well. Internationally we’ve been thriving at all levels in freestyle and it’s come at no expense to NCAA wrestling.

NCAA wrestling is as healthy and strong as its ever been...at or near all time highs by pretty much any measure of popularity. The RTC system has exposed more wrestlers at an earlier age to elite level coaches and training partners. Would it be better for NCAA wrestling if we took guys like Snyder out of tOSU room, JB out of Nebraska’s room, Dake out of Cornell’s room and moved them all to Colorado Springs? 

The RTC system has obviously brought more desperately needed money into our sport. Senior level athletes can finally make a decent living and stick with wrestling longer than they previously could/did. That impact is already abundantly clear in our increased senior level depth, which historically was one of our biggest deficiencies. We’ve never had parity in NCAA wrestling and never will and IMO that’s primarily because elite wrestlers know iron sharpens iron and will always go to where the best practice partners and coaches are. Should we go back to our old system of no NCAA parity and our senior level athletes living in poverty or stick with our current system that doesn’t have much NCAA parity but allows our NCAA wrestlers to continue wrestling after graduation without qualifying for food stamps?

Maybe things have gone too far when it comes specifically to recruiting and the RTC’s hiring parents, etc. But that should result in some modification (maybe give RTC coaches and athletes booster status with the NCAA?) not scraping the entire RTC system that’s working so well. 

Edited by MDogg

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2 hours ago, MDogg said:

AMERICAN WRESTLING IS THRIVING. Please don’t mess this up and scrap the RTC system that’s obviously working so well. Internationally we’ve been thriving at all levels in freestyle and it’s come at no expense to NCAA wrestling.

NCAA wrestling is as healthy and strong as its ever been...at or near all time highs by pretty much any measure of popularity. The RTC system has exposed more wrestlers at an earlier age to elite level coaches and training partners. Would it be better for NCAA wrestling if we took guys like Snyder out of tOSU room, JB out of Nebraska’s room, Dake out of Cornell’s room and moved them all to Colorado Springs? 

The RTC system has obviously brought more desperately needed money into our sport. Senior level athletes can finally make a decent living and stick with wrestling longer than they previously could/did. That impact is already abundantly clear in our increased senior level depth, which historically was one of our biggest deficiencies. We’ve never had parity in NCAA wrestling and never will and IMO that’s primarily because elite wrestlers know iron sharpens iron and will always go to where the best practice partners and coaches are. Should we go back to our old system of no NCAA parity and our senior level athletes living in poverty or stick with our current system that doesn’t have much NCAA parity but allows our NCAA wrestlers to continue wrestling after graduation without qualifying for food stamps?

Maybe things have gone too far when it comes specifically to recruiting and the RTC’s hiring parents, etc. But that should result in some modification (maybe give RTC coaches and athletes booster status with the NCAA?) not scraping the entire RTC system that’s working so well. 

I agree with much of what you said, but there is an expense and it’s a big one. The RTCs require a tremendous cost that must be fund raised for.  That’s much easier for some than it is for others.  You may chalk that up to just working hard but I don’t think Cary Kolat, Brian Smith and John Smith are opposed to hard work. 

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44 minutes ago, AnklePicker said:

I agree with much of what you said, but there is an expense and it’s a big one. The RTCs require a tremendous cost that must be fund raised for.  That’s much easier for some than it is for others.  You may chalk that up to just working hard but I don’t think Cary Kolat, Brian Smith and John Smith are opposed to hard work. 

I never said anything about anyone’s work ethic. I know Willie did on the podcast but I’m obviously not Willie. All things involving fundraising are easier at larger schools with a history of success have a larger and more engaged fanbase that make fundraising much easier. 

I don’t think we should settle for a “equality through lowest common denominator” approach where Iowa or Cornell can’t invest large sums into their wresting programs just because others like Campbell or Rider can’t. 

Are RTC’s a significant advantage? Of course. But so is the fact Alabama football pays its assistant coaches/coordinators more than 80% of other D1 schools pay their head coach. Same goes for Oregon’s over the top athletic facilities, etc. Its only an unfair advantage if others aren’t ALLOWED to do the same thing. As long as the RTC model is available to every program that wants to build one I think it’s a fair advantage, not an unfair advantage. 

 

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1 hour ago, AnklePicker said:

I agree with much of what you said, but there is an expense and it’s a big one. The RTCs require a tremendous cost that must be fund raised for.  That’s much easier for some than it is for others.  You may chalk that up to just working hard but I don’t think Cary Kolat, Brian Smith and John Smith are opposed to hard work. 

The best guys have a talent advantage from which they can fund raise. The better you are the easier it gets. It mirrors life itself. Nothing unfair at all about it.

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3 hours ago, TBar1977 said:

The best guys have a talent advantage from which they can fund raise. The better you are the easier it gets. It mirrors life itself. Nothing unfair at all about it.

Yes but whenever possible we try to create equity in sports so that the little guy does have a chance.

Why do you think some coaches have a problem with it?   

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1 hour ago, AnklePicker said:

Yes but whenever possible we try to create equity in sports so that the little guy does have a chance.

Why do you think some coaches have a problem with it?   

1. Getting rid of RTC's won't create equity or parity at all. It would do just the opposite. 

2. Until I heard FRL today claim Brian Smith state something like RTC's were a lot of work, implying he didn't wish to put in the effort, I'd have said coaches who have a problem with RTC's short sightedly thought other coaches had some unfair advantage that needed to be quashed. 

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8 hours ago, TBar1977 said:

1. Getting rid of RTC's won't create equity or parity at all. It would do just the opposite. 

2. Until I heard FRL today claim Brian Smith state something like RTC's were a lot of work, implying he didn't wish to put in the effort, I'd have said coaches who have a problem with RTC's short sightedly thought other coaches had some unfair advantage that needed to be quashed. 

Please explain number 1 and so you do think that Brian Smith, John Smith and Cary Kolat want a change because RTCs are a lot of work?  You think those guys are afraid of hard work?

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The one thing I’ll say about it is would collegiate athletes at say....something like a Columbia university....have opportunities to train with world and Olympic champions....if not for RTC system?

Yes the reality of it may mean the rich get richer. But is Columbia ever going to compete as a program with teams in the big ten?  No. So let’s not take these opportunities away from those athletes. 

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It is absolutely an unfair advantage. The question is whether or not the unfairness is worth dealing with in order to get the benefits.

To me, the weirdest thing about the RTC model is that they exist ostensibly to help develop international wrestling success, but the people who donate to them do so in order to help make a college team better.

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12 minutes ago, IronChef said:

It is absolutely an unfair advantage. The question is whether or not the unfairness is worth dealing with in order to get the benefits.

1. Schools with more football fans (meaning more money) have the exact same advantage, so it's an advantage but it's not unfair. What is next? Forbidding Oklahoma and Ohio State from having more football fans?

2. How will "dealing with" rtc's get benefits for weaker college programs. I say it won't work out that way at all. 

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I look at it from the stand point of the benefit gained to our developmental age groups.  For our 16U and Juniors to have access to world class training and partners does nothing but help them grow and develop into the leaders on our Senior Level teams.  I know living in the South, and having access to Dan Dennis and the RTC at UTC has been a HUGE benefit to our Southern State's programs.  For example ALL of Georgia's Fargo champions and quite a few of the placers spent time training at the RTC.  I pray they do not end these programs as it will be a stab in the heart to our sport.

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1 hour ago, AnklePicker said:

Please explain number 1 and so you do think that Brian Smith, John Smith and Cary Kolat want a change because RTCs are a lot of work?  You think those guys are afraid of hard work?

I thought, based on the flo podcast, that the Smiths were anti-RTC and that Kolat was pro-RTC.  Didn't they bring up Kolat as an example of a small school coach that likes the RTC to contrast the notion that only big schools benefit from them.

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8 minutes ago, Fishbane said:

I thought, based on the flo podcast, that the Smiths were anti-RTC and that Kolat was pro-RTC.  Didn't they bring up Kolat as an example of a small school coach that likes the RTC to contrast the notion that only big schools benefit from them.

I thought the same thing when I heard that.

I think a few coaches are just stuck on a simplistic view of RTC's. They see a rival RTC has a top notch senior level guy getting paid and they realize that can attract recruits and since they don't have the same they want it shut down. 

The schools with the most wrestling fans with the most financial support are going to come out on top because they will always have the best coaches. facilities, and best wrestlers.

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7 minutes ago, TBar1977 said:

I thought the same thing when I heard that.

I think a few coaches are just stuck on a simplistic view of RTC's. They see a rival RTC has a top notch senior level guy getting paid and they realize that can attract recruits and since they don't have the same they want it shut down. 

The schools with the most wrestling fans with the most financial support are going to come out on top because they will always have the best coaches. facilities, and best wrestlers.

Which is basically the case for college football, basketball, swimming, gymnastics...etc etc. 

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45 minutes ago, IronChef said:

It is absolutely an unfair advantage. The question is whether or not the unfairness is worth dealing with in order to get the benefits.

To me, the weirdest thing about the RTC model is that they exist ostensibly to help develop international wrestling success, but the people who donate to them do so in order to help make a college team better.

Inequitable perhaps, but not unfair as long as all schools have the option of starting an RTC available to them. How is it any more unfair than something like tOSU’s new over the top wrestling facilities? Clearly small schools can’t keep up with something like that either. Nor can all D1 schools afford 9.9 wrestling scholarships.

BUT even if I were to accept your premise that it is unfair, I would still say that yes it is worth it. What’s the expense? The non-existent parity in NCAA wrestling? NCAA wrestling would still be vastly inequitable even if we got rid of RTC’s. It’s just that our senior level athletes would be relegated back into borderline poverty and our younger athletes would have less access to elite coaches and training partners.

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4 minutes ago, MDogg said:

 and our younger athletes would have less access to elite coaches and training partners.

And thereby be at a lesser level of skill and development when they hit the NCAA mars. 

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Kolat is definitively anti-RTC.  He's one of the most vocal opponents of the RTC system.  

The fact of the matter is Kolat is at a small private school with relatively modest funding, a small donor base, and limited value proposition for most recruits, outside of his own abilities as a coach.  He wants to take away RTCs because he's sitting in the same 250 mile RTC radius as two better, more well funded programs.  How about we also take away Kolat's summer camps, and truly make it a "level playing field." Wonder if he'd change his tone then...

B. Smith blew it, plain and simple.  He had a transcendent talent willing to live and train at his RTC in Columbia and he failed to provide the right partners, funding, training situation to make it work.  Call it not wanting to work, or call it sour grapes, whatever, he just doesn't want other programs to have the ability to do something that he failed at himself.  What separates Columbia from Raleigh or Lincoln?  

J. Smith is just a classic selfish actor, as most every NCAA coach is.  How many years did he benefit from a third party funding source, and having senior level guys train alongside his teams?  Now that he's fallen behind a bit though, it's unfair.  It's also curious that John would cry "recruiting advantage," considering he's got the #1 class of 2020 incoming next year.  I'm sure that has nothing to do with the timing of his big grandstand moment.  

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This is going to upset some people but I can see the NCAA banning the RTC's on a college campus in the near future.  The RTC's will be required to move to a facility off campus if they continue to operate.  

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16 minutes ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

Kolat is definitively anti-RTC.  He's one of the most vocal opponents of the RTC system.  

The fact of the matter is Kolat is at a small private school with relatively modest funding, a small donor base, and limited value proposition for most recruits, outside of his own abilities as a coach.  He wants to take away RTCs because he's sitting in the same 250 mile RTC radius as two better, more well funded programs.  How about we also take away Kolat's summer camps, and truly make it a "level playing field." Wonder if he'd change his tone then...

B. Smith blew it, plain and simple.  He had a transcendent talent willing to live and train at his RTC in Columbia and he failed to provide the right partners, funding, training situation to make it work.  Call it not wanting to work, or call it sour grapes, whatever, he just doesn't want other programs to have the ability to do something that he failed at himself.  What separates Columbia from Raleigh or Lincoln?  

J. Smith is just a classic selfish actor, as most every NCAA coach is.  How many years did he benefit from a third party funding source, and having senior level guys train alongside his teams?  Now that he's fallen behind a bit though, it's unfair.  It's also curious that John would cry "recruiting advantage," considering he's got the #1 class of 2020 incoming next year.  I'm sure that has nothing to do with the timing of his big grandstand moment.  

John Smith has dedicated his life to growing the sport of wrestling on every level. I think his opposition to some aspects of the current setup are a lot more nuanced than the FLO guys put out there. College wrestling is governed by the NCAA but the RTC system isn't. That means there are tons of opportunities for cheating. To me that is the rub a lot of schools have. Not fundraising but the chances it gives programs to skirt NCAA rules on scholarship allotments. I think if the NCAA was clear on the RTCs a lot of the criticism would die down. Right now they live in a grey area and if the NCAA started really poking around a lot of them probably wouldn't hold up to much scrutiny. The RTC system as it is currently set up would never fly in a sport the NCAA paid any attention to. 

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3 minutes ago, Lurker said:

Which is basically the case for college football, basketball, swimming, gymnastics...etc etc. 

Yes, of course the programs with the most resources and success have an advantage but at least in football, basketball and gymnastics at least those schools don't control the funding for competition at the next level of competition too.  Brian Smith is right that running an RTC is a lot of work.  Imagine if Urban Meyer not only had to coach the Buckeyes, but also had to operate the Cleveland Browns so that he could attract the best recruits and then have a place for them to train after they graduate.  If it gets to the point where to run a wrestling program at a top University requires you have to have an RTC, a program that ostensibly has nothing to do with the university, are these two programs not too intermingled?  

Supposing Sanderson retires and Penn State begins to look for a new head coach.  Will they not also in effect be looking for the next coach/administrator of the NLWC?  Will prospective coaches be asked about it?  The NLWC has assets of over $5 million.  

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10 minutes ago, osufan12 said:

John Smith has dedicated his life to growing the sport of wrestling on every level. I think his opposition to some aspects of the current setup are a lot more nuanced than the FLO guys put out there. College wrestling is governed by the NCAA but the RTC system isn't. That means there are tons of opportunities for cheating. To me that is the rub a lot of schools have. Not fundraising but the chances it gives programs to skirt NCAA rules on scholarship allotments. I think if the NCAA was clear on the RTCs a lot of the criticism would die down. Right now they live in a grey area and if the NCAA started really poking around a lot of them probably wouldn't hold up to much scrutiny. The RTC system as it is currently set up would never fly in a sport the NCAA paid any attention to. 

I couldn’t be more pro-RTC but I do agree there needs to be some level of reform or oversight. I mean whenever you hear this many D1 coaches say it’s the “Wild West” and there are virtually no rules I think we should take them at their word. In addition to the FRL discussion go read the article on trackwrestling. Top level coaches are on the record saying things to the effect of “we aren’t paying our college age wrestlers through our RTC but the current system results in such a massive loophole it would be really easy to do.” I agree that’s a problem. I also think it’s a bad look when anti-RTC crusaders like John Smith name Daton Fix’s father as his program’s RTC coach (caveat: that assumes it’s a paid position, if not then I don’t see a problem).

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