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Is college wrestling a business?

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I'm just curious what your opinion on this is.

 

A friend of mine was an All American for a college team. He put in his years, worked his way up and achieved the dream. Didn't win a national title, but he helped his team. He didn't really want to necessarily stay involved with wrestling, he helped coach a little here and there, but he decided to go into other things. His college coach, who to a lot of people is a great guy, said he'd help him out, let him be used as a reference, write a letter for him, you know that kind of thing. But I guess once he finished his senior year and wasn't on the team all that dried up. Just wouldn't return phone calls, emails, etc. Is this the "business" of wrestling? Once you're of no more use to a coach then they don't want to know you? My friend was kind of upset, he'd spent 4 1/2 years busting his ass for this guy, the school, and the program. Graduated with a degree and couldn't get any help from his coach? Is the whole recruiting thing a business too? Just say whatever it takes to get them to sign and then reduce their money or give it to somebody else next year? You aren't left with much recourse since you signed your agreement and if you transfer you'd forfeit a year.

 

It's kind of troubling to me if this is the attitude that college coaches have towards their athletes. Are most college coaches like this, results and business oriented or are there same who value things above that?

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Sounds like the personality of an individual rather than the entire group.

 

I would submit that it is a business, however, most results/business oriented people take the time out of their schedules to do things for their people even if they are past people. That trait usually correlates to their success down the road.

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Maybe the coach didn't feel like your friend really deserved that and told him those things to avoid sounding like an ahole in the moment. Perhaps he had been a great wrestler for him but wasn't a hard worker or had issues off the mat. It is a business but most coaches will go out of their way to help former wrestlers granted that they enjoyed or respected them.

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I can tell you that has not been my experience with college wrestling. I left a Big Ten program after two years...basically failed out of school. After about a year of community college I was ready to try again and the Big Ten coach made a call and helped me get into another school (DII)...something he didn't have to do.

 

It was clear early on that I could handle the wrestling, but juggling academics and athletics was too much for me at the time. I had to make a choice and I chose to focus on school quit the team. The coach had gone out on a limb for me to get me in and I obvioulsy didn't pan out. Still, he helped me hook up with a local high school to coach. We would talk from time to time on campus. He even stopped me at graduation and said that he considered me a success story and he was thrilled I had gotten my degree. He was a really good guy and never made me feel bad or like I had let him down by quiting. Had I of asked him for a reference, I'm sure he would've done it.

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If anything, college wrestling is not ENOUGH of a business.

 

The behavior of the coach you describe has nothing to do with business. It's just an example of a personality flaw - either the coach is a flake or did not have the balls to tell your friend to face-to-face that he was not comfortable giving a reference.

 

Recruiting is a business. It's competitive and risky. Coaches don't recruit kids to come to a program and be their good buddies. They recruit them to fill a spot and contribute to a program. Just as in business, sometimes the personalities click and sometimes they don't. Sometimes differences in personalities can be set aside for the good of the program and sometimes they can't.

 

What college wrestling is not is high school wrestling. College coaches typically treat their wrestlers as adults. They expect their wrestlers to be self starters. They do not have the time or inclination to put up with kids who persist with bad behavior - particularly kids who are not major contributors to the team - because they don't have to. A high school coach spends a lot of his time cleaning up messes, trying to mentor kids with crappy home lives or a lack of discipline. College coaches have the option to send those types of kids packing - and they do.

 

My experience is that most college wrestling coaches are pretty straight shooters and pretty good guys, but they are straight shooters and good guys with a job to do. I still keep in contact with my college coaches, but the relationship is professional, not the father/son dynamic I have with my high school coach.

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IMO colleges are not a business, so wrestling should not be treated as such either. A college's "business" is, or should be anyway, educating young people to allow them to support themselves/lead a satisfying life. At the risk of sounding like a bitter hippie from the 60s, people are more than just figures on a spreadsheet & to me sports are not just a "product" to be analyzed/focus-grouped/packaged for consumption like a cheeseburger at a fastfood joint.

 

That being said, unless there is a personal reason involved, to me it sounds as if that coach is not keeping up his end of the deal he made with the OP's friend. Not good!

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Is this coach successful?

 

There is probably more to the story that your friend isn't telling us but if what you are saying is true then it would seem this coach wont see a lot of long term success since your alumni are who take care of your program.

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I

It's kind of troubling to me if this is the attitude that college coaches have towards their athletes. Are most college coaches like this, results and business oriented or are there same who value things above that?

 

Stop right there. Dont lump in college coaches with this guy. Almost every single college coach I have ever met, even ones I coached against, would go to painfully long lengths for their athletes.

 

Also, its tough to make a judgement against someone you have never met based on the percieved slights and accusations of someone who wants something and feels they arent getting it.

 

Is wrestling a business? Yes, but just because it is a business doesnt mean coaches dont operate ethically. Its seems your idea of business=shady cut throat tactics, which in my experience, has not been the case in the business of college wrestling.

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Its seems your idea of business=shady cut throat tactics, which in my experience, has not been the case in the business of college wrestling.

 

That is not the case for business in general. It is common for competing firms to have good working relationships.

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Its seems your idea of business=shady cut throat tactics, which in my experience, has not been the case in the business of college wrestling.

 

That is not the case for business in general. It is common for competing firms to have good working relationships.

 

It is uncommon for competing NCAA teams to have good working relationships as well. It is uncommon for small firms of 30 or less to use cut throat tactics on its own employees.

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Hold on, your friend is not alone. I have only known a few kids and D1 coaches personally, but things like this do happen and not just to kids that have an issue. I have found college coaches to be very helpful and concerned for the kids that are winning today, but if your not, they are just looking for you to leave. I hope this is not the case for most coaches, but most people really do not know most coaches. This is one of the issues you get when you only hire national champions for coaches. "HS coaches coach kids, college coaches coach wrestling." By the way, it is very different in D3.

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Wow, post a while ago. If it is truly a business some of these under performing coaches who have been there for a while would be gone. Some of these assistants who train in season would not be on the payroll. It all comes down to accountability, if a wrestler does not perform he gets replaced, if a wrestler miss xxx amount of practices he gets replaced. Some coaches work the double standard, but it is not there fault it is the AD. Would the AD let an offensive or defensive coordinator leave mid season to compete, would the AD let the Head coach in football have continuous sub par performances. Because schools let this happen is why some of these coaches and assistants act like they are untouchable.

 

No business would stand for this poor performance from managers

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Wow, post a while ago. If it is truly a business some of these under performing coaches who have been there for a while would be gone. Some of these assistants who train in season would not be on the payroll. It all comes down to accountability, if a wrestler does not perform he gets replaced, if a wrestler miss xxx amount of practices he gets replaced. Some coaches work the double standard, but it is not there fault it is the AD. Would the AD let an offensive or defensive coordinator leave mid season to compete, would the AD let the Head coach in football have continuous sub par performances. Because schools let this happen is why some of these coaches and assistants act like they are untouchable.

 

No business would stand for this poor performance from managers

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I can tell you that has not been my experience with college wrestling. I left a Big Ten program after two years...basically failed out of school. After about a year of community college I was ready to try again and the Big Ten coach made a call and helped me get into another school (DII)...something he didn't have to do.

 

It was clear early on that I could handle the wrestling, but juggling academics and athletics was too much for me at the time. I had to make a choice and I chose to focus on school quit the team. The coach had gone out on a limb for me to get me in and I obvioulsy didn't pan out. Still, he helped me hook up with a local high school to coach. We would talk from time to time on campus. He even stopped me at graduation and said that he considered me a success story and he was thrilled I had gotten my degree. He was a really good guy and never made me feel bad or like I had let him down by quiting. Had I of asked him for a reference, I'm sure he would've done it.

 

 

Nice story. Thanks for sharing it.

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I can tell you that has not been my experience with college wrestling. I left a Big Ten program after two years...basically failed out of school. After about a year of community college I was ready to try again and the Big Ten coach made a call and helped me get into another school (DII)...something he didn't have to do.

 

It was clear early on that I could handle the wrestling, but juggling academics and athletics was too much for me at the time. I had to make a choice and I chose to focus on school quit the team. The coach had gone out on a limb for me to get me in and I obvioulsy didn't pan out. Still, he helped me hook up with a local high school to coach. We would talk from time to time on campus. He even stopped me at graduation and said that he considered me a success story and he was thrilled I had gotten my degree. He was a really good guy and never made me feel bad or like I had let him down by quiting. Had I of asked him for a reference, I'm sure he would've done it.

 

 

Nice story. Thanks for sharing it.

 

I agree. Thanks, Bitter.

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