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Forget dual proposal & focus on Growth!

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I think the best Division I targets would be schools that don't have football programs. While they aren't really "attractive" in many ways, they're still Division I.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NC ... l_programs

 

At most of these schools, athletic funding is largely derived through student fees. Interestingly, CSU-Fullerton has the largest enrollment of all the non-football schools...

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I think the best Division I targets would be schools that don't have football programs. While they aren't really "attractive" in many ways, they're still Division I.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NC ... l_programs

 

Totally agree with you for the most part.

 

There will always be a few exceptions to the rule of course.

 

I read on another forum that the coaches association was coming up with a new plan for D I schools to make it more attractive to add wrestling (they've done such an excellent job with D II, D III and NAIA).

 

Have you heard anything about that Jason?

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I think the best Division I targets would be schools that don't have football programs. While they aren't really "attractive" in many ways, they're still Division I.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NC ... l_programs

 

At most of these schools, athletic funding is largely derived through student fees. Interestingly, CSU-Fullerton has the largest enrollment of all the non-football schools...

 

Jason makes a very good point because except for about 50 schools in the BS BcS conferences every other school that has football LOSES MONEY on football, and therefore, has less money to spend on other sports.

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One of the guys who happened to be with us, a former high school wrestler himself, is now an associate athletic director at a D1 university that doesn't sponsor a wrestling program. We were all giving him a hard time about it and his response to us was always straight forward and to the point: Wrestling doesn't generate significant revenue for the majority of the universities that sponsor it and his university wasn't interested in funding a program at a loss. That's the reality our sport faces at the collegiate level, which has become more corporate minded than ever before.

 

This "associate athletic director" is right on one count.......... his school doesn't want to sponsor a wrestling program. BUT he is completely full of crap about why..... they simply don't want to. More work for what? That same aad has most if not ALL sports programs at his school are being funded AT A LOSS!

It is a HUGE minority of schools that make money on athletics. Most football and basketball programs LOSE money...... this isn't an opinion it is fact. Schools are starting Lacrosse programs.... I was watching playoffs with about 150 fans watching......no money being made there.

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One of the guys who happened to be with us, a former high school wrestler himself, is now an associate athletic director at a D1 university that doesn't sponsor a wrestling program. We were all giving him a hard time about it and his response to us was always straight forward and to the point: Wrestling doesn't generate significant revenue for the majority of the universities that sponsor it and his university wasn't interested in funding a program at a loss. That's the reality our sport faces at the collegiate level, which has become more corporate minded than ever before.

 

This "associate athletic director" is right on one count.......... his school doesn't want to sponsor a wrestling program. BUT he is completely full of crap about why..... they simply don't want to. More work for what? That same aad has most if not ALL sports programs at his school are being funded AT A LOSS!

It is a HUGE minority of schools that make money on athletics. Most football and basketball programs LOSE money...... this isn't an opinion it is fact. Schools are starting Lacrosse programs.... I was watching playoffs with about 150 fans watching......no money being made there.

 

While that may apply to some institutions as a general rule it does not apply to the university that's in question, a university that does generate a significant amount of money on the men's sports programs that it sponsors both directly and indirectly. That said this is very much a reason why a lot of other athletic departments don't fund specific sports, because they flat out don't want to. If there's no financial impact, no community preference and no individual feelings on the positive end of the spectrum then there isn't any reason for a specific administrator to add any one specific sport.

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As far as lacrosse is concerned, that sport is a popular add right now among many schools (Mostly the lower tier of division 1) as a way to further conference affiliations which is tough in our sport where very few conferences have given us the official designation. While not a direct financial reflection on lacrosse, those types of decisions are very much based on future revenue.

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Lacrosse is a popular add, but wrestling has some very good publicity too right now.

 

All it takes is a few Division I''s to add at the lower tier And the same thing can happen for wrestling that is happening for lacrosse. One advantage we have is our sport is relatively cheap to field, and I'm assuming cheaper then lacrosse.

 

I believe the schools I listed, plus JB idea are the schools that need to be looked at, not the power conferences.

 

Would be nice to see Clemson and Louisville to add however....

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Lacrosse is a popular add, but wrestling has some very good publicity too right now.

 

All it takes is a few Division I''s to add at the lower tier And the same thing can happen for wrestling that is happening for lacrosse. One advantage we have is our sport is relatively cheap to field, and I'm assuming cheaper then lacrosse.

 

I believe the schools I listed, plus JB idea are the schools that need to be looked at, not the power conferences.

 

Would be nice to see Clemson and Louisville to add however....

 

I'm not intimately aware of the costs of a collegiate lacrosse program but from what I've been able to gather they are relatively similar. Lacrosse has the added allure of being a crossover sport as well, as women's lacrosse has the NCAA's recognition. That said, lacrosse doesn't really have any sort of advantage over wrestling in terms of gaining new programs aside from aligning itself with like minded conference commissioners. In fact, it faces all the same struggles which is why there are only 60-70 such NCAA lacrosse programs at the D1 level. To fund a lacrosse program, you need large endowment. To fund a wrestling program, you need large endowment. Fresno State has all the circumstances in line to bring that program back with the local area thirsty for wrestling, a lot of community support and a university president who views it in a positive light but the potential addition still rests primarily on whether or not outside funding is in place.

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I have always said, Georgia Tech is the real target. Engineering and Military schools have large male enrolments and are also the schools that have wrestling programs. Georgia Tech has one of the largest male enrollments based on percentage of student body in all of the country. http://factbook.gatech.edu/admissions-a ... able-4-18/

 

Furthermore, they are a member of the ACC which currently sponsors the sport and they are located in Atlanta while the Atlanta Metro area is where the wrestling talent in the state is concentrated and where the real growth in the sport has taken place over the last ten years.

 

New D1 member Mass Lowell would be another target due to their male enrollment but I think conference affiliation, as well as their focus on ice hockey would hinder the addition of wrestling..

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New D1 member Mass Lowell would be another target due to their male enrollment but I think conference affiliation, as well as their focus on ice hockey would hinder the addition of wrestling..

Mass-Lowell would be a catalyst that could well cause other schools in the conference, like Maryland-Baltimore County and Stony Brook, to add the sport (Binghamton already sponsors, of course).

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New D1 member Mass Lowell would be another target due to their male enrollment but I think conference affiliation, as well as their focus on ice hockey would hinder the addition of wrestling..

Mass-Lowell would be a catalyst that could well cause other schools in the conference, like Maryland-Baltimore County and Stony Brook, to add the sport (Binghamton already sponsors, of course).

 

Stony Brook is focused on football and basketball while trying to raise the profile of the SUNY Downstate University Center. I don't see them being interested, even if the conference were sponsoring the sport.

 

UMBC has been focused on improving their academic rankings and have even scaled back their athletic spending at different points over the years. It has worked well for them. They are gaining a great academic reputation and are stealing a lot of prospective students from the University of Maryland.

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I have always said, Georgia Tech is the real target. Engineering and Military schools have large male enrolments and are also the schools that have wrestling programs. Georgia Tech has one of the largest male enrollments based on percentage of student body in all of the country. http://factbook.gatech.edu/admissions-a ... able-4-18/

 

Furthermore, they are a member of the ACC which currently sponsors the sport and they are located in Atlanta while the Atlanta Metro area is where the wrestling talent in the state is concentrated and where the real growth in the sport has taken place over the last ten years.

 

New D1 member Mass Lowell would be another target due to their male enrollment but I think conference affiliation, as well as their focus on ice hockey would hinder the addition of wrestling..

 

very much appreciate your insights regarding universities' objectives and how athletics fit into them. i was wondering, besides GT, what other schools do you think would be good candidates for starting D1 programs? feel free to include unlikely wish-list candidates. and apologies if you've posted something like this already and i missed it.

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I have always said, Georgia Tech is the real target. Engineering and Military schools have large male enrolments and are also the schools that have wrestling programs. Georgia Tech has one of the largest male enrollments based on percentage of student body in all of the country. http://factbook.gatech.edu/admissions-a ... able-4-18/

 

Furthermore, they are a member of the ACC which currently sponsors the sport and they are located in Atlanta while the Atlanta Metro area is where the wrestling talent in the state is concentrated and where the real growth in the sport has taken place over the last ten years.

 

New D1 member Mass Lowell would be another target due to their male enrollment but I think conference affiliation, as well as their focus on ice hockey would hinder the addition of wrestling..

 

very much appreciate your insights regarding universities' objectives and how athletics fit into them. i was wondering, besides GT, what other schools do you think would be good candidates for starting D1 programs? feel free to include unlikely wish-list candidates. and apologies if you've posted something like this already and i missed it.

 

In addition to being the top prospect, in my opinion, to add, Georgia Tech would also move D1 wrestling further south and with the recent additions in the State of Georgia at the non-D1 level would bolster the ability for viable opens. This would make it easier for other southern programs to add and make it more viable for a Florida program.

 

UCF (Central Florida) is the best prospect in Florida, currently. They have a quality NCWA program and have the one of the largest enrollments in the country so recruitment of athletes should not be an issue. Unfortunately, they are in an arms race as they knock on the door of breaking into the top tier of D1 and I don't see them being willing to divert resources from their current focus to expand their athletic offerings.

 

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a new addition to the Texas University system with the merger of Texas-Brownsville and Texas-Pan American. This school has a large population of Mexican-Americans which is a demographic that can be a great fit for wrestling and the state of Texas has seen popularity rise. Additionally, they are a member of the WAC with CSU-Bakersfield, Grand Canyon, and Utah Valley (where Air Force and Northern Colorado are already WAC Associate Members). Launching a wrestling program, and being the only D1 in the state of Texas, would make some headway in branding the new school cross the state in the wrestling community. Obviously, travel would be an issue so funding would have to be adequate but they will have an increase in funding due to NAIA Texas-Brownsville no longer requiring redundancies in their athletic offerings.

 

I think another program in the region makes programs more viable. This way when a team flies in they are able to get two duals in the same weekend (Cal Poly/Bakersfield, Grand Canyon/Arizona St, Air Force/Northern Colorado, etc). Unfortunatley, there does not appear to be a good option for UTRGV in Division-I, but University of Texas-Dallas is a Division-III engineering school in a large metro area not far from Oklahoma that has been supportive of wrestling (great attendance at Olympic trials) that could add the sport. This would allow for Wayland Baptist to have another instate team to compete against while further cultivating the wrestling ecosystem.

 

A few years ago, I listed Stetson as one of the top prospects to add wrestling. At the time, Campbell and Gardner-Webb were fellow Atlantic Sun members sponsoring wrestling. Unfortunately, they made the decision to relaunch their football program and that basically killed any hope for wrestling.

 

There are a few others that I think could work but really those I listed, in my opinion, are the top prospects. I purposely didn't list programs like Fresno since it is hard to judge the relaunch viability of a program.

 

Personally, though I haven't mentioned it much because there are already so many proposals out there, I think a merger of D1 and D2 could be good for the sport. This may not be viable since membership numbers are considered high from an NCAA standpoint when compared to the likes of Ice Hockey and Volleyball who have implemented this model. Additionally, some D2s might not want to impose the higher academic standards on their athletes but it could be done similar to the FCS/FBS split in football where we could have one individual championship and two team (dual) championships are implemented. This, I believe, would raise the win percentages of current D1 programs increasing their viability, lessen the burden for travel, while allowing for D2 programs to compete with big name programs and potentially lead to guarantees which would help with D2 funding and provide for an expansion of D1 home events that can cultivate a larger fan base. This would drastically make it more viable for west coast programs.

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Money is a major roadblock, but lack of leadership is another and - NO - I am not talking about the NWCA, the NCAA, USA Wrestling or any other governing body. I'm talking about the paucity of people at the grass roots level willing to take the reins and do the work necessary to convince an institution that wrestling has value.

 

Take heart, Pinnum, Georgia Tech has that guy. Atlanta attorney, Alan Leet, leads a group that worked closely with the NWCA to make the initial proposal at GT. Though the first effort was unsuccessful, I don't believe they have stopped fighting. In the meantime that group was instrumental in adding wrestling at Darton.

 

The state of Arkansas has a similar leader in Greg Hatcher, who has played a role in making wrestling a high school championship sport in Arkansas, in reinstating wrestling at his alma mater, Alma College, and in the addition of the other intercollegiate programs in the state.

 

Texas also has a committed leadership group that helped bring college wrestling to the state with the addition of Wayland Baptist. Texas-Arlington has had a NCWA team for several years and their original intention was to become a varsity sport, but their effort has become stalled.

 

The point is - we need more people on the front lines if we expect "growth". Darned few administrators at primarily tax-funded institutions are actively seeking new ways to spend more money. We need to sell them on the benefits wrestling can bring to their campus and if we can't do that - well - shame on us.

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cool, thanks Pinnum!

 

UCF would be interesting. They are definitely preoccupied with football (i have a friend who is a UCF alum and he's as die hard a fan as any in college sports), but they do have a huge student body and I can see them looking for ways to differentiate themselves from them many other large Florida schools.

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