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Pinnum

$5 Million Gift Endows Franklin & Marshall College

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Does anyone have a sense of how far a $5 million endowment would go for a program like F&M? Would that endow all of the program's operating costs? Any scholarships?

The gift establishing the "David H. Lehman Endowed Wrestling Program Fund" will fully endow wrestling program operations, including funding for existing personnel, equipment, competitions, and ongoing recruitment of student-athletes. The College hosts one of only 11 Division I wrestling programs at liberal arts colleges -- including military academies -- nationwide, and last year sent an "All-American" wrestler to the NCAA Championships.

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As SHP said, F&M is the only Division-I wrestling program that is barred by the NCAA from offering scholarships. (Some programs choose to not offer scholarships though the NCAA would allow them, if they chose.)

This is a complete endowment of the sport. This means (1) the school could completely stop giving any financial consideration to the sport and the sport will have the exact same level of funding (assuming the fund performs over time). Or (2), if the school keeps the same level funding commitment, the wrestling program's total funding available was just doubled.

Due to no scholarships, the only funding they require (other than facilities and medical staff from the school) would be coaching salaries and travel expenses. Travel is not expensive in PA with so many team to easily compete against. As a result, I wouldn't be surprised to see another hire to the staff next year. 

Edited by Pinnum

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I'm sorry for my ignorance, but what is the reason why the NCAA bars F&M from offering athletic scholarships for wrestling? I suspect I missed the answer above, even though I read the thread twice (and maybe more). Thanks.

Long story short: Division-III schools have to follow all Division-III policies for all their sports, even if they elect to have a sport compete in Division-I. As a result, Franklin & Marshall must follow all Division-III policies while wrestling a Division-I schedule.

 

However, people often get confused because there are currently six waivers being used that were granted to schools with perennial national powers since they had a long standing tradition of giving scholarships prior to 1982. http://www.uscho.com/2004/01/12/scholarships-will-continue-for-diii-play-up-schools/

 

It is interesting to note that Union College Ice Hockey is in the conference with most the teams with waivers. And, despite not supporting waivers, has been just as competitive. In fact, this year, Union won the Division-I national championship, beating Minnesota, without a single athlete on scholarship.

Edited by Pinnum

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Not sure I'd term it a waiver in the sense that you can't apply for one. When D3 formed schools entering it could grandfather a sport as continuing under D1 rules (athletic scholarships). If they ever drop that sport to D3 (say, for temporary financial savings) it can't be restored without the school as a whole moving up.

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Just wanted to add, D3 schools could move up to D1 after the formation of D3 but they would have to do it as a non-scholarship program. There was a moratorium put in place recently but it formally expired. Request for reclassification are not recommended to be approved but are heard and decided on a case by case basis. Note: RIT recently was approved for reclassification in Ice-Hockey.

 

I only mention this because I have thought for a while that reclassification of more of the top D2 teams to D1 would help wrestling. It would instantly allow for more matches in California to count toward qualification for nationals, could bring D1 wrestling to states like Kansas, Arkansas, or Georiga, and would make wrestling a premier sport at more schools. It could all be done without needing to increase funding.

 

Though, I admit it would impact national honors at these schools. But I look at the positives and how it makes it more viable for the programs that remain in D2 to be able to get some national exposure as D2 schools on their more limited budgets. (Mobile)

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I only mention this because I have thought for a while that reclassification of more of the top D2 teams to D1 would help wrestling. It would instantly allow for more matches in California to count toward qualification for nationals, could bring D1 wrestling to states like Kansas, Arkansas, or Georiga, and would make wrestling a premier sport at more schools. It could all be done without needing to increase funding.

 

Though, I admit it would impact national honors at these schools. But I look at the positives and how it makes it more viable for the programs that remain in D2 to be able to get some national exposure as D2 schools on their more limited budgets. (Mobile)

If the D2 schools reclassified as D1, how many scholarships would they be allowed to have?

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A lot of D2 schools already have all their athletes meeting the D1 academic standards but obviously all athletes would have to if they were D1.

I doubt many "already have ALL their athletes meeting the D1 academic standards". Even if they were it would be the school that would need to meet the D1 academic, compliance, support, etc standards. Merely having only high academic achieving student athletes does not make JC's D1 eligible.

Edited by ccrider55

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