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Lehigh at Northwestern

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There's a lot missing in this comparison. Sure, at the NCAA D1 level you're pretty specialized in your position, but playing Left field vs Right field is a wash. Changing weight classes (and staying competitive) is much more than that. I do agree that there are too many forfeits, but the injury possibilities along with eligibility and retention concerns are a factor in those coach's heads, I'm sure.

That would be like moving a tight end to offensive tackle in football. Sure it will likely be a size mismatch but it is best for the team. This is not a radical concept and ask any college football coach and they would have no problem making the move if it would help the team overall.

 

If wrestling outside of your weight class is so dangerous then no one would do live goes in practice with people a weight above them. I think people put too much into weight classes. Though we only have a small sampling, we do see a lot of athletes who wrestle multiple weights through a season and have similar results at each weight.

 

I don't fear for the wrestlers safety in moving up one weight.

 

The one thing I am amazed at is how 125 is a weight class so rarely filled. It is as if each year coaches are amazed that kids grow out of the weight. Why wouldn't you stockpile a few small 125s? If you're a recruit that coaches think you will be on the small side of 125, there is a good chance you'll get into duals if they only have one or two large 125s.

Edited by Pinnum

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It seems that NwU is limited to a squad max of 24, but is carrying only 18 (including X uninjured redshirts).

 

One question that arises, are they scheduled for the already invited NCAA team tournament? I suspect not, but still this is an example of why the entire field for natl duals should not be chosen 8 months in advance.

 

Ok, but how could the Wildcats, in particular, mitigate this problem? I suspect that well  before Nov 1, the coach knew he was going to have no more than 20 guys, but he could carry 24. I would not be surprised if there are dozens of former HS letter winning wrestlers, not involved in any other university sport, on campus. If the school had (has?) a club team, the varsity coach could probably recruit a coupe of the middle weights he needs. Yeah, if the club guys wrestle a varsity match, his club career is likely done, but I would bet most club wrestlers  would trade that for the thrill of a single varsity bout, even if the guy gets the crap bat out of him.

 

As I implied, I have no idea whether or not NwU has a club team. If they do not, it would behoove the varsity staff to try to start one. If one already exists, How about one of the coaches becomes the faculty adviser.         

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I suspect the problem at NU is the costs to attend the school. Not many kids are going to have the resources to attend NU and pay their own way. Another issue which has not been mentioned...is how difficult it likely is to stay eligible at Northwestern. I am sure the athletes get resources like study tables and tutors...but even still...

 

I was essentially a walk on at Illinois - it's not easy being even on the practice squad and managing school work at a Big Ten school. I had to drop down to the minimum full time status my first semester at Illinois. I can't imagine what it's like now a days at Illinois and even Northwestern. Also, I went to grad school at NU - it was intense at the grad school level. I suspect it is just as competitive at the Undergrad level too.

 

What needs to happen is coaches (high school and junior high coaches) that want to see more college wrestling need to help put butts in seats...pack these arenas...help these programs build their budget and their fan bases...instead of just talking on the Internet... 

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I suspect the problem at NU is the costs to attend the school. Not many kids are going to have the resources to attend NU and pay their own way. 

Despite the cost of attendance, cross admit matriculation rates favor NU quite heavily over just about every public school in the nation. As an example, students admitted to both NU and significantly cheaper UIUC pick the former by a ratio of over 4 to 1 (Not trying to pick on your alma mater here, I just figured it was the most logical comparison since it's the public flagship in the state where NU is located). Therefore, I don't really think this argument holds water.

 

http://www.parchment.com/c/college/tools/college-cross-admit-comparison.php?compare=Northwestern+University&with=University+of+Illinois+at+Urbana-Champaign

 

In fact, my guess would be that a large portion of those choosing UIUC are engineers (an area where UIUC is comparatively stronger), which generally isn't a popular major among top ranked wrestlers.

 

On top of this, NU is a full aid/no loan school which means the majority of admitted students receive a substantial need based aid package which in many cases will make COA lower than attending a public. For the students who don't receive aid, the rationale is that they're from a wealthy enough family that theoretically paying sticker price shouldn't be an overwhelming burden.

 

 

I am sure the athletes get resources like study tables and tutors...but even still...

 

I was essentially a walk on at Illinois - it's not easy being even on the practice squad and managing school work at a Big Ten school. I had to drop down to the minimum full time status my first semester at Illinois. I can't imagine what it's like now a days at Illinois and even Northwestern. Also, I went to grad school at NU - it was intense at the grad school level. I suspect it is just as competitive at the Undergrad level too.

This is more reasonable, but every school has it's gut majors where students who desire to can get decent grades with minimal effort (excluding a few specialized schools). In fact, curves have largely gone the way of the dinosaur these days and a classes difficulty is largely at the discretion of the professor teaching it. A particular class at Northwestern is not necessarily any more difficult than its equivalent at Random U. 

 

Honestly, I'm of the opinion that Northwestern, Stanford, and Duke have the ability to be nationally competitive at any sport the administration marks as a priority. In fact, Stanford by far the most successful sports school in the nation despite their high cost and competitive atmosphere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NACDA_Directors%27_Cup (Also check out the schools on the D3 list. The vast majority of the schools placing in the top 5 are both expensive and extremely competitive). 

 

The problem in this instance is that NU's administration doesn't seem to value wrestling highly as evidenced by the extremely low roster cap. This leads me to what I believe is the main factor that is limiting NU's team at the moment and that is admissions. Competition to get into NU is very high and many top students get rejected. Athletic teams of course get some help in this regard, but how much help depends on the administration. If the administration wanted a championship level wrestling team, all they would have to do is give the coaching staff free rein to make a list of any and all wrestlers they want the admissions committee to accept (9.9 scholarships and a relaxed roster cap would also be helpful). However, my guess is that the admissions help afforded to the wrestling team is present, but very limited (hence why their teams alway seem to be so top heavy in terms of talent).

 

The question is: what is it going to take to get the administration to prioritize wrestling? Honestly, a wealthy alumni is often the answer in these situations. In the absence of that, NU wrestling needs to work with what they have and prove their a team worth prioritizing. Forfeiting two weight classes at home certainly isn't the right way to do it. 

Edited by BigRedMachine

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I think wrestling does hurt in that a lot of kids come from more of a blue collar background and as a result a lot of wrestlers are kind of ignorant of some schools available to them. When casually talking to wrestling people about different wrestling schools, I have mentioned how I know lot of people who attended Davidson College that turned down Ivy League schools. I am always scoffed at and told how that is impossible. http://www.parchment.com/c/college/tools/college-cross-admit-comparison.php?compare=davidson+college&with=Harvard+University

 

Interestingly enough, most of the Cornell people I know who have attended Cornell were there for the school of Industrial and Labor Relations, Agricultural school (actually for agriculture), or Veterinary school. These were all NY residents that if they lived in Pennsylvania would have gone to Penn State, in California would have gone to Fresno State, or in North Carolina would have gone to NC State but because Cornell operates the SUNY programs they went to Cornell. I know of a lot of pickup trucks that feature a 'Cornell Alumni' sticker in the back window.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, there should be a team deduction per forfeit, maybe not 5 pts as I initially posted but something.  Away events should be treated differently (less points) than home teams hosting the dual.  Additionally, the forfeit should cost a seed per offense for the weight class being forfeited.

 

New rules need to be implemented to create incentives for competition and to minimize forfeits, particular with home team forfeits.  There may have been a problem @ NW related to kids going home for Thanksgiving and not being able to get back in time for a dual meet.  If this is the case then don't schedule the event.
 
New Rules:
* HOME forfeits should cost the team 2 points and AWAY forfeits should cost the team 1 point at the NCAA championships per offense.
 
* The forfeiting weight class should also lose at least one or two seeded positions at NCAAs if their weight class qualifies.

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I think wrestling does hurt in that a lot of kids come from more of a blue collar background and as a result a lot of wrestlers are kind of ignorant of some schools available to them. When casually talking to wrestling people about different wrestling schools, I have mentioned how I know lot of people who attended Davidson College that turned down Ivy League schools. I am always scoffed at and told how that is impossible. http://www.parchment.com/c/college/tools/college-cross-admit-comparison.php?compare=davidson+college&with=Harvard+University

 

Interestingly enough, most of the Cornell people I know who have attended Cornell were there for the school of Industrial and Labor Relations, Agricultural school (actually for agriculture), or Veterinary school. These were all NY residents that if they lived in Pennsylvania would have gone to Penn State, in California would have gone to Fresno State, or in North Carolina would have gone to NC State but because Cornell operates the SUNY programs they went to Cornell. I know of a lot of pickup trucks that feature a 'Cornell Alumni' sticker in the back window.

After a first read, I was going to address this post with another long, rambley, asthma medication induced response addressing my thoughts on several points you brought up. However, two things are holding me back. First, it would be way off topic and venture far away from discussion regarding Northwestern, Lehigh, and/or forfeits. Second, I get the impression after reading your post that you found my initial post to be off-putting. If that's the case I apologize. I'm interested in rational discussion regarding the particular circumstances surrounding Northwestern's wrestling team. I am not interested in passive aggressive one ups-manship.

 

On a side note, this post, along with a few you made a couple months back, lead me to believe you attended a LAC. As did I. On the off chance it does indeed happen to be Davidson, congrats! It's a great school. Always thought it was interesting that they use Myers-Briggs types as a method for matching freshman roommates. They're the only school I know of that does that. Also, I think they've recently discontinued it but their full service laundry program would have saved me a lot of hassle back in my college days.

Edited by BigRedMachine

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Didn't find your post off putting at all! Sometimes when I post things it is just because a reference made reminded me of something. It wasn't a dig at you or Cornell. (I assume my your screen name you're a Cornell fan.) I am a big fan of Cornell. In fact, I have a nephew named Ezra. Any idea where that name came from?

 

As to the point... Northwestern puts a lot of resources into wrestling. One of the most of any schools in the country. I don't see a problem with the school's support or the decisions made by the staff. Sure, it would be nice to have more than 20 guys but I doubt many programs use more than 20 guys in D1 duals in a season. As I said, the coaches are acting rationally and in the best interest for their University (Directors cup).

 

The problem is the stucture of college wrestling.

 

If duals were the method teams were judged (rather than on how a few individuals performed at the end of the season) and your regular season team performance determined your final season national standing, you would see coaches doing the most to ensure they performed well at duals and in doing so would provide quality events for fans. We wouldn't lose any of the quality wrestling.

 

(Mobile)

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The problem is the stucture of college wrestling.

 

If duals were the method teams were judged (rather than on how a few individuals performed at the end of the season) and your regular season team performance determined your final season national standing, you would see coaches doing the most to ensure they performed well at duals and in doing so would provide quality events for fans. We wouldn't lose any of the quality wrestling.

 

 

 

Then go all the way and make the duals THEE National Championship. Let the Individual Tournament, the only one that actually draws serious numbers, be for exhibition only. 

 

The bifurcated proposals would make things worse. Go one way or the other. 

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