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CollegeCoachXXX

Alabama-Birmingham needs to know....

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how much wrestling would benefit their sport and how much cheaper it is then football.

 

I have seen JB and others talking on twitter and I hope the National Wrestling Coaches Assoc. makes some soft of push.

 

That would be great to get some momentum in the south with D I. It has seem to happen at the other levels.

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Guest Reviver

   Nearby Auburn used to have a Top 20 NCAA D1 program as recently as the 1980's, right?   The U. of Alabama may have as well.   At any rate, one of their alumni went on to build up Florida's h.s. wrestling powerhouse at Brandon H.S.    
   Other NCAA member universities have dropped football while keeping or reinstating wrestling, by the way.   San Francisco State comes to mind, as does Boston U. (which astonishingly doesn't even have an NCWA wrestling program this year) and Cal. State Bakersfield.   Huntingdon and Marion Military Academy have college wrestling teams in Alabama now, but it's worth noting that U.A. Birmingham doesn't have an NCWA wrestling program (yet):

     http://www.ncwa.net/teams?state=true

 

Fortunately there are now plenty of new teams in relatively nearby states against which to compete (especially neighboring Georgia and neighboring Tennessee while rather feasibly including more distant Arkansas and the Carolinas, too).   Here's a terrific interactive map of wrestling teams nationwide:

http://batchgeo.com/map/c0e81f035bb980370884a6157e67ed9a
 

It wouldn't hurt if we could get high school wrestling off the ground in neighboring Mississippi, which might subsequently launch at least an NCWA wrestling program.   Last I heard, that hasn't been accomplished yet.   As for neighboring Florida, it's about a 9 hour drive (each way) from Birmingham to Southeastern U. near Tampa.   But at least Southeastern U. can inspire more conference member schools in the region: 

http://www.thesunconference.com/sports/2012/7/2/members.aspx

to add wrestling, especially Embry Riddle whose cousin school in Arizona already has wrestling.   The South shall rise again in wrestling (if Washington D.C. will get out of the way):

 

 

shutterstock_southeastUSA-body.jpg     

 

   Of course the push to add men's wrestling at schools would become easier if the NCAA would recognize women's wrestling as an official sport (for Title IX: Proportionality quota purposes):

http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/inclusion/emerging-sports-women

We can win these battles.   

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Any thoughts?
 

Edited by Reviver

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" Nearby Auburn used to have a Top 20 NCAA D1 program as recently as the 1980's, right?   The U. of Alabama may have as well.   At any rate, one of their alumni went on to build up Florida's h.s. wrestling powerhouse at Brandon H.S."    

 

No Reviver.----U of Alabama was anything but a friend to wrestling. They were the first important school to drop wrestling, in 1977. Their excuse, it was too expensive - the Money was used to redo Bear Bryant's ofice (funny coincidence, he was the AD at the time.

 

UAB, which of course is controlled by the Tuscaloosa folks will now have only 5 male sports as opposed to 11 female. BasketBall,  Baseball Soccer , Golf, Tennis. Expect they would add Track/XC if anything for the men.

 

Of course there is no way a school  with only 17 sports should have ever been D1-FBS. (That should be Min 24, IMO)

Edited by RichB

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UAB has to add a men's sport in order to meet Division I rules. Further, they are roughly 38 men short (in terms of roster spots) of Title IX compliance. Wrestling fits perfectly. Track and Field (which, chances are, would have to count twice) and Cross-Country do not, unless they intend to have a paper-thin roster size that is destined for the bottom of whatever conference for years to come...

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Guest Reviver

UAB's athletic conference is pretty thin on wrestling:

http://www.conferenceusa.com/schools

 

UCF has an impressive NCWA program, for whatever that's worth.  Not aware of whatever Tulsa has.   

  Perhaps a noteworthy alum. listed here would nudge UAB to break the wrestling ice in the conference:

 

http://www.conferenceusa.com/schools/albr/c-usa-albr-body.html

If enough high schoolers in Alabama express an interest, that could shake things up.   Wrestling's on their radar again, thanks to Huntingdon (NCAA DIII).

UAB's acceptance rate's pretty high, by the way, reportedly at around 75%.   U. of Alabama in Tuscaloosa is reportedly at around 57%.   So if U.A. Birmingham wants to boost its academic rankings, it might want to boost its applicant pool in order to improve its student selectivity rate.   U.S. News & World Report considers that.  

Can wrestling give UAB what it wants and needs?   Enrollment-driven PRIVATE schools want more applicants so they can be more selective.   And they want more solid students, too, who are financially self-sufficient.   Government-run universities don't seem to be as enrollment-driven but perhaps UAB is?   

 

Edited by Reviver

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Needles:
   Ever heard of Title IX: Proportionality?   That's D.C.'s bastardization of an otherwise fine gender fairness law.    Congress didn't impose proportionality on us; D.C.'s bureaucrats did.   Google "Norma Cantu & wrestling" if you like.   Proportionality is a gender quota, imposed on athletic departments but NOT on university admissions departments (hypocritically enough).  It's a vote-buying device meant to entice militant feminists who happen to profit by telling ordinary women how much they should resent men.   Anyhow the South ain't giving up football...   Wrestling suffers as a result, because of the gender quota.   Adding women's wrestling teams in ways that the NCAA will adequately recognize will ease Title IX: Proportionality pressures on men's wrestling.   It will also boost overall support for our sport.   I still haven't met any fellow male who opposes women's getting more involved with wrestling.   

Edited by Reviver

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As of right now, UAB has a Title IX problem...WE'RE the underrepresented gender. Wrestling perfectly fills their Title IX shortfall.

 

As far as conference affiliation, it's highly possible they'll be kicked out of Conference USA anyway, due to them canning their football program.

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Seton Hall Pirate:
   Your thinking's insightful and on target (as always, based on what I've seen).   We need more though.   There are plenty of other sports that could SEEMINGLY help UAB with their Title IX shortcomings.  But wrestling can bring them future leaders, solid students and alumni contributions, etc. etc. etc...  We need to find out what UAB's leadership wants for the school, and find ways to show them that wrestling holds the key.  Keep at it; Rome wasn't built in a day.  :-)

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Pirate, I hope you are correct, that wrestling is perfect for UAB, but I suspect they could field 38 outside Track and Field guys with no indoor team (not something exactly necessary in the south). and no XC.

 

Reviver, Although  the T9 passed in 1973, Alabama certainly dropped their program long before there were any title 9 whacking going on. Two words for anyone who says T9 is keeping colleges in the south from wrestling = Georgia Tech.

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Georgia Tech had travel issues due to Title IX.   When schools near the Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech succumbed to Title IX pressures by dropping our sport, travel times and related needs increased considerably.   Worse still, our sport wasn't as strong as it is now in Georgia so fans didn't turn out like they would now.   The Yellow Jackets dropped our sport right as the Southeast Conference (SEC) did, around the early to mid 1980's.   At the time, U.Ga. had a program while LSU had a Top 20 team, as did Tennessee.   Kentucky had been Top 20 too.  Wasn't Auburn as well?   Sigh... Clemson was a powerhouse (Sammie Henson won the NCAA for them cerca 1994) and Florida (Gainesville) had a team until around the early 1980's, I guess too.   Even the U. of Alabama might have been strong before Bear Bryant helped give them the guillotine.   U.Nebraska @ Omaha won a national team championship a few years back and their wrestling program was eliminated by the A.D. immediately thereafter.  Bear reportedly feared wrestling injuries and weight loss for his own football players who liked to wrestle.    

Edited by Reviver

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Reviver - The anti title 9 fanatics are always screaming "it isn't money. It is girls aren't interested in sports" Ga Tech is almost 75% male. So if they added a 10-12 women's golf team (women do play golf in Georgia don't they?) they could add 25-30 guys wrestling. Or a 25 girl soccer team could offset both a wrestling team and a male soccer team. So maybe it is money. except

about 12 D1 programs are within 10 hours bus of Atlanta. (the Va teams, NC teams, UTC, Citadel American, Md, Navy). and Atlanta has got to be one of the cheapest places to fly to or from. So travel and money should not be a big seal.

 

By the way transportation should not should be a big deterrent to UAB wrestling. UA-Huntsville has a D1 Hockey team, and plays in a league with all Great Lakes colleges except nearby University Alaska.  

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I'm sorry...I was using that as a reason to not have an outdoor track & field team, without having either indoor track & field or cross country. Only an athletic director who didn't really care about their track & field program would sponsor outdoor track and field without indoor, and FYI, Buffalo (which finished in the middle of the pack in the Mid-American Conference in track & field last year, used as a mid-major program taken at random) has 45 student-athletes on their T&F roster. That has to be multiplied by two, and then tack on those athletes who compete in cross-country, and they'd be in the same Title IX bind they just extricated themselves from by dropping football.

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Rich, they could, but they'd have a terrible team. Very few recruits would want to go somewhere that they couldn't compete year-round.

I am not trying to discourage UAB from starting wrestling.If Alabama, one of the weakest HS wrestling states has a D1 college program, maybe the much stronger HS states Fl and Ga would be "shamed" into starting/reviving varsity programs. Might help in a couple other states also especially Clemson, Vandy, Louisville.

 

But I think I am not just pessimistic, but realistic. Likely more of Bama's BOT has been to a WWE type event than a HS meet.

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Reviver - About 12 D1 programs are within 10 hours bus of Atlanta. (the Va teams, NC teams, UTC, Citadel American, Md, Navy). and Atlanta has got to be one of the cheapest places to fly to or from. So travel and money should not be a big seal.

 

Ten hours of driving each way is somewhat demanding for engineering students.   And flying's costly, even if done more cheaply out of Atlanta.   But I like your line of thinking.   And they have half a dozen teams throughout the state of Georgia nowadays, too, albeit not in D1.   

    A while back there was talk about Clemson's new athletic director's reinstating the Tigers' former Top 20 team.   Any news on that?   Personally I'd like for us to be able to persuade Ga. Tech. that reinstating wrestling's in their best interest.   They likely feel like it would drain on their weight room resources though.   The Yellow Jackets tied for the NCAA football championship in January of 1991, a few years after they shed wrestling and fortified their focus on revenue sports. Clemson's reinstatement could form the South Carolina bridge to help the ACC add another couple of teams, including one in Atlanta.   

    If that happened, UAB would have an even tougher time denying requests to add wrestling.   But I really think that our next new (or reinstated?) program is likely to be Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida.   The school already has a team out in Arizona, and it's enrollment-driven too.   Might anyone have further insights about Embry Riddle (which I admittedly lack).   At any rate, the UAB idea's wonderful, as are Ga. Tech. and Clemson reinstatements.   Let's fortify the domino effect and get 'em ALL to take our sport seriously enough to diligently consider adding our sport.   :-)    If Southeastern way down in Tampa has agreed to do it...  almost any city's potentially inclined.   :-)

 

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As expected, UAB is going to add cross country and track

 

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24860405

 

From a facilities standpoint, it makes sense.

 

Given all the information known about how the University of Alabama system works, with its Board of Trustees holding power over the campuses at Birmingham and Huntsville (Division II, but they have Division I hockey), I would be extremely hesitant to look at UAB as an opportunity to add a program.

 

While it was an opening (as SHP and CollegeCoachXXX noted), would we as a community really want to plant a program in a situation where one school's Board of Trustees has all sorts of power over another school's athletic department? Let's not forget the main BOT guy drawing a lot of the ire from UAB fans and alumni is Paul "Bear" Bryant Jr., the son of legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant. When Bear Sr. was the AD, he was one of the first to cut wrestling in the SEC at 'Bama. 

 

So there's two things to considering. The UAB community is outraged (and justifiably so) about the big school in Tuscaloosa shutting the doors on its team. So if you were to replace it with wrestling, it's my assertion there would be significant blowback and resentment towards the program and the athletes. You're replacing football in the South. No matter what opportunity was created for our sport, we'd likely see that team as a whipping post. Want to get donor money from UAB alumni? Guess what, you killed their football team. Going to them hat in hand asking for wrestling contributions would be futile.

 

Secondly, we saw how the University of Nebraska held serve during the dissolution of the program at Nebraska-Omaha. UNL apparently didn't want another Division I football team in the state and the issues between Trev Alberts and Mike Denney over Division I became a real point of contention. Unfortunately, boss man and big campus won. Wrestling was collateral damage in the football to Division I situation. Do we want to put a program in a position where its own school can't secure a potential future?

 

There are smaller Division I's in the south that seem prime for programs based on their lack of football and the growth at the Division II level (with wrestling). Here would be some Division I options I would prefer over UAB.

 

Arkansas-Little Rock (Public)

Belmont (Private) - Nashville, Tenn.

East Tennessee State (Public) - Johnson City, Tenn.

Florida Gulf Coast (Public) - Fort Myers, Fla.

Lipscomb (Private) - Nashville, Tenn.

North Florida (Public) - Jacksonville, Fla. - They explored football, but last I heard, that was shot down.

Oral Roberts (Private) - Oklahoma City

South Carolina Upstate (Public) - Spartanburg, S.C.

UNC Asheville (Public) 

UNC Wilmington (Public)

Winthrop (Public) - Rock Hill, S.C.

 

Yes, NONE of those are "sexy" schools in name recognition, but each could care out its own place as a niche sport in their community and with the private schools, could funnel tuition dollars into the university coffers.

 

I believe the NWCA is pushing for the HBCU schools (some used to have wrestling) to start programs because its a draw for the declining male enrollment at those schools. The black college environment is a unique one and held in high regard in may places due to its historic and focused educational and social model. 

 

So while UAB was an opening, their addition of track and cross country were in the cards long before the football announcement was made. This is a bad situation for their football team and bowling and rifle squads. We know how it feels to be cut and cut and replaced. I wouldn't like to put the hands of a wrestling program into an administration that's shown a blatant disregard for their student athletes. 

 

Sure, we could shoulder the resentment for a while, but much like UAB's football program, a wrestling team there would be working with one hand tied behind its back. 

 

Just my two cents. 

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Guest Reviver

How about this conference of enrollment-driven schools as a growth opportunity for our sport?

http://www.thesunconference.com/sports/2012/7/2/members.aspx

Florida's Southeastern recently added a team, while Florida's chapter of Embry Riddle has one in its system (in Arizona).   Meanwhile Northwood's HQ is in wrestling-friendly Michigan (even as they recently shed their residential campus in Texas).   Additionally, members in the Carolinas / Georgia region have new neighbors with whom they can wrestle as wrestling potentially gains ground in the conference.  

  Do public universities need our sport that much, as long as they get to keep raking in the tax dollars while underselling private competitors by using other public resources & subsidies?    Fresno St. might reinstate our sport but doesn't the growth for our sport at the college level tend to be at private schools?   Arkansas has 6 college wrestling teams now, in contrast to 0 half a decade ago.   Are any public?

http://batchgeo.com/map/c0e81f035bb980370884a6157e67ed9a

Meanwhile Georgia has 5, as distinguished from apparently 0 half a decade ago.  Are any public, besides Darton?   (Incidentally Darton's program may have been an official one five years ago, or perhaps they were NCWA...which is fine but Dan Gable wants NCWA programs to be officially embraced by colleges & universities).

    Admittedly, public universities can be influenced by political means.    I don't advocate ignoring them, just not spending too much time, energy, spleen and money barking up the public university tree when our sport's growth potential appears to be with private, enrollment-driven schools.   Public universities & colleges are shackled by statist bureaucracies (especially involving Title IX: Proportionality) and growing state governmental debt as this helps document for each U.S. state:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-alabama-debt-clock.html

As for the federal debt, an implosion is inevitable as the bottom lines here show:   http://www.usdebtclock.org

Private universities and colleges are comparatively better off if they can bring in enough self-sufficient students like wrestling can attract, agreed?  

  If a school has an "enrollment manager" and a high acceptance rate regarding applicants, it may very well be enrollment-driven.   And if they have an NCWA or an NCWWA team already, better still.   Participants can provide great intelligence and feedback from the front lines.    Encouragingly enough, Southern Virginia University went from NCWA to NCAA DIII recently.   At least one other NCWA to NCAA transition is in the making, although I'm not yet authorized to disclose further details.   Either way, thanks to all of you for your insightful efforts and such.   Much ground has been regained or otherwise gained since the turn of the century thanks to folks like you who care. 



    

Edited by Reviver

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Mike Moyer's an impressive son-of-a-gun.   His George Mason U. program won the Va. state tournament in 1990 with relatively very little scholarship money and around 7 competitors (including U.Va., William & Mary, ODU, VMI, Liberty U., Va. Tech and James Madison U.).   Has GMU been nearly as good since he moved on from there?    Wrestling has added or reinstated around 150 or more programs since the turn of the century, in significant part thanks to Coach Moyer.   He's witty, dedicated, smart, charismatic and an all around bad mo-fo.   Coach Gable keeps giving back to our sport too, which is encouraging.  Bless 'em both.   :-)

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Reviver, like I said I like your style!

 

Gracias Needles.   I ain't perfect but my heart's in the right place.   Same applies to many here, which is very reassuring.   

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