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D1 Women's Wrestling

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Why hasn't this happened yet and what Division I school do you think will be the first to add a program?

 

Also, why are we as a wrestling community not fighting to get more women's programs added at the D1 level? It seems like it would only help in the fight to save Men's wrestling.

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I am not fighting because there isn't enough participation to justify it. My cousin's wife was on a rowing scholarship in college and she never sat in a boat before getting to college. She was recruited based on her athleticism in a basketball game and given a scholarship because the large state school had scholarships to offer but no athletes with experience to give them to.

 

Build grass roots girls wrestling and I will gladly be a part of a push to add more collegiate programs but biggest reason men's D1 programs are dropped is to free up money for other priorities. Adding women's programs will NOT save men's programs. That would have been effective in the late 70s and through the 80s but that boat has sailed. Now it is all about money and you don't add an additional line item and strengthen your position. There are plenty of schools sponsoring women's track with no men's team despite them previously sharing a bus on road trips.

 

The NCWA schools are doing a great job and it would be a disservice to women's wrestling and all those that put effort into the years of building those programs to not recognize that they are the best at providing opportunities for women's collegiate wrestling at this time.

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I would be surprised if there are not 250+ women at B1G schools that were in at least a Jr Hi or Sr Hi practice room, if not on competition mats. A similar number probably competed in elementary school.

 

Start teams, no need for 10 classes, 7-8 could do for a start. Maybe the upper weights would be raw recruits, but there should be someone with experience at most of the lower classes

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Who would watch it? Does having more wrestling with zero fans in the seats help wrestling overall? I won't watch it and it doesn't make me a bad person. Same reason NBA fans never gave the WNBA the time of day.

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I got ya. Yeah, there has been a lot of men's programs widdled away while the women remain on campus competing in the same sport. I do think that if there had been women wrestling in the 1980s there would be some more D1 mens programs. But I think it is way too late to see that as a viable avenue to persue today. (Mobile)

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I remember it was only about 5-7 years ago where outdoor men's and women's track and field were actually in parity with each other...didn't realize the gap had grown that significantly!

 

I find it surprising in principle, but something I already did know previously, admittedly, that there are more men's golf teams than women's golf teams. Wonder how long that will last...

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I think it would be a good idea to add women's competitors to the All-Star Meet, Midlands, Scuffle, etc. 

 

These days a lot of wrestling's exposure comes from MMA, and if you start getting women's MMA stars talking about wrestling, it would help get more young women interested, and it would help the sport as a whole. 

 

I don't have a lot of exposure to women's wrestling, but I think Olympic women's wrestling is fantastic. Very fun to watch.

 

Personally I think wrestling programs keep getting cut because 99.9% of people think wrestling is boring and because the wrestling community is resistant to change. (Seriously, the constant going out of bounds and the quest for riding time is terrible.) Administrators just blame Title 9 to deflect heat. But to the extent Title 9 is a problem, adding women's programs would help keep wrestling alive.  

Edited by Katie

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I think it would be a good idea to add women's competitors to the All-Star Meet, Midlands, Scuffle, etc. 

 

These days a lot of wrestling's exposure comes from MMA, and if you start getting women's MMA stars talking about wrestling, it would help get more young women interested, and it would help the sport as a whole. 

 

I don't have a lot of exposure to women's wrestling, but I think Olympic women's wrestling is fantastic. Very fun to watch.

 

Personally I think wrestling programs keep getting cut because 99.9% of people think wrestling is boring and because the wrestling community is resistant to change. (Seriously, the constant going out of bounds and the quest for riding time is terrible.) Administrators just blame Title 9 to deflect heat. But to the extent Title 9 is a problem, adding women's programs would help keep wrestling alive.

It doesn't matter if wrestling is boring. A lot of administrators and fans think XC, Track, Golf, Swimming and a wealth of other sports are boring. Wrestling has better fans and TV ratings than these sports. These other sports survive the cuts when it is between them and wrestling because they are respected and seen as respectable things for educated people to be participating.

 

MMA may get wrestling mentioned during a broadcast but it doesn't do much to drive interest in the sport and does little to protect it on campuses. In fact, I would argue it does more harm to college programs.

 

It is interesting the differences between the youth, high school, and collegiate level. The youth levels are about driving interest and participation and it is possible that MMA could help to attract some more kids that otherwise wouldn't think about wrestling. But wrestling does not have a participation problem; wrestling has an opportunities problem and it seems to be limited mainly to the collegiate level and more specifically in Division-I.

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Pinnum, not sure where you are from but it might open your eyes if you traveled outside of your own state/region and attended a HS tournament in an area where girls wrestling is a state association sponsored sport. When girls get the opportunity to compete on their own teams, with other girls, with good coaches who don't view them as a "necessary burden" they tend to do great and have good sized teams. In many of these same states more and more girls are getting involved in the sport at the kiddie level. This is a HUGE area of potential growth for the sport and we need to be promoting ALL wrestling. Why would you only want to promote the sport to less than half of the population? The wrestling community would be wise to use the title IX argument to push for girls wrestling to be recognized in each state association and for the states that already do have it as an official sport to push for a big state university to provide an opportunity for the girls to compete on the college level. 

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How many of those 250 women that wrestled a match in their youth do you think care to make the commitment to wrestle in college?

(Mobile)

250 in Jr HS or Sr HS plus another 250 who competed in elementary (and did not compete in Jr Hi because they realized the older they got the less competitive they were with good guys). Well if 1/3 of the ladies choose to compete in the B1G, that means ~167. Say 5 are at Northwestern (too few for a team their at first) So 13 teams with 12 or 13 experienced members of each team. Add another 8-10 green members to each program. Enough to get started. Then expect HS wrestling among the Girls in the 11 states to quadruple in a decade.

 

I don't know how much good this will do but if it contributes to saving one team in each NCAA division a decade, we are all happy. I see no negatives

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Pinnum, not sure where you are from but it might open your eyes if you traveled outside of your own state/region and attended a HS tournament in an area where girls wrestling is a state association sponsored sport. When girls get the opportunity to compete on their own teams, with other girls, with good coaches who don't view them as a "necessary burden" they tend to do great and have good sized teams. In many of these same states more and more girls are getting involved in the sport at the kiddie level. This is a HUGE area of potential growth for the sport and we need to be promoting ALL wrestling. Why would you only want to promote the sport to less than half of the population? The wrestling community would be wise to use the title IX argument to push for girls wrestling to be recognized in each state association and for the states that already do have it as an official sport to push for a big state university to provide an opportunity for the girls to compete on the college level.

I believe you're misunderstanding me. It may be my fault in not communicating my views very well.

 

Texas and Hawaii have it right, in my opinion. I am a fan of women's wrestling because I think women should be able to enjoy the sport so many of us have had the chance to enjoy. I don't believe I have been disparaging. My point is that adding new D1 sports is a very hard sell and even if we were successful in getting 60 or 80 D1 women's wrestling programs, it wouldn't be a panacea and could actually accelerate the elimination of men's teams. Just as the other sports I pointed out (and then SHP provided data on) there are a lot of sports where it makes logical sense for their to be a men's team if there is a women's team. But there are many forces at play that make it so that it isn't the case.

 

I would like to see more girls wrestling. But looking at current the participation figures nationally, there are only 9,900 girls wrestling in high school compared to 269,000 boys. If there are 77 D1 men's programs for 269,000 boys then there should be less than 3 D1 women's programs to have the same ratio. There is not enough demand yet.

 

My point is that there is already a current women's collegiate championship and there are already programs like Oklahoma City, Jamestown, Cumberland, and others that sponsor women's wrestling and it is expanding with Furram now adding a program too. All of these schools are committed to the sport. It would make more sense to put support behind these programs and reward their associations by making them the premier destination for world class women. There is no reason that D1 has to be the place for them.

 

I don't believe launching D1 women's programs will make men's wrestling more viable and I believe it could be a risk to the current programs that have provided women with the chance to compete. It would be a real tragedy if Cumberland or King were unable to field teams.

 

So, yes, I think women should compete but I think it is a reach at best to think that women's wrestling at D1 schools is going to keep D1 programs.

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I struggle with the idea that a school, even they are a member of the Big Ten, would be receptive to losing a Million dollars a year to run a program for a few people that participated in the activity in their youth. (Mobile)

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I struggle with the idea that a school, even they are a member of the Big Ten, would be receptive to losing a Million dollars a year to run a program for a few people that participated in the activity in their youth. (Mobile)

They already do that with Crew/Rowing, which isn't even sanctioned by most  state governing bodies,

 

In my home state of WA over 1000 girls wrestle, has its own state tourney, and schools run girls only duals.  Its only getting bigger. NAIA schools are that are adding wrestling have tended to add both men's and women's lately, so NAIA might be where its at for the women. Arguably, its where its at for men, as the NAIA seems to be willing to grow the sport, as the DI variety is apparently content to become a stall-ride fest with very emphasis on increasing action.  

 

Its just a little tough to hear people downplay the possibilities with women's wrestling, after spending the last 30 years in this sport listening to people complain that wrestling needed (or didn't have) a "women's equivalent".  Now we are the cusp of actually having that equivalent sport, and suddenly there is something wrong with it - its just not good enough.  Give me a break.  C'mon wrestling, get out of your own way for once.

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Nearly every school with a women's wrestling program is using it as a way to drive enrollment and get more people paying tuition at that school. Ferrum College, the latest to add, is 43% women. Every woman who goes there to wrestle pays tuition and helps their gender ratio. Other schools may have enough women but are looking for ways to add students.

 

Women's wrestling will grow at small private colleges that are tuition driven, which is exactly where men's teams are also being added. The revenue generated by the added students more than offsets the cost of the program. Why does there need to be women's wrestling in Division I? The sport is growing at the college level and will continue to do so.

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Crew is a poor justification for the expenses of new women's programs. I don't know of any crew teams that have been added in any recent years. They aren't adding teams just as they aren't adding wrestling.

 

Washington Crew has a long history. http://www.huskycrew.com/washington_rowing_history.htm

 

Choosing to not eliminate a program is much different than choosing to add a program.

 

(Mobile)

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All wrestling is watchable. Spare us the elitist mentality of only watching "good" wrestling.

 

If it's not watchable, that's on you, not the athletes.

 

I mean in the same sense that some are upset with continual 3-2 ride-out matches.

 

The lightweights in the women's division seem to be inventing moves; engaging, taking risks, and establishing pace. Again, watchable in the sense of appealing. Nothing elitist intended.

 

My point of stating "watchable" was in response to any who might be inclined to dismiss women's wrestling altogether because they are women.

Edited by RealAmericanHero

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In a mainstream sport like basketball.

 

NCAA mens average attendence:  4994

NCAA womens average attendence: 1583

 

Seems like a pretty large gap.  I like baseball but rarely watch college and never watch HS.  Is it wrong for me to only watch baseball at the highest level that it is played?

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All wrestling is watchable. Spare us the elitist mentality of only watching "good" wrestling.

 

If it's not watchable, that's on you, not the athletes.

Stop lecturing someone on their opinion.  There are many, many people involved in the sport that feel it's a necessary hassle to promote women's wrestling, in an effort to save the sport.

People are entitled to feel any way they like about this, or really any other sport.

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