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Angry_Fish

Kyle Dake not Happy

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I applaud him for speaking out.  Whether you agree or disagree with him on his positions (I happen to agree), I think it is great that he is speaking out publicly to try to improve the transparency and fairness of the sport.

 

He has taken to social media to question:

 

1. The fairness of the automatic bye into WTT finals based on previous year's performance at World's/Olympics.

 

2. The process used to make WTT WC selections.  Details are discussed in that other thread so I won't re-hash all of them here, but there are legitimate questions about couple of the selections.  In once case, it is not clear how a WC selection was even able to apply for a WC based on the published criteria.  In the other case, there were multiple candidates who met the application criteria, but only 1 could be selected (per published rules).  Dake is questioning what logic was used to pick one over the other.  He is not saying they were wrong per se (although he seems to think they might have been).  He is emphasizing the need for greater transparency in the decision making.

 

I find it refreshing that a guy his position would publicly ask these questions.

 

I suspect Dake is going to be in a Sr Leadership position within USA Wrestling some day after his career ends.  And I think he will be a great change agent that improves this fabulous sport.

 

I'm still going to root for DT when he wrestles Dake (PSU bias), but I am gaining more and more respect for KD all the time.

Edited by Angry_Fish

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I said this in another thread already but I should repeat it. I think it's a negative to give anyone a bye to the finals. The U.S. Open should be an important event and everyone should attend. It levels the field and it is good for the sport. Look no further than the Russian nationals where so many world champions fell this year and all the big guns participated. That being said Dake would be more credible if he had actually participated in the U.S. Open. I think the regional qualifiers are horrible. It rewards people who game the system. People should have to petition to miss the U.S. Open.

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Medaling at worlds and then getting a bye seems fine to me. A clear, established, and completely open criteria for wildcard selection is an absolute must. Otherwise we lose confidence in our governing body.

 

I posted this before, but I think a bye into the finals is TOO MUCH of a reward.  I think the reward ought to be that they, and only they, can gain a bye into the finals of WTT by winning the US Open.  If someone else wins the US Open (e.g. - Taylor this year), then no-one gets a bye into the finals.  That seems to balance the need to reward the previous year's medal winner with incentivizing medal winners to participate in the US Open and also gives guys like DT something better than a Stop Sign (and a good seed) for winning the US Open.

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 That being said Dake would be more credible if he had actually participated in the U.S. Open. I think the regional qualifiers are horrible. It rewards people who game the system. People should have to petition to miss the U.S. Open.

 

In most years, I would agree with you, but he was operating under special circumstances this year coming of the injuries.  I have no issues with him using a regional qualifier this year.

 

Not sure we need two of them though.

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Seton thanks for the post. From those posts it looks like Dake's concern was why one person (Enock?) wasn't selected. The Slay tells him he shouldn't go the social media route and tries to push it below the radar by suggesting he will find out and send a text. That's when everyone else jumped in and cried foul, let's be transparent. Dake may very well have a bigger agenda but he seemed focused on finding out what happened to his pal. Maybe they had applied and were upset by the outcome. It certainly smacks of politics which seems ludicrous and so bad for the sport. Am I wrong about all this?

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So here is what USA Wrestling posted about applying for a wild card: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling/Features/2014/May/14/World-Team-Trials-wildcards-named-in-FS-and-GR

 

Regarding the bye, I agree US Open champs should not get a bye into the finals, but I am ok with immediate year prior world medalists getting a bye into the finals.

 

 

That being said Dake would be more credible if he had actually participated in the U.S. Open. I think the regional qualifiers are horrible. It rewards people who game the system. People should have to petition to miss the U.S. Open.

 

This thinking has GOT to stop. We have known for years these are qualifiers, and this isn't the first time Dake has qualified this way. EVERYONE, fans, athletes, coaches, all of us need to make NE and Northern Plains regionals more seriously. If they are going to be qualifiers, they need to be treated like a serious event. The Olympics has multiple qualifying events, so do our WTTs. It is our duty to make them important and respected, well attended by fans and athletes alike.

 

Getting back to the WC process, I am really upset that USA wrestling did not post a list of all those who were eligible and all who applied. They should also list the committee used to select it, as in their names and how they voted, not just "the freestyle wildcard committee selected these guys." I would've liked to have seen Tomasello get the WC at 57 for example, but I have no clue if he applied. I also have no clue if Escobedo was a unanimous decision, or how many rounds of voting.

 

It may seem silly to some people, but this is serious business. They drastically reduced the number of auto qualifiers from last year, so being wholly transparent in the process of selecting wild cards is a huge deal. Only 8 guys total have a shot at WTTs, both athelets and fans deserve to know this information.

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Well said, Meloserio. Agree with everything you said.

 

A qualifier is just that, a qualifier. There is no shame whatsoever in using a qualifier to do what a qualifier was intended to do: qualify you for WTT. It may have been a strategic decision by Dake to allow his body to heal properly, but in no way should using a qualifier to qualify be frowned upon. If we want our sport to grow, having more participation in qualifiers is important, rather than concentrating all the activity in one event.

 

I also agree that having no transparency is highly irresponsible of USA Wrestling. The fact that Brandon Slay is suggesting Dake behaved irresponsibly by airing his question out in social media speaks loudly about how opaquely and therefore inappropriately the selection process is being handled. Why the hell would Brandon Slay have any issue with an athlete asking for clarification of a process? How the hell is that irresponsible in any way? Does any other major sport treat the critical process of selecting who gets to compete in an important event like some big secret to be kept away from the eyes and ears of fans?

 

Again, kudos to Dake. And shame on Brandon Slay. It is Slay who behaved irresponsibly. He owes Dake an apology.

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Well said, Meloserio. Agree with everything you said.

 

A qualifier is just that, a qualifier. There is no shame whatsoever in using a qualifier to do what a qualifier was intended to do: qualify you for WTT. It may have been a strategic decision by Dake to allow his body to heal properly, but in no way should using a qualifier to qualify be frowned upon. If we want our sport to grow, having more participation in qualifiers is important, rather than concentrating all the activity in one event.

 

Thank you for getting this wrestlingnerd! It's like people who crap on any conference tournament because it's not Big Tens. The rules are established, and both the NCAA and USA wrestling have made great strides in trying to make their auto qualifiers as reasonable as possible. The tougher the qualifier, the more auto bids you get. It's pretty simple.

 

But then we have wildcards, for situations like AJ Schopp this year at NCAAs. Dake may not have come off very professional in his tweets, but that doesn't mean he was wrong to express them via social media. Slay is the development coach, he works with the guys who are going to have to be dealing with this in the future. So it really bothers me if he is encouraging opaque and under board means of acquiring info. Totally reeks of favorite playing or politics.

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Slay telling Dake to call Burnett and ask him was absolutely right on. Going directly to the person with the answer is not "opaque" or "under board," it's what a mature adult should do rather than post passive aggressive tweets.

 

Dake isn't some fan or outside party. He's a top contender who has traveled and competed abroad on USA Wresting's dime. If he wants answers, USAW will take his calls.

 

His whole rant today about the wild cards (really just stumping for his buddy) and the bye to the finals (just because it affects him) is evidence of immaturity.

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No, it is not an athlete's responsibility to call a world team coach to ask about WC criteria. It is USA Wrestling's responsibility to publish such criteria so at a minimum the athletes themselves know what they're wrestling for and even better the fans know what the he'll is going on (what a concept!).

 

What IS irresponsible is for Slay to use Twitter to tell one of the country's top athletes who was rightfully asking for clarity that he's being irresponsible. What a joke. The proper protocol for athletes and fans alike to get clarity on selection criteria is NOT to call the world coach! Are you seriously arguing that? You honestly don't see the problem in that?

Edited by wrestlingnerd

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I mean yes, generally speaking it is wise to go to the person with the answer. BUT the whole point here is that he SHOULDN'T HAVE TO!! Yes, he was fighting for his friend, yes he is affected by the medalist bye. But that doesn't really matter as much as USA Wrestling not doing something super easy. Here are the criteria, here is who voted and how they voted, here are the eligible candidates and those who applied. That's not super difficult to do, nor does it negatively affect them as much as being opaque about it does.

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The more I read the more I think the system needs to be reworked. It's hard to say what the really important title is under the current system. What does it mean to be US Open Champ if several key people don't go because what they really want is to be on the world team? Ok you say, it doesn't matter because what matters is the who makes the world team. Fine the make that the real tournament. It would be like the NCAAs are important and it's cool to be NCAA champ but then there is this other tournament that really matters. The NCAAs are the greatest thing year in and year out because everyone shows up and of course they do. Everyone wants to be an NCAA champ.

 

This is clearly not so for freestyle and the U.S. Open when JB says at BTS that it was really "courageous" of Taylor and Howe to go out and compete at the U.S. Open when he wasn't there. What I heard was, call it whatever your like, but I'm the national champ. This is all to say that I'm changing my tune. As a fan I want an NCAAs of freestyle. I don't care if it's the U.S. Open or the world team trials but it sure would be great if all the best wrestlers wanted to be the champ of something and that at the same time it was agreed upon that that was the tournament to be at. If it's the trials the fine. Make that a grand spectacle and hold it in Vegas and make it fan friendly. Right now we have guys running around with U.S. national champ on their resume when the title is diminished because people didn't show. Meanwhile world team trials champ only makes sense to insiders. Ask ten people who the best guy is the world team trials champ of the U.S. National champ I think ten people will say "your sports got issues".

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Yeah I mean I guess it could be confusing to outsiders. But like I said, you look at it like NCAAs. The conference tournaments qualify you for the national tournament. The Open and the Regionals qualify you for WTTs. But I see what you're saying, it does seem counter-intuitive to the uninitiated that the "senior nationals" champ may not be the guy representing us at worlds.

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I see this forum as packed with die hard fans who all wish the sport would be more mainstream. So I love this topic and personally get s lot out of hearing different views. And my posts are meant to be constructive in terms of thinking about improving the sport. Mainly. No one's perfect.

I've always thought that wrestling could be mainstream or at least a lot more popular and I'm sure everyone on this board feels that way to some extent. So I keep coming back to what people want. They want champions and heroes and rivalries. They want records smashed and unprecedented stuff.

 

Cael Sanderson was the best thing in a long time for wrestling because he did something no one else did and we got to watch it or hear about it one match at a time. Dake and Taylor in the NCAA finals was amazing for wrestling because it pitted two champions against each other ON THE BIGGEST STAGE. And it was even better because of the all star match. So when the U.S. Open title doesn't matter because JB didn't show and Dake qualified another way it cuts down on that stuff. That's all.

And just to be clear I didn't mean to suggest Dake did anything wrong at all by qualifying for the WTTs through the regionals. Or for that matter JB. Everyone should do as they think best within the rules. Who would expect differently? It's just that I think the rules cut down on the sports ability to attract a broader fan base.

Edited by BigTimeFan

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I've got no problem with a bye to the finals. Just don't run the finals any where near to the challenge tournament. Let both finals wrestlers be equally fresh.

I agree. The problem is that the challenger wrestles through the tournament and then wrestles a fresh wrestler in the finals the same day. 

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We have so few wrestlers who actually medal at worlds that the bye is definitely a good rule.  Until it becomes more common for us to have world medalists, these guys should be given a leg up when it comes to qualifying.  Just look at how Tsargush went down at Russian Nationals...  Anybody remember the Harry Lester fiasco in '08?  There's a spot at 70kg with no bye that Dake would be heavily favored to win.  

 

As for the wild card....who cares?  It's the world team trials and you don't "earn" a wildcard.  You earn entry at one the qualifiers, and then a wildcard is exactly that..a "wildcard."  

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