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Mark Schultz: "#SOCIALIZEWRESTLING"

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Today Schultz tweeted:

 

 

USAWRESTLING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SALARY $230,000.00 A YEAR! THE #1 RANKED WRESTLER IN THE US SALARY $0.00! BOYCOTT NOW! #SOCIALIZEWRESTLING.

 

CALL TO ACTION!!!: BOYCOTT ALL USA WRESTLING EVENTS UNTIL ADMINISTRATORS PAY THE TOP ATHLETES AT EACH WEIGHT A SALARY EQUAL TO THEIRS.

https://twitter.com/MarkSchultzy/status/607693191307878400

 

 

Askren responds:

 

 

Ben Askren retweeted Mark Schultz

Mark #1 wrested is around 12k a year. I get your point though, wrestling needs to be professionalized not socialized

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/Benaskren/status/607719508799815683

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Mark makes little sense.   Why would there be a salary?   Why would we boycott when we all competed under a similar system and never had a problem with it?  I

 

will agree the guy making $230k/year and doing a horrible job with marketing USA wrestling (perhaps he should consult Tony Ramos, marketer extraordinaire according to at least one) needs to perform or get pulled out of there in favor of someone who can do the job.   

 

As far as a salary goes, this is amateur wrestling, they shouldn't have salaries.   

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But it's NOT amateur.  Every other major wrestling power compensates their wrestlers.  Even in the old "amateur" days, the Eastern bloc got around amateur status by granted top athletes "training expense" compensation.

 

Our best should be paid.  Period.

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Yes, they were different.  Our guys made even less than now.  You know, Olympic champion Doug Blubaugh used to tell the story of how he lost his amateur status:  he accepted a watch as a gift.  Back then, even being paid to be assistant coach somewhere (even at the high school level) lost you amateur status.  That said, we are still along ways away from other nations who compensate their wrestlers quite well comparatively.

Edited by Coach_J

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Other nations have something we don't -- actual government-backed financial support. There's also factors when you consider Azerbaijani oil companies backing their national federation. 

 

BTW, this is an old list (from 2010) from the Colorado Springs Gazette

http://gazette.com/study-olympic-ngb-heads-make-average-of-228k/article/108800

 

You'll see the USAW Executive Director ranked 19th among salaries of the NGB's. 

 

In addition to stipends, the national team trips are (to my knowledge) paid for by USAW for the most part. This means people aren't paying their full way to Cuba or Krasnoyarsk. Those travel expenses need to be considered.

 

Our athletes are professionals. Our national team stipends may not be enough, but they are certainly more beneficial now than when Mark was coming through. I don't think that's something too many people can refute. 

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World Team Members at all 24 weights get a stipend, right? If so, that is 72 athletes with stipends. So even if you cut the executive director's salary by $72k a year (lowering it to a paltry $158k), you're only going to make $1k an athlete available. That is a negligible amount for any athlete individually. And frankly, $230k is not an exorbitant amount of money and you want to be able to compensate at a level that will allow you to be able to attract talent.

 

USA Wrestling sends a ton of athletes overseas in addition to the training camps and events that are operated.

 

Athletes may not get paid by USA Wrestling but they get a lot of benefits from them. It could be like other sports where they are paid more money but the athletes have to cover every expense on their own. In those instances you get less people being paid and less people benefiting. USA Wrestling seems to give a lot of support to all the age groups and styles (which I know some people complain about).

 

Just a few years ago people were complaining that our guys didn't compete enough over seas. Now it seems like they get out a lot more. Now people are complaining that they aren't getting paid enough. I also recall hearing that USA wrestling doesn't market the athletes enough.

 

The reality is there is one pool of money and it must be used to cover everything. You can't use that limited pool to do everything well and meet everyone's needs. There is always more work to be done.

 

But with that said, I think the org is doing a much better job of marketing and getting athletes to competitions than they were just a few years ago. The Living the Dream medal fund is HUGE! Talent that performs in the Worlds and Olympics is given a nice bonus and there was a lot of talk at the Olympics about how much money Olympic wrestlers make for winning compared to other sports.

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But it's NOT amateur.  Every other major wrestling power compensates their wrestlers.  Even in the old "amateur" days, the Eastern bloc got around amateur status by granted top athletes "training expense" compensation.

 

Our best should be paid.  Period.

 

 

 

My 11 year old nephew uses your logic regularly.  

 

But they did it too!!!

 

Is that really your argument?

 

 

Since we're speaking about Burroughs, following his Olympic triumph, he received close to $300k

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it would be nice if we USA Wrestling had the scratch to pay wrestlers more. but i don't think that should be their job. their job is to administer, not hire full time competitors to their payroll. 

 

maybe they could use some of that money for tournament prizes but its up to the athletes to figure out how to get paid. having sports agents would help, but then it's a chicken or egg problem. 

 

if only there was a costless way to raise wrestling profile in america. like by getting more NCAA matches on ESPN or something. i know, thats crazy. if wrestling could get matches on ESPN they would have already done it by now. no one would turn down that kind of opportunity. 

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Cletus, your attempt at a comparison makes absolutely no sense.  We are talking about competing on a level playing field with the best nations in the world, not getting to stay up for an extra hour to watch Power Rangers reruns with Uncle Cletus.

 

Since pure amateurism is dead, why make a case to cling to it or move backwards?  What on earth would be the point?  Using your power of comparison, why don't we use horsehair mats to compete on.  Or why don't some pro teams purposely not raise the salary cap for their team when it is raised every year because "everyone else is doing it"?  Why don't some football teams just drop that crazy newfangled thing the forward pass " because everyone else is doing it"?  Damn world's gone to hell since them gas powered buggies took over....

 

More emphasis must be put on prize monies for major events (senior nationals, world team trials, worlds, and Olympics).  Other nations give out nice cash rewards at their major grand prix events; we give out some cash at the Schultz and I think the NYAC Open.  These are good starts.  Not sure what Beat the Streets gives out, but I like some of the cash incentives for some of the bouts like Dake vs. Jufalakyan.  It's good for the sport and helps these guys pay their bills so they can train and, horror of horrors, maybe even buy a house and/or car, and raise a family until their competitive days are over.

 

Many powerful/wealthy people with wrestling backgrounds are out there.  Just as colleges set up endowments for scholarships, USA Wrestling should be establishing endowments for weight classes that can be grown to pay salaries to our top guys.

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Would/will Flo ever sponsor wrestlers? I see Flips sponsoring athletes quite a bit.

I don't think it is in good taste for a media company to be sponsoring athletes.

 

On the other hand, it would be nice to see more companies like Flips get behind wrestling. If the Flips model proves successful, I am sure other producers of consumer goods will follow.

 

With that said, Flo does operate their own league which helps market athletes that are involved and does pay athletes something to participate.

Edited by Pinnum

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I don't think it is in good taste for a media company to be sponsoring athletes.

 

On the other hand, it would be nice to see more companies like Flips get behind wrestling. If the Flips model proves successful, I am sure other producers of consumer goods will follow.

 

With that said, Flo does operate their own league which helps market athletes that are involved and does pay athletes something to participate.

 

I feel like Flips Audio peaked and was a fad. I know they are trying to expand their business model (socks, apparel, etc) but that market seems pretty saturated.

 

Do you feel like Flo more of a media company or promotion company? 

 

Edit: With all the success Flo is having, do you think it's a matter of time before wrestlers (on all levels) demand something in return (monetarily) from Flo?

Edited by thefatman

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Cletus, your attempt at a comparison makes absolutely no sense.  We are talking about competing on a level playing field with the best nations in the world, not getting to stay up for an extra hour to watch Power Rangers reruns with Uncle Cletus.

 

Since pure amateurism is dead, why make a case to cling to it or move backwards?  What on earth would be the point?  Using your power of comparison, why don't we use horsehair mats to compete on.  Or why don't some pro teams purposely not raise the salary cap for their team when it is raised every year because "everyone else is doing it"?  Why don't some football teams just drop that crazy newfangled thing the forward pass " because everyone else is doing it"?  Damn world's gone to hell since them gas powered buggies took over....

 

More emphasis must be put on prize monies for major events (senior nationals, world team trials, worlds, and Olympics).  Other nations give out nice cash rewards at their major grand prix events; we give out some cash at the Schultz and I think the NYAC Open.  These are good starts.  Not sure what Beat the Streets gives out, but I like some of the cash incentives for some of the bouts like Dake vs. Jufalakyan.  It's good for the sport and helps these guys pay their bills so they can train and, horror of horrors, maybe even buy a house and/or car, and raise a family until their competitive days are over.

 

Many powerful/wealthy people with wrestling backgrounds are out there.  Just as colleges set up endowments for scholarships, USA Wrestling should be establishing endowments for weight classes that can be grown to pay salaries to our top guys.

 

 

 

You raise several interesting points.   Thank you for the very well thought out response.   

 

Allow me to consult with my nephew, then I'll get back with you so we can further address this.   

 

 

POWER RANGERS!!!!!!!

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#CAPITALIZEWRESTLING.  If we want to see better paid athletes we have to be better spending fans.  Compare the amount of money an average wrestling fan spends per year watching the sport, and buying merchandise from companies which sponsor our athletes, to the amount of money an average football/basketball/baseball fan spends.  Most people spend about the amount of money on cable sports packages every month that people here complain about giving Flo per year! 

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Many powerful/wealthy people with wrestling backgrounds are out there.  Just as colleges set up endowments for scholarships, USA Wrestling should be establishing endowments for weight classes that can be grown to pay salaries to our top guys.

That's a really good idea.

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I don't think it is in good taste for a media company to be sponsoring athletes.

 

On the other hand, it would be nice to see more companies like Flips get behind wrestling. If the Flips model proves successful, I am sure other producers of consumer goods will follow.

 

With that said, Flo does operate their own league which helps market athletes that are involved and does pay athletes something to participate.

I would take any sponsorship.

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It is a really good idea, quanon and Coach J.

 

and a proposal i will steal for FRL !

 

i think it needs to be discussed and promoted. I've banged the drum about college programs' need to endow themselves.

 

i should do the same with this.

 

 

I also have to say, I've seen a couple complaints on here about the job Rich Bender is doing.

 

In my experience, Bender is doing a great job. i won't go in to details, but i can't sit by and see these negative posts about him and not say anything. The guy is smart, ambitious, and salt of the earth. Disagree if you want, or think you know better. I just couldn't NOT say something. Wrestling is lucky to have him.

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The idea about funding endowments for the national team is a great idea.  The Living the Dream fund is a nice incentive, but to create a culture of success, we need more athletes training year round at the senior level of competition.  The wrestlers really need the money most before they've won medals.

 

I've brought this up multiple times, but I also think it would be a good idea to add a small surcharge ($1) to the cost of USA Wrestling cards, then have the membership vote online on which senior level athletes should get the money.  The last time I checked, USA Wrestling had almost 200,000 members - split the money three ways between the three styles and at least one athlete in each style could live relatively well for a year.  Have the athletes campaign for the money, have the winners do clinics, video logs, etc.  You could do the same thing (adding a dollar to fees, giving it to athletes) with tournaments across the country. 

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Want to see sh*t hit the fan from the membership? Tack on a dollar to the membership fee. Yes, seriously. Some people are of the belief that if it doesn't help their kid directly, they shouldn't be paying for it. There is little altruism when membership fees pay for other things. It's a solid idea, but would be shot down by the state level in many cases. 

 

When I was at Wrestling 411, J Rob had a plan to tack on a dollar surcharge to help fund the project. Only a handful of the tournaments nationwide (of thousands contacted) were willing to part with their money. 

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Want to see sh*t hit the fan from the membership? Tack on a dollar to the membership fee. Yes, seriously. Some people are of the belief that if it doesn't help their kid directly, they shouldn't be paying for it. There is little altruism when membership fees pay for other things. It's a solid idea, but would be shot down by the state level in many cases. 

 

When I was at Wrestling 411, J Rob had a plan to tack on a dollar surcharge to help fund the project. Only a handful of the tournaments nationwide (of thousands contacted) were willing to part with their money. 

I know that national team guys receive some money from USA Wrestling already - does that money come from some pool other than membership fees?

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It is a really good idea, quanon and Coach J.

 

and a proposal i will steal for FRL !

 

i think it needs to be discussed and promoted. I've banged the drum about college programs' need to endow themselves.

 

i should do the same with this.

 

 

I also have to say, I've seen a couple complaints on here about the job Rich Bender is doing.

 

In my experience, Bender is doing a great job. i won't go in to details, but i can't sit by and see these negative posts about him and not say anything. The guy is smart, ambitious, and salt of the earth. Disagree if you want, or think you know better. I just couldn't NOT say something. Wrestling is lucky to have him.

Just give me a shout out credit in the byline!

 

Also, whatever anyone wants to say about the job he is doing, Rich Bender is a good guy.  Remember his early days way back when he was just a newcomer to wrestling.   We hosted him in Findlay, Ohio, at a USA-Turkey dual meet.  Great guy and good memories.

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