Attached is an article detailing the Cleveland State Wrestling "situation" as it has transpired. I can't help but wonder why our sport continues to face these kind of fights. The AD at Cleveland State seemed to make a huge mistake completely underestimating the power of the Ohio wrestling community. That being said, what makes us a sport that has to continually fight for our existence? Why are people outside of the sport so blinded to wrestlings value? Our we not doing a good enough job is educating people? Many people our very vocal about what wrestling has done for them and much success has been attributed to skills learned in wrestling but I find that those people are just the tip of the iceberg.
I talk to wrestlers, in and out of the sport, that attribute their success to the sport with such conviction that even a non wrestler would not ever question it. We need those people to bring that up, start that conversation, and open the dialogue with anyone who will listen. Bring wrestling up at PTA, at community events, and work meetings, we need to demand that our sport be accessible to the masses not just survive in its current state. Think about all the things wrestling has given you, all the skills, all of the strength. Don't you owe it to wrestling and to your community to be a wrestling advocate? Let's stop fighting to save programs and continue to fight to expand programs. The return of the Fresno State Wrestling Team will be a huge step in the right direction. CA has lost 15 D1 Wrestling programs in the past two decades, bringing us to a total of 3 programs. Fresno State will make 4. Our most heavily funded University system in CA, the UC system, currently has 0 wrestling programs. UC Davis cut wrestling in 2010 and for the past 5 years our largest funded public higher education institutions in CA have been without the oldest sport.
We have 10 UC Campuses competing with many private institutions for students. UC Berkley and UCLA are competing with institutions like Stanford, Harvard, Brown, Yale, Princeton, and Cornell for the best and brightest of our state. I just named 6 private institutions, 5 of them have D1 wrestling teams. The character that wrestling brings to a campus is a benefit. As publicly supported institutions it seems like we should be demanding that wrestling be a part of the UC system. Let us move wrestling from the defensive to the offensive in CA. Bring back wrestling to the UC System.