Solving the Problem of Forfeits

For this edition of How Wrestling Wins, I will attempt to put an end to the pandemic of forfeits, and then offer a suggestion regarding how we can improve wrestling’s pinning percentages. I hope you’re sitting down . . . To begin, I believe everyone would agree that we can’t allow forfeits to continue, they… Read More »

Doubling Up and Jumbling Weight Classes

I would like to begin this blog by expressing my extreme gratitude to all of you who have been so supportive of my musings. The last five years have been more than enjoyable, while being equally as frustrating. I have tried to make a difference, and maybe I have, but it seems little has changed.… Read More »

A Point Earned, is a Point Scored

Over the years, individual collegiate sports have been classified as either revenue or non-revenue; with wrestling being the latter. It’s been that way for over 100 years, and we still can’t figure out how to make a profit. What an embarrassment. And, if I were to guess, I’d say that at least 80% of all… Read More »

Change, It Isn’t Easy

Friends, I’m struggling. I know what we need to do as a sport, but to say what needs saying only upsets many of those that I consider friends. But I love wrestling for all the same reasons as you do, or you wouldn’t be reading these words. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that the… Read More »

Attendance is Survival

After you read the following, if you agree with me, or have found what I wrote was interesting, may I ask you to share it with others? InterMat this past two weeks, did 21 stories on dual meets and triangulars, and listed the results on their home page. But only two of the articles mentioned… Read More »

The Juggernauts

I think it’s time for a list; they’re always popular. This one isn’t that long, but for those I mention here are the most iconic wrestlers in the history of the sport. This group of greats, are yes, at the very least, legends of the sport. But more than that, they were the most exciting,… Read More »

Another Opportunity Blown

Wrestling, and those who are in charge have, once again, stepped in it. I could be wrong, but either I’m operating on 70 years of experience, or, I’ve severely overestimated what I learned during those 70 years? Recently, both the leadership of the EIWA and the NWCA have come out with statements relative to coronavirus… Read More »

Sad Predictions

For this year’s wrestling season, it’s sad to say, Iowa isn’t going to win a dual meet and Clarion is going to go undefeated. No, that’s not a Golden Eagle fan wishing for the best. It’s just that there isn’t going to be a wrestling season so both of my predictions are correct. And, by… Read More »

Passing Up Opportunities

Given the state that wrestling is in with coronavirus, and our leadership being all too happy with status quo remaining quo; plus, athletic administrators who regard non-revenue sports as, well, philanthropic endeavors; to say we need help would be understating the issue. Somehow, you, me, we, need to find ways to energize the sports leadership… Read More »

The Danger of Coronavirus

I’m afraid, the orbit of non-revenue sports around the financial sun, and quite possibly, the nation’s athletic departments, is about to go sub-zero. But, certainly, the beginning of an ice age for non-revenue sports, especially wrestling, is here, and it’s called COVID-19. Financially, colleges and universities are in deep trouble. Too many incoming freshmen and… Read More »

The Lost NCAA Tournament

I’m not sure I agree with most of the posts on Facebook that would like to see an extra year of wrestling given to those who were denied the final weekend of the season. I certainly understand everyone’s frustration, but this isn’t the first-time something like this has happened. There were no championships in 1943,… Read More »

Pat Smith, One of the Greatest

Was Pat Smith the first 4-time NCAA Champion; absolutely! What he accomplished was certainly akin to what Roger Banister did in 1954, shattering the track and field myth that said, a sub four-minute mile was impossible. Pat wasn’t the first wrestler to ever set 4 titles as a goal, but he was the first one… Read More »

Wrestling Beware

It appears there’s a strong possibility that collegiate athletics are about to see some major changes. The California State Assembly voted 73-0 in favor of State Bill 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, which is a proposed law that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness,… Read More »

Final X Matches

Dake v. Deiringer For those who attended the Final X competition between Kyle Dake and Alex Deiringer, the entry fee of $10.00 was $9.50 more than it should have been. To be clear, what I’m about to write, has nothing to do with the quality, skill, intelligence or level of sportsmanship regarding either of these… Read More »

Jim Phillips; and Weight Classes  

Jim Phillips Rest in Peace my dear friend; was not only what my heart said when I heard of Jim’s passing, but also the opinion of everyone who knew Coach Phillips. The mark of greatness, for any human being, is his or her ability to make others smile, and feel fortunate for having known the… Read More »

The NCAA Championships

The city of Pittsburgh did a wonderful job hosting the event. From friendly, helpful airport greeters to welcome banners hanging on seemingly every lamp post in the city. Everything Pittsburgh did said, “welcome, and thank you for visiting,” and the Steel City did us right. The arena where we wrestled and the Penguins play, was… Read More »

Where We Fail, Part II

Before I cover the next two “must do’s” in order to make the sport fun to watch, by those who don’t attend, here’s another item that chafes my posterior. How can we grow and become mainstream, without being smart enough to see that which is poisoning our water? Instead of writing a feel-good blog about… Read More »

Where We Fail

I believe most of you are becoming more and more aware of how precarious the sport of wrestling is, relative to becoming main stream. It’s not that we’re not one of the most dynamic sports on the planet or that we somehow fail at building character, discipline and exceptional young men. Those pluses are a… Read More »

Keep Your Fork

My mother shared this story with me as she was in failing health. Now as I’m closing in on my golden years, her words have become even more meaningful, and her message more poignant. I thought you might like it, and I hope I can do it justice. There was once a young woman who… Read More »

To hair, or not to hair, that is the question.

The national media has been reporting extensively on the Buena High School wrestler who was required to cut his hair or forfeit the match. Whether the incident reveals racial bias, that might be a stretch. But it is where the country is right now. To begin, rules are rules, if you don’t like them, change… Read More »

World Freestyle Championships

It was a wonderful showing for the Red, White and Blue. Besides the level of class that each of our athletes demonstrated off the mat, 7 of the 10 came home with medals. Not too shabby, but the best year we ever had was in 1987 with 8 medalists. That was when Barry Davis won… Read More »

Rest in Peace

Last week the sport lost one of the finest men to ever walk on a wrestling mat. Mike Milkovich. There was so much more to Mike than just raising a wonderful family or winning championships. He made the rest of the country sit up and take notice relative to promoting the sport. A consummate gentleman,… Read More »

Wrestling’s Attendance Numbers

Just back from a few MMA clinics in Europe and it’s good to be home. I’ve missed my readership but I’ve also been tied up with my novel. I hope everyone is doing well. Let me begin with the health of wrestling on the collegiate level, which means, the health of all wrestling. Nothing explains… Read More »

Eastern Michigan Drop Wrestling

I think we need to pay closer attention to what is happening. With the loss of EMU, a year after Boise State, which followed on the heels of, well, you get the idea. Every time we have an NCAA Championship, it seems we receive more bad news about some institution or institutions deciding to discontinue wrestling.… Read More »

Observations from the NCAA’s

I was honored to once again be part of the Semi-Final Preview Show at the WIN Memorabilia Show. During one of the segments, I mentioned that Iowa is going to have a very rough time of it getting back to the days of Gable. One gentleman, in particular, took offense at my observation. He challenged… Read More »

The Penn State, Ohio State Dual

A truly outstanding meet with the sport being the ultimate winner. Well, sort of, kind of, well, not really. The very first thing I noticed when I turned to the Big Ten Network 15 minutes before airtime was a Penn State-Iowa basketball game that was taking place in the Bryce Jordan Center. I said, “what,… Read More »

Atta-Boy Rich

It’s only fair that I come out of retirement for this particular blog to congratulate USAWrestling and their staff for a wonderful championship performance. World Champions! It was great fun getting to watch all the amazing competition and the various storylines unfold. To all who gave of themselves to make this happen . . .… Read More »