The Decline of Wrestling by Mario Flores

The past five years the original sport of the Olympics has been going through many major reforms and even talk about being voted out of the Summer Olympics . As far as Olympic wrestling goes the sport was saved from being removed from the list of athletics event in Rio and will continue to be a major sport . The other issue that has been surrounding this sport here in the U.S is that it is in a great decline not only from the high school level but a huge part of it is coming at the collegiate level of participation. The sport is being taken away from universities and colleges mainly on the west coast of the country.

The decline of the sport has an even bigger impact on high school wrestlers.  Tony Vena Head wrestling coach at Damien High School in La Verne California,  says that the decline of the sport in the west coast is because“ not really marketed as a youth sport; more kids involved in year around outdoor sports (weather accommodates that) like baseball and soccer; I saw an article recently that says the singlet turns off potential athletes.” When asked about the recent cuts in the NCAA level he said, “NCAA wrestling cuts are the result of Title IX – wrestling as an all male sport becomes an easy target.  Not sure anything can be done other than increasing interest/participation and expanding female involvement in the sport.” Sophomore Lexicon Mendoza said “ The decline might have to do with the loss of interest in such a physical sport and the demands, ”Mendoza later went on to state that he would not participate in the sport but would watch because of the interesting way of nature the sport has.

Many high school wrestlers that are currently participating in the sport and going into the conference and state and national levels aspire to get recruited at the collegiate level. High school national champs, state champs, and some coaches believe that colleges and universities are no longer recruiting them. This in fact is somewhat true when it comes to west coast schools. ”Yes they are getting recruited but predominantly from wrestling rich states in the Midwest and east coast (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, etc.)  The weight cut at the collegiate level is also a deterrent.” This is true when asked on whether or not this is true former wrestler and NDNU alumni Matt Silva said “A huge part of why I did not continue to wrestle in college had to do with the weight cut and the substantial amount of injury and time of dedication the sport required of me.”

The sport in itself is not offered at NDNU according to Athletic Director Josh Doody, It is to much of a liability and the amount of insurance that it would require would be something that would not be good for the university” The total cost of the insurance necessary for this sport at the collegiate level is roughly around $75,000.  This is the basic type of insurance with minimal coverage of each athlete in the sport.

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