Coach Garland is about to increase by 60% the percentage of Southerners on the roster for the South's public Harvard U:http://www.virginiasports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17800&ATCLID=205334932I find this breakthrough very encouraging indeed :-)
Steve Garland » Virginia Wrestling Season Update
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Virginia Wrestling Season Update
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Virginia head coach Steve Garland gives an update on the Cavaliers as well as a look into his recruiting.
Over the past decade or so, several different Virginia high school teams have been ranked in the Top 30 nationally, including Great Bridge, Grundy, Colonial Forge, Cox and Christiansburg. And yet anonymous posters to this thread are now trying to tell me that Virginia (a state of over 12 million inhabitants) somehow couldn't field a competitive line-up for U.Va.? Why do U.Va. soccer and baseball teams perform so well during the postseason despite having so many Virginians on their rosters, relative to U.Va.'s wrestling teams?Iowa's, Oklahoma's, Ohio's and Pennsylvania's state schools have higher percentages of in-state competitors than U.Va. Doesn't that help explain why those respective states have strong high school and youth club wrestling? The incentive exists to invest in developing wrestling proficiency in such states. Local state universities encourage such farm programs to feed into them, resulting in an ecosystem that benefits our sport on various levels and attracts something that U.Va. predictably lacks: a significant fan-base. Meanwhile such states' elected officials consequently have the incentive to try and stand up for our sport despite how the vote-buying Ed. Dept. in D.C. perennially annihilates college wrestling programs as SavingSports.org doents.Do I advocate that U.Va. become an affirmative action program for bad wrestlers? Heck no. But the state of Virginia has produced NCAA D-1 All-Americans for U.Va. in the past, and could yield all sorts of marketing, political, recruiting and financial benefits for a Cavalier wrestling program that actually has a significant quantity of Virginians on its roster. Virginia isn't a state that's known for its cold, thereby pro-indoor-sports weather, or for its manually laboring masses. It nevertheless has wrestling potential that's seemingly untapped by U.Va. Have I not given Coach Garland adequate food for thought? I respect and appreciate Coach Garland's efforts, but I also (vaguely) remember how the S.E.C. used to have lots of competitive NCAA programs that vanished amidst the Title 9 Wars in large part because their roster-composition wasn't sufficiently inspirational to local communities and potential wrestling ecosystems nearby. As a school, U.Va. is well-regarded in the SouthEast. Coach Garland, why not capitalize by fortifying our sport in a politically challenged region through inspirational recruiting efforts? Has your traditionally far more conservative approach to recruiting and retention ever made U.Va. a Top 10 program? It most likely never will, either.
Wow, is this demographics, politics or wrestling? The issue is not where the kids come from, its where are they going? You look for the best kids to help build your College program.VA is not solid in the youth wrestling area, so he must go out of state. It's getting better, but it ain't PA.
Perhaps a reason why lacrosse is ADDING NCAA D-1 teams (such as the U. of Michigan's) while wrestling is LOSING them is that lacrosse has folks like Coach Bill Tierney. Coach Tierney was winning NCAA team titles at Princeton (which was unheard of) until he surprised everyone by accepting a postion in no-man's land way out at the University of Denver. Last season they lost merely to the eventual NCAA team champ during the postseason, and his roster has more than twice as many in-state competitors as U.Va.'s wrestling team does. Coach Tierney wanted to help his sport survive and grow, and it's contagious.U.Va.'s men's soccer team recently won the NCAA's with mostly Virginians, didn't it? Meanwhile U.Va.'s football coach Mike London expressly says that he wants lots of in state competitors (i.e. Virginians) on his roster, to inspire audiences (among other reasons). Correct?Incidentally Cornell University has tough academic admissions standards. Are my detractors here claiming that U.Va. couldn't win nationally with Virginians and Southerners because of the admissions standards at Mr. Jefferson's Academical Village, though? 65% of U.Va.'s undergrad. enrollment is from Virginia, even as 16% of its wrestling team's roster is. 65% is quite a potential fan-base and recruiting one, unless its locals feel shirked where the allocation of roster spots and recruiting resources are concerned.Virginia Tech's Coach Kevin Dresser hasn't coached at the high school level in over half a decade, by the way. Only one on his current roster attended either high school at which he had ever coached, too. But that former real estate vendor knows how to work with the local communities, and even build successful programs practically from scratch. Christiansburg H.S. barely even had wrestling before his arrival in 1996 or so. BTW, did Coach Dresser's Hokies not place 2nd at National Duals in Iowa last season? Meanwhile over 3,378 fans showed up for the dual vs. U.Va. last season, right? How many thousands less do you predict will show up for U.Va. @ JPJ in a month, though, despite all the publicity? And why do you suppose that is?
5 out of 31 on U.Va.'s current wrestling roster graduated from a high school in Va. That's 16%. Meanwhile no others on it are from the SouthEastern USA. There's a Coloradan and also a Californian, though... And they wonder why they don't get more fans at home meets? In contrast, Va. Tech. has 10 Virginians on its own roster of 34 this season. That's nearly 30%. Plus the Hokies sport 2 Texans, a Georgian and a Coloradan. Is U.Va. that much tougher to get into than Va. Tech, while Southerners are too busy enjoying warm outdoor weather to develop necessary booksmarts? Or is Virginia Tech's Coach Kevin Dresser (a native Iowan) more into building our sport nationwide? Building a national base for our sport is politically necessary if we're to succeed at finally mobilizing Washington D.C. to reform how Title IX proportionality is killing wrestling at the NCAA level.Must U.Va. be so provincial / regional with its recruiting? Do the Virginia Cavaliers hope to attract anywhere near as many fans to U.Va.'s JPJ Arena for the VaTech. meet on Nov. 27th as the Hokies attracted for the U.Va. meet in Blacksburg last winter? If U.Va wrestling. had a more diverse roster, it would have broader audience appeal. That could boost recruiting and performance. Food for thought, eh Coach Garland?