At its annual in-person meeting on March 26, held in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, the Wrestling Executive Committee approved a recommendation outlining efforts to advocate for greater collegiate cooperation and the filing of NCAA Division I Proposal 2019-50, which is currently in progress. a vote at the NCAA meeting on April 13-14, 2022.
The USA Wrestling community is concerned about the implementation and precedent of such NCAA legislation, which would prevent the sport of wrestling from using the NCAA’s trial exception for “workout training programs”. ‘state, regional, national or international’. The original legislation allows national team development training to take place among hopefuls, student-athletes and elite graduate/non-college athletes. Such access to coaches and training partners in a distinct style/weight/skill is vital for male and female wrestlers seeking elite development opportunities. The USA Wrestling Executive Committee urges the University community to further examine the 2019-50 proposal, review specific concerns/related data, and formulate recruiting remedies that do not harm athletes or impede the growth of women’s wrestling. .
USA Wrestling’s Executive Committee is a group of volunteer leaders, elected to represent the organization’s many constituencies, who act on behalf of the Board of Directors between meetings, which sets policy and direction for the organization. This committee believes that the efforts made in 2019 to refine the criteria for Regional Training Center athletes and establish an infraction process are just the beginning of increased cooperation with the college community to collectively support the development of the elite. If Proposal 2019-50 were tabled, the committee would seek to formalize a peer review mechanism related to the management of the RTC program.
The proposal approved by the USA Wrestling Executive Committee is as follows:
“We support the filing of the 2019-15 NCAA Division I Proposal for the opportunity for further research and exploration of the impact of this proposal on college wrestling and the sport as a whole, including its adverse effects on women’s wrestling.
Div. I Proposal 2019-50 was submitted by the Mid-American Conference and the Southern Conference.
Div. I Proposal – 2019-50
RECRUITMENT — TESTING EXCEPTIONS — STATE, REGIONAL, NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMS — REMOVE WRESTLING
According to the proposal document as published by the NCAA, the intent of the proposal is:
“To remove wrestling from the trial exception that allows an institution’s athletic department staff member to participate in state, regional, national, or international recognized training programs or competitions organized and administered by the applicable governing body that include prospective student-athletes.”
Women’s wrestling is an emerging sport within the NCAA in all three divisions and has reached a level that could qualify for official championship status within a few years. This proposed rulebook, which initially focuses on men’s wrestling, would clearly have an impact on the development of women’s and women’s wrestling.
“The RTC model paved the way for women’s struggle to access elite athletic and academic training while lowering the barriers to entry that previously existed. Removing RTCs, in the 50th anniversary year of Title IX, would derail the progress the women’s wrestling movement has generated under the larger umbrella of supporting women’s sports. We must continue to allow elite women to train in RTCs with male college athletes as women’s college programs expand,” said Sally Roberts, Founder/CEO of Wrestle Like A Girl.
USA Wrestling asks the wrestling community at all levels to read this proposal prior to this proposed NCAA vote and encourage them to consider using their influence and voice to request a postponement of a vote until all potential consequences are discussed and taken into account.