Episode #30 is a fun stroll where Kevin & I talk about a number of different topics. We caught some heat for complaining about Field Hockey (while also complimenting the Dutch Olympic team). Our point isn't that we don't like Field Hockey as a sport (I honestly don't have enough experience with the sport to complain about it) but that in order to bring back Notre Dame Wrestling your funding group would have to likely pay for a women's sport like Field Hockey. That really sucks.
There are 77 division 1 NCAA Wrestling teams while there are 10,668 high school wrestling teams. There are 79 D1 Field Hockey teams while there are only 1,795 high school Field Hockey teams. That really does hurt.
As a wrestling junkey I get very sensitive with the subject. I hate talking to people in casual conversation and have them refer to wrestling as a dying sport like participation numbers would easily backup their claim. A lot of this perception does come from the unfair beating wrestling took at the D1 level from Title IX. Not having the female equivalent has allowed wrestling to be cut while high school interest levels show the disparity in fairness. For instance, there are currently 261 D1 men's tennis teams while there are only 9,849 high school tennis teams and over 100,000 less high school participants. The costs to run each program are pretty similar and wrestling has a low more attendance than tennis. Even swimming has just over half the high school participants that wrestling does, but has 135 D1 teams. Wrestling is relegated to just having a few more programs than Lacrosse and Ice Hockey while they just have 2,535 and 1,585 high school teams respectively.
The main one that really hurts is Rowing. This is a sport that schools are forced to comb the halls and the weight room offering girls scholarships with zero experience so their Title IX numbers look better all while Wrestling gets hammered. There are 155 girls rowing teams in high school nationwide and 88 D1 Women's Rowing teams.
There's a reason the NCAA Wrestling championships sell out every year: there are a lot of wrestlers out there. Title IX is supposed to be about equal representation. It doesn't seem like wrestling is being represented equally, but I doubt we will get any of that support.
Despite all this wrestling continues to grow which really says something. Against all odds there's something about wrestling that infuses in your blood and carries with you for life. You have to respect that despite all these obstacles the sport keeps growing.