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Save Portland State Wrestling


Fr:       Mike Moyer, Executive Director – National Wrestling Coaches Association

Re:      “Call to Action” – Save Portland State Wrestling

Date:   January 28, 2009 

As many of you have probably already heard, the Portland State University wrestling program is in imminent danger of being dropped.  The President has assembled a “Task Force” to determine the following fate of the wrestling program: 

1) Keep the program as it is.

2) Keep the program as a club sport.

3) Drop the program.

4) Fund the program so that it can be more competitive. 

There is a scheduled “public comment” opportunity for the wrestling community on Wednesday, February 4, at 5:30pm.  The meeting will take place at the Smith Memorial Student Union (in the ballroom).  Members of a special “Presidents Task Force” will be present to hear the wrestling community’s comments and concerns.  It is crucial that all local and regional high school and youth wrestling teams make time to attend this meeting.  A strong show of community support is crucial to saving the program.  

Former PSU wrestling coach, Marlin Grahn, will be making a round of calls to the Portland area high school and youth club coaches asking for their commitment to attend this meeting.   Further, we would like to make an urgent request to the entire northwest U.S. wrestling community to voice your concern directly to the “President’s Task Force” via an e-mail to the following address:

In your E-Mail, please be sure to convey the following speaking points: 

·         Intercollegiate wrestling fully supports the Portland State University intercollegiate athletic department’s mission statement.  One of their stated objectives is as follows:   

“To obtain unprecedented local and national recognition.” 

·         Portland State University is virtually guaranteed a nationally competitive wrestling team simply by sponsoring the sport.  On average, approximately 80-85% of all D-I schools with a wrestling program will advance at least one wrestler to the NCAA’s each year.  This is primarily because we have approximately 260,000 high school wrestlers and only 220 NCAA member institutions with wrestling teams. 

·         Portland State University has a rich wrestling tradition as evidenced by the following (in some cases, the same wrestlers won multiple titles): 

-       2 NCAA D-I National Champions

-       19 NCAA D-I All Americans

-       16 PAC 10 All Academic Team Members

-       22 NCAA D-II National Champions

-       62 NCAA D-II All Americans

-       7 Olympians

-       1 World Champion 

·         Historically, the Portland State University wrestling program has played a major role in replenishing the depleted pool of high school and middle school teachers/wrestling coaches in the Northwest.  In fact, there are currently 49 active teachers and/or wrestling coaches at the youth and/or scholastic levels who are alums of PSU.

     ·         In the Northwest U.S., there are approximately 43,000 high school wrestlers in Oregon and the neighboring states and only 13 NCAA intercollegiate wrestling teams (about 338 college roster spots).  Intercollegiate wrestling is clearly underserved. 

·         Eliminating the Portland State University wrestling team could force the entire PAC10 Wrestling Conference to dissolve based on having too few PAC 10 schools sponsoring wrestling.  

·         Even without scholarships, several IVY League wrestling programs (i.e. Cornell, Harvard, Penn, etc) are among our most nationally competitive wrestling programs.  This is also evidence that strong students do excel in wrestling. 

·         Intercollegiate wrestling is relatively inexpensive to sponsor based on the NCAA’s cost per student-athlete estimates.   

As you convey your thoughts, please be respectful of the university administration.  We want to always take the high road.  Make sure the key decision makers know that the regional and national wrestling community stand ready to help the administration develop a plan that ensures the future of their varsity wrestling program. 

While the grass roots wrestling community conveys the above-mentioned speaking points, the NWCA will be working with prominent Portland State University alumni, business leaders, and politicians to promote similar messages.  Further, we will be addressing the “presidents task force” on February 4 to speak on behalf of the Portland State University wrestling program and its importance to serving the needs of the growing scholastic wrestling population in the Northwest. 

Tammy N. Tedesco

Assistant Director

National Wrestling Coaches Association

717-653-8009 (office)

717-653-8270 (fax)


Save the Date for the 2008-09 NWCA Events:

š  August 6-9, 2009 - NWCA Convention -  Ft. Lauderdale

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