Possible changes to Division I wrestling schedules?

Published On July 31, 2016 | By Tony Hager | College, Wrestling News

NCAA Division I Wrestling Five Year Strategic Plan 2016-2021 NWCA Background

• The impetus for this strategic plan came from numerous legislative actions at the NCAA Division I level during the last ten years. Beginning with the Academic Progress Reform and, most recently, the redefining of the autonomy for the Group of 5.

• As multiple groups began bringing forward concerns regarding the overall health of our sport, the NWCA reached out to various constituencies in developing a plan of action that has resulted in this strategic plan. Process

• In February 2016 our strategic planning process began, with the first conference call of the Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) that call included constituents from across the country.

• The result of the initial call charged the NWCA with developing subcommittees to address the concerns expressed in the call.

• To bring forth meaningful plans that the BRTF would take under consideration in drafting a five year strategic plan for the sport. Process

• Have the subcommittees provide feedback that the BRTF could consider by August.

• Incorporate wide representation on the subcommittees to include coaches, administrators, health professionals and NCAA staffing.

• Develop research based evidence plans so that any recommendations would be items that improve/enhance the sport for the student athletes, fans and universities.

Mission Statement

The mission of an NCAA Division I Wrestling program is to be a vital part of the university and the community, committed to every student-athlete’s academic and athletic success, responsible citizenship, and program fiscal responsibility.

Vision Statement

Wrestling will be a premier sports program within the institution—athletically and academically.

1. Academic Success. (2.2.1) Develop plans that support the student-athletes academic experience and strengthen the APR and GSR. Each teams goal should be the top half of their institutions men’s programs in each category.

2. Health and Safety. (2.2.3) Establish policies that provide the safest environment for practice and competition. With a focus on how to reduce the risk of concussions, skin borne infections and improved mental health management.

3. Mental Health for Student Athlete. (2.2.2) Provide a culturally sensitive environment to student athletes from diverse backgrounds and position them to be successful while having a positive experience. (Be mindful of the particularly large percentage of first generation college bound student athletes.) Aligning Wrestling Goals with the NCAA Guiding Principles Aligning Wrestling Goals with the NCAA Guiding Principles

4. Time demands. (2.2.1) Recognize the importance of providing student athletes and staff with quality of life experiences by addressing the time demands of the sport.

5. Spectator, fan and media enhancements.(2.3) Develop plans that increase the interest in the sport and address the environment of todays spectator. Increase the value of dual meet competition and focus on the fan experience. Encompass the fast rising interest in women’s wrestling.

6. Competitive Equity and Fiscal Responsibility. (2.10) Maintain a level of competitive equity recognizing the competitive nature of sports but also the uniqueness of wrestling and its tradition of cross Divisional membership and the ongoing pressures to be fiscally responsible.

7. Marketing. (2.2) Increase wrestling’s relevancy on campus and within the greater community.

Academic Enhancement-Goals

• Have every program rank in the top half of men’s programs in APR/GSR.

• Have every program rank above the average in APR/GSR for men’ s programs.

• Reduce the number of 0 for 2 in wrestling

• Position first generation wrestlers for greater academic success.

• Achieve the goals with minimal or no additional cost to the SA or the program.

Health and Safety – Goals

• Reduce the incidence of skin infections in the sport.

• Reduce the need for diuretics and other medications in the sport.

• Improve the mental health of the SA competing in the sport.

• Reduce the incidence of concussions.

Mental Health – Goals

• Increase the Academic Success of the first generation SA.

• Increase the retention rate of the first generation SA.

• Reduce the mental pressures often affiliated with being a first generation SA.

Time Demand-Goals

• Improve the Academic Success of the first generation SA.

• Improve the retention rate of the first generation SA.

• Reduce the mental pressures often affiliated with being a first generation SA.

• Address the time demands of prospective SA and staff.

• Provide the PSA with the opportunity to finalize their college selection so as to have greater time to enjoy their final high school year.

• Provide the PSA with time periods where they are free from the pressures of recruiting.

Spectator, fan and media Enhancements Researched Based Evidence

• The average age of the fan at the NCAA Championships continues to increase.

• Golf is seeing a reduction in casual partcipants, part of this is due to the length of time it takes to play a round.

• NASCAR is experiencing a reduction in fan participation one of the issues is the time the events take.

• The casual spectator tends to favor event lasting less than two hours.

• Women’s wrestling has been added to the Olympics and participation in women’s wrestling has been rapidly growing.

• Team sports remain the most popular spectator events.

Competitive Equity and Fiscal Responsibility – Goals

• Develop a recruiting calendar that places an emphasis on Dead Periods surrounding critical times for coaches to focus on other issues.

• Address the issue of time demands on the PSA.

• Recognize the importance of Regional Training Centers while respecting the fiscal challenges college sports is dealing with.

• Position the sport as to be a viable alternative to maintaining and added programs.

Marketing -Goals

• The BRTF firmly believes that adoption of the Strategic Plan will provide a new and exciying platform to promote the sport at the local, regional and national level.

• Once the final Strategic plan is adopted then it will be incumbent on the marketing committee to develop a comprehensive plan.

Strategies: Modify the Wrestling Season

• Change the start of the practice season to November 1. Bylaw 17.27.2

• Change the first date of competition to the first Friday following Christmas. Bylaw 17.27.3

• Move the NCAA Individual Championship. There are several models leading up to the last weekend in April.

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Academic Enhancement,Health and Safety, Mental Health, Time Demands, Spectator, fan and media enhancement, Competitve Equity and Fiscal Responsibility

Strategies: Modify Eligibility Rules to Compete

• In order to compete, the student athlete must certify to be his/her eligibility at the beginning of each term/ semester for the year. Bylaw 14.4.3 Eligibility for Competition.

• Redshirts must be academically eligible to compete.

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Academic Enhancement, Mental Health, Time Demands, Competitve Equity and Fiscal Responsibility

Strategies: Establish a Defined Preseason for Practices

• Establish a required number of practices an individual needs to parBcipate in prior to competing in outside competition. Bylaw 17.27.2

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Academic Enhancement, Health and Safety, Mental Health, Time Demands

Strategies: Modify the “In Competition Concussion Assessment Process”

• In the case of a concussion Bme out exceeding two minutes in length or by request of the medical staff, allow the wrestler to be removed from the mat with only the medical staff and give the medical staff the time it needs in private to do a meaningful assessment of the wrestlers condition. Rule book change

• Change the terminology of a concussion Bmeout to a physicians Bme out. Rule book change

• Allow the next match to continue and the opponent to return to the pre match area to prepare in a more timely fashion for the continuation of the match. Rule book change.

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Health and Safety, Mental Health, Spectator, fan and media enhancement

Strategies: Modify the number of matches a wrestler can compete in daily

• Limit the number of matches an individual wrestler can compete in per day. Bylaw 17.27.5.2

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Health and Safety, Mental Health, Time Demands

Strategies: Recruiting Calendar

• Define dead periods around the Coaches Convention and the NCAA Championships. Create a dead period around Christmas eve and Christmas day. Bylaw 13.17

• Allow the off campus recruiting to begin after September 1 of the PSA junior year. Bylaw 13.1.1.1.4

• Allow PSA to make official visits after September 1 of their junior year. Bylaw 13.6.2.2.1.

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Mental Health, Time Demands, Competitve Equity and Fiscal Responsibility

Strategies: Establish a defined Dual Team Championship Season.

• Consider designating the first weekend after Christmas until the second weekend of March as the dual meet season followed by the Individual Championship occurring in late April. NCAA Wrestling Committee and NCAA Championship Cabinet

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Academic Enhancement, Health and Safety, Mental Health, Time Demands, Spectator, fan and media enhancement, Competitve Equity and Fiscal Responsibility, Marketing

Strategies: Establish Women’s Wrestling as an Emerging Women’s Sport

•Work with conferences to move legislaBon to designate women’s wrestling as an emerging sport. Work thru the NCAA Wrestling Committee, Committee on Women’s Athletics and the Championship Cabinet.

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Spectator, fan and media enhancements, Marketing

Strategies: Regional Training Center (RTC)

• Continue to develop the legislative rules as to the use of the Regional Training Centers. Bylaw 17.27.9.1.2.2

Alignment with NCAA Principles

Time Demands, Competitve Equity and Fiscal Responsibility, Marketing

Academic Enhancements- Research Based Evidence

• Wrestling has one of the highest rates of first generation student athletes.

• Wrestling does not provide the same level of summer orientation and class opportunity for incoming freshman as does football and basketball.

• Fall term is a critical time for establishing a strong academic foundation.

• Wrestling has the highest % of SAs using a Pell Grant to help pay for college.

• Incoming wrestlers are in the top half academically of men’s SA. • Wrestlers perform in the lower half academically of men’s SA.

• Wrestlers rank 10th in the latest APR ranking for men’s sports. (Ave 975, WR 970)

• Wrestling ranks third highest in 0 for 2 Rates in men’s sports.

• Wrestling ranks third highest in first year redshirting.

• Time demand ranks as the highest negative factor for wrestlers.

• Wrestlers report in season sleep is less than the average male SA

Health and Safety-Researched Based Evidence

• Wrestling has the highest use of pain medications.

• Wrestlers have the highest use of amphetamines.

• Wrestlers have the second highest use of ADHD medications.

• Wrestlers have the third highest use of spit tobacco.

• Wrestlers are among the highest users of dietary supplements.

• Wrestlers are more likely to use diuretics than SAs in any other sport.

• Wrestlers have the highest incidence of skin infections in the early season.

• Wrestlers have a high incidence of concussion reported.

Mental Health-Researched Based Evidence

• Wrestling has the highest percentage of first generation SA.

• Wrestlers come from families with an average median income of $42,200.

• Wrestling, Football and Basketball have the highest % of first generation SA.

• Wrestling, Football and Basketball have the highest % of 0 for 2s

• Wrestling, Football and Basketball have the lowest APR rates.

Time Demands-Researched Based Evidence

• Wrestling ranked in the top four of male SA on perceived time demands.

• Wrestlers were in the average of male SA on time spent on academics in season.

• Wrestlers were in the lower half of male SA that spent time on athletics in season.

• Wrestlers where among the highest in sleep depravation.

• Only 10% of wrestlers claim to spend much less time on their sport in the off season.

Spectator, fan and media Enhancements Researched Based Evidence

• The average age of the fan at the NCAA Championships conBnues to increase.

• Golf is seeing a reduction in casual participants, part of this is due to the length of Bme it takes to play a round.

• NASCAR is experiencing a reducBon in fan partcipation one of the issues is the time the events take.

• The casual spectator tends to favor event lasting less than two hours.

• Women’s wrestling has been added to the Olympics and partcipation in women’s wrestling has been rapidly growing.

• Team sports remain the most popular spectator events.

Competive Equity and Fiscal Responsibility-Researched Based Evidence

• Unlike other, high profile sports, the recruiting calendar provides no dead periods around the Coaches convention and NCAA Championships.

• The calendar does not have a specific dead period that could be identified as a vacation period.

• The recruiting calendar does not have a dead period at Christmas.

• The calendar provides very little relief to the PSA from the recruiting process.

• Regional Training Centers have little legislative oversight.

• Fiscal challenges remain for all Olympic Sports at the collegiate level.

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