Daily Free Press article by Gary Abbott
Gary Abbott (COM '82) is the Director of Communications for USA Wrestling, a four-year letterman for BU Wrestling and the Fall 1981 Editorial Page Editor for the Daily Free Press. http://dailyfreepress.com/2013/04/03/ghosts-of-editors-past-bu-alums-view-on-why-bu-should-keep-wrestling/ (http://dailyfreepress.com/2013/04/03/ghosts-of-editors-past-bu-alums-view-on-why-bu-should-keep-wrestling/)
As a BU wrestling alumni, Class of 1982, this was shocking, unexpected and painful news. After graduating BU with a journalism degree, I built a career combining communications and wrestling. I have served 25 years as Director of Communications at USA Wrestling, which manages our sport nationally. Just like anybody who has been involved with BU wrestling in the past, I can't understand why BU would make such a poor decision; one that is not in the best interest of the athletics department or the university.
Why should you as BU students care about this? I would suggest that if you care about what Boston University is all about and what it should stand for, this is an issue you should get involved with.
Here is what I know at this point. According to the BU press release, the university "thoroughly reviewed and evaluated Department priorities" in making this decision. This process must have been done behind closed doors. Neither BU wrestling coach Carl Adams nor the alumni from the wrestling program were ever informed that the sport was being reviewed or was in any jeopardy. In fact, Coach Adams was not informed until Monday afternoon, at about the same time the announcement was made. Wrestling had no input in the process at all.
BU alumni get all kinds of letters and fancy brochures bragging about the level of excellence BU has established, as well as the tremendous upgrades it has made on campus with its facilities. I understand this is all about fundraising, but I also believed BU was dedicated to this principle.
Among the lame excuses in the press announcement about cutting wrestling was that "to bring the wrestling program to a championship-caliber level, an immense infusion of resources, including major facility enhancements and additional staffing, would be required." This does not sound like the university dedicated to excellence that I am told about as an alumnus.
Here are the facts. BU has a competitive wrestling team, led for 32 years by one of the nation's most respected coaches, Carl Adams. Although not in the national Top 20, BU has produced winning wrestling teams and has qualified numerous athletes for the NCAA Championships all during Adams' era. BU had two conference champions and three NCAA qualifiers this year alone. Coach Adams has more than 300 career victories in college wrestling, number four among active coaches. It would be fair to say that additional investment would improve BU's success nationally, but this is by no means a program that is not performing.
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Be Respectful: Anger and hate will get us nowhere Be Personable and Specific: Challenge their prejudices about wrestling. Tell them about our three NCAA qualifiers and two conference champions this year. Tell them that wrestling is the 6th most popular HS sport and growing. Tell them that Forbes says wrestlers make the best employees. Relay a personal story about your experience with the…