From the Des Moines Registerhttp://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2012/08/04/change-on-the-horizon-for-ncaa-wrestling/
Changes are coming to college wrestling – and they could lead to monumental shifts in the landscape of the sport.
NCAA officials met Saturday with college coaches at the National Wrestling Coaches Association annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to discuss the growing push to turn the National Duals into an NCAA-sanctioned championship event, as well as the implementation of video replay next season on an experimental basis.
NCAA associate director of championships Jeff Jarnecke said a final draft of an NCAA dual championship concept – which could go into place as early as 2014 – is nearing completion and will be presented in September to the Division-I sports management cabinet for final approval.
“It’s getting closer,” Jarnecke said. “One way or another, it’s getting closer. After mid-September, we’ll know whether it’s moving ahead and we’re moving forward with it.
“There’s certainly the (chance) they may ask us to go back and explore and further develop in greater detail … but there was initial support in the concept when we sent it to the cabinet in June and they asked for continued development.”
Jarnecke said the proposed concept includes a 16-team field filled by automatic qualifiers from each conference, along with at-large spots earned through a selection criteria determined with the help of team RPI and head-to-head results.
Jarnecke said the top eight seeds would host dual meets on the second weekend in February with the eight winners advancing the following weekend to a two-day event at pre-determined championship site.
NWCA officials and college coaches have expressed hope in recent years that the NCAA would put its tag on the National Duals, which has been an NWCA-sponsored invitational that hasn’t always attracted all of the nation’s top teams. Three of the most visible programs – Penn State, Iowa and Oklahoma State – have skipped the event at least once in the last five years and the tournament has been outshined by the NCAA Championships.
“I think what we need to do in wrestling is get emphasis back on the importance of dual meets,” said NCAA wrestling chair Dave Martin, an Algona native.
“I think wrestling has the opportunity to have two highly-successful national-level competitions. … I don’t think you ever want to lose what we have with the individual tournament, but I do think we really need to keep pushing up the importance of the national dual meets.”