Reject the Proposal to Separate NJ Non-Public Wrestlers at Regions and Districts
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WHEREAS, the New Jersey High School State Wrestling Championship for individuals is widely regarded as one of the most competitive high school championships in the United States;
WHEREAS, New Jersey is one of the few remaining states that has a single wrestling State Champion at every weight class which is the basis for the high esteem in which the New Jersey High State Wrestling Championship is held throughout the country;
WHEREAS, the current structure of the individual District and Regional Championships based on geography with 8 regions throughout the state feeding into the State Championship is acknowledged by the vast majority of competitors, parents, spectators, and other stakeholders in the sport as a fair and challenging crucible which ensures that only the best wrestlers in the state compete for a New Jersey State Championship;
WHEREAS, the proposal to separate Non-Public Wrestlers at the District and Regional Championships and place them in separate District and Regional Championships will (i) undermine the current individual championship structure which has produced the most competitive state high school wrestling championship in the country; (ii) not ensure that the best wrestlers in the state compete for the individual high school state wrestling championship; (iii) arbitrarily isolate one small group of athletes within the sport and force them to qualify for the individual championship by school type while the super-majority of the athletes in the NJSIAA qualify for that same individual championship based on geography; (iv) arbitrarily limit the number of slots available for non-public athletes at the individual high school state wrestling championship without any rational basis; (v) impose an undue travel and expense burden on Non-Public Schools, the vast majority of which are faith-based institutions, and their student athletes which the public schools will not bear because their Regional Championship will continue to be based on geography; and (vi) not address the underlying issues of regional mis-alignment and student-athlete transfers that may have been the impetus for this proposal.
WHEREAS, the NJSIAA should address directly (i) the mis-alignment of geographic regions of competition within the state for the individual District and Regional wrestling championships and (ii) rules surrounding student-athlete in state transfers between and among public, non-public, and choice schools, among others.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing, the undersigned call on the Hon. David Hespe, Commissioner of Education for the State of New Jersey to reject the proposal to separate Non-Public Wrestlers at the District and Regional Championships.
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