Keep Stanford Wrestling

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In an open letter to the Stanford community on July 8th, the University President, Provost, and Director of Athletics announced the discontinuation of 11 varsity sports programs at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year, citing problems with finance and competitive excellence. The Stanford wrestling program, which has been a part of the university for over 100 years, was one of the programs cut.

Supporters of the wrestling program got to work immediately putting together a plan to convince the university and the athletic department that wrestling is a sport worth keeping.

Wrestling is one of humanities oldest sports. From 15,000-year-old cave drawings and Babylonian reliefs, to literary references in ancient texts such as the Old Testament and the Vedas, to descriptions in epic cultural stories such as the Iliad, the Ramayana, and Gilgamesh, wrestling seems to have always been a part of the fabric of our existence.

Wrestling is just as important in modern day society. Wrestling is the 7th most popular high school boy’s sport. It is the fastest growing high school girl’s sport. It ranks #2 across all sports in representing first generation college bound students. It ranks #2 across all sports in Hispanic participation and #6 in African-American participation.

The Stanford wrestling program, which was established in 1916, has been steadily growing and improving over the past decade, recently winning its first ever conference championship, finishing in 11th place at the NCAA tournament, and being consistently ranked in the top 20 of all college programs. This past season Stanford had 3 All-Americans; all underclassmen, two of them freshmen.

Every expert in the wrestling world would agree that the state of the Stanford wrestling program is the best it has ever been. 7 NCAA qualifiers, 9 conference finalists, 4 conference champions, and 3 All-Americans return for the upcoming season. The potential to bring home an NCAA team trophy is here and real. Over 100 years of hard work are about to finally bare the fruit of team success.

We have the ability to become financially self-sufficient and proposed innovative solutions for Title IX compliance. All we are asking is for the university to give us the chance to engage in a discussion.

Please join us in asking Stanford University to give us the chance to Keep Stanford wrestling.


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