Allow NCAA Wrestlers To Participate In 4 Wrestling Events Without “Burning” Their Redshirt

Allow NCAA Wrestlers To Participate In 4 Wrestling Events Without “Burning” Their Redshirt

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Joshua Swafford started this petition to NCAA

To whom may concern,

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention something that is currently unfair in NCAA Wrestling and requires immediate attention. 

For NCAA football players, an athlete can fully attend classes, practice with the team, and even “suit up” in the team uniform and play up to four games to preserve a year of eligibility. This was implemented, I believe, in 2018 and these changes have since received widespread approval from the athletes, coaches, parents, etc. who were affected by it. Previous to those changes taking place, a player couldn’t participate or “suit up” in one game without “burning” their redshirts. 

Meanwhile, the redshirt rules of NCAA Wrestling are the same as the NCAA Football rules were prior to the well-received changes that were made. If a wrestler competes in one event, their redshirt is “burned.” With the Covid epidemic still ever present, it has caused some NCAA Wrestling Coaches to more frequently have to resort to “burning” a wrestler’s redshirt to compete in emergency situations, not only when a starter gets hurt, but when a starter tests positive for Covid as well now, thus resulting in a lost year of eligibility for the non-starter. This is unfair to the athletes, for it causes them to lose a year of eligibility, resulting in a wasted year in terms of meeting their individual goals that they work so hard for. It is unfair to the coaches, for they shouldn’t have to endure the stress of forcing an athlete to sacrifice a year of their eligibility out of necessity due to circumstances that are beyond their control. It is also unfair to the families of the athletes who lose eligibility, for it’s difficult to simultaneously understand the circumstances of the situation and not become anxious, angry or upset for their family member.  It is an undue hardship for everyone involved and changing the current wrestling redshirt rules to being the same as the current (and well-received) football redshirt rules would alleviate this hardship entirely for all sides involved. 

The NCAA’s mission statement is focused on cultivating an environment that emphasizes academics, fairness and well-being across college sports. I feel that achieving the “fairness” and “well-being” components of the NCAA’s mission statement will be much easier to achieve and maintain if the proposed changes are made to the wrestling redshirt rules as soon as possible considering the unpredictable nature of the Covid epidemic.

We appreciate the NCAA and the opportunities it provides to our nation’s young, aspiring student-athletes. I am confident that you have a mutual appreciation for the student-athletes and coaches as well and with that said, thank you for taking the time to review and give this proposal the consideration and attention it deserves. 

-The Wrestling Community

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