Big Ten wrestling programs were featured in two nationally televised wrestling meets yesterday. The Minnesota-Rutgers dual meet was on the Big Ten Network and ESPN2 covered the N.C. State-Ohio State dual meet. A new wrestling facility was talked about and shown to the nation-wide audience for both of the host schools of Minnesota and Ohio State.
Minnesota Wrestling recently moved into a new facility. Two anonymous donations provided the needed money for renovations for a new training facility, a second level extension over the mats for new offices, wrestlers lounge, and a conference room. BTN showed the new wrestling room and training facilities.
Tim Johnson, the Color Commentator for BTN, also mentioned that Rutgers is in the process of building a new training facility for their wrestling program. I did some research. As of October 16, 2018, Rutgers raised over $98 million ($73 million from donations and a $25 million Tax Credit) from 4,052 private donors on a goal of $100 million for facilities and support for the their athletic programs. I am going to assume that Rutgers Wrestling is included in this overall athletic department upgrade.
At the intermission break of the NC State at Ohio State meet, ESPN2 gave a tour of the new Ohio State wrestling facilities that are currently under construction This will be a massive upgrade for Ohio State. The new building will be for seven sports including wrestling. The new wrestling facility will also host events for Ohio kids wrestling. That looks to be an effective recruiting angle. A new arena will replace St. Johns Arena and be the home for Ohio State dual meets and OSU volleyball. The new arena will seat 4,000 fans. When hosting Iowa in a dual meet, Ohio State will have to host the dual where the basketball team plays because I would think the Iowa meet will bring in more than 4.000 fans.
As I have mentioned before, the Arms Race is in full effect in college wrestling all across the country. From Missouri to Bucknell to Campbell, new wrestling facilities are in place. I have been dreaming of a new wrestling facility for Iowa Wrestling for years. I even named it “The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world.” Let’s just say that seeing what is going on around the Big Ten and the rest of the country throws a huge log onto my fire of want for Iowa Wrestling to get a new training facility.
I know for a fact that there are people working very hard to make this project a reality. From Iowa Wrestling coaches to members of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club and boosters. For that I am grateful and respectful. But seeing and hearing about wrestling programs across the country, especially other Big Ten wrestling programs moving way past Iowa Wrestling for facilities, pisses me off.
When Carver Hawkeye Arena opened in January of 1983, the Iowa Wrestling facility was far and away the greatest training facility in the college wrestling world. It wasn’t even close. We need to raise the bar again in that department. It’s been awhile.
I will be following up on this topic in my Blog and Podcast.
It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.