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Thread: Panthers looking at wrestling in Big 12

  1. #1

    Default Panthers looking at wrestling in Big 12

    Northern Iowa is looking into the possibility of joining the Big 12 Conference as an affiliate member in wrestling.
    "I have written and sent a letter of inquiry letting them know we're interested in filling that membership," Panther Athletic Director Troy Dannen said.

    "Geographically it makes sense," added Dannen, who has talked to at least two Big 12 athletics directors whose departments sponsor wrestling about UNI joining the Big 12 for wrestling.

    "In a lot of ways, it makes sense. We already wrestle most of those programs on a yearly basis, if not every other year.
    "It's the standard of where we want our program, and we want to compete at that level."
    With Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten following this season, it leaves just four Big 12 wrestling programs. The league may need at least one, if not more, new wrestling members to keep its automatic bids to the NCAA Championships.
    UNI currently competes in the Western Wrestling Conference with Wyoming, Air Force, Utah Valley State, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado and South Dakota State. The WWC had 14 automatic qualifiers last year, whereas the Big 12 had 37 automatic qualifiers.

    According to NCAA bylaw 31.3.4.2, to be eligible for automatic qualification in the National Collegiate Championship, a member conference must meet the following general requirements:

    (a) Have at least six active members that sponsor the applicable sport in any division.

    There is an ammendment that in individual sports such as cross country, fencing, golf, gymnastics, rifle, skiing, tennis and wrestling that a sports committee may grant exceptions to the six-team requirement.

    The Big 12/Big 8 has had only five wrestling members since Colorado dropped its program in 1980.

    "I know they know we are interested," said new Panther head coach Doug Schwab. "Other than that, I don't know. I'd love for it to happen. It elevates our program in a hurry."

    The Big 12 has no affliate members in any sport except for crew.

    And, Dannen and Schwab understand that adding new wrestling members is like step 85 for the rebuilding Big 12. At present, Commissioner Dan Beebe and his staff are somewhere around step three or four.

    But until Beebe and the Big 12 can get to step 85, Schwab believes it's his and the Panthers' job to convince the Big 12 that Northern Iowa would be a valuable addition to its wrestling family.

    "Obviously, I don't think it would hurt them to add a couple more teams as long as we're one of those teams," Schwab grinned. "They might think differently. But if we start doing our job, putting more guys into the NCAA Tournament, putting up more All-Americans, winning more individual championships, then maybe they'd say, ‘Heck yeah, we want to bring you on.'

    "We're not there yet, but hopefully they'll see we're going in the right direction and they will want us in there."
    Last edited by Schlottke; 11-10-2010 at 12:36 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Panthers looking at wrestling in Big 12

    Can't see how they wouldn't want to do it. Love the idea.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Panthers looking at wrestling in Big 12

    Nice!! The Big 12 should definitely add them. Is Nebraska planning to leave after this season?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Panthers looking at wrestling in Big 12

    That would be simply awesome.
    Wouldn't that give the Big 12 four former national title teams? (Ok. St, Ia. St., Okla., and then UNI)

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