Other sports? How many other NCAA sports have just begun to garner a prime time TV spotlight? This year the Semis were "promoted" to ESPN2. A big step up. Objective observers, official reps or casual TV viewers, had to be aghast at what unfolded. NCAA PR people and maybe some ESPN supporters-of-wrestling had to have cringed as the 149 bout concluded.
Notice no mention is made of the celebration in the release. That would properly be considered a totally different issue in an adult world, and certainly wouldn't constitute justification for Metcalf's actions. Yet on message boards everywhere that imbecilic connection has been attempted. Even USA wrestling has put their official stamp of approval on such idiocy via mouthpiece Craig Sesker's shameful column excusing Metcalf while in the same breath, without reservation, condemning Caldwell. For sheer hypocrisy that is hard to top.
I keep hearing the same drivel about how this is not a sport for sissies, ect.
Well the NCAA has issued a notice. Plus, I think there is a bigger message. Can wrestling move toward being a marquis college athletic attraction? The potential is there but the act has to be cleaned up. The highest standards of professional conduct by coaches would be a start.
I am waiting for the public reprimand for the student-athletes involved in the Florida State cheating scandal.
There are levels in which the NCAA can discipline a student-athlete, just as in any academic or professional situation. Private reprimand, public reprimand, suspension, etc. So M. Rich, a public reprimand is not needed because those students will be dealt with on a more severe level. The NCAA could have -- and I'm not saying that they should have, just pointing out the option -- taken away Metcalf's wins, thus taking away his points, and well, creating a belated party in Columbus. That's what they are doing with FSU, because it's a much, much bigger deal, so it is worth much more than a public reprimand.
That's why it hasn't been done much in other sports, because the transgressions in other sports are generally more severe than what we do in wrestling.
Lkwd and Blue:
Well stated posts.
The issue at Florida State was systemic and a quick Google search will reveal how that school is trying to react to what could be severe sanctions. Coaches, schools, conferences, and the NCAA take actions against athletes quite often. If we're trying to promote our sport then it is counterproductive to essentially say: "But Jimmy (Stanford Tree) did it too and he didn't get sanctioned."
Too many in the wrestling community operate in a vacuum and fail to recognize that we operate within athletic departments, that are part of a larger college or university, that are governed by the NCAA (for better or worse). We once had an AD at Maryland who called wrestling a barbaric and dying sport. Luckily he left for a Big 10 school. But why reinforce that image to those looking for reasons to eliminate us?
The Metcalf apologists abound. He is a terrific wrestler that I love to watch compete, but I've now personally witnessed two unsportsmanlike actions by him that are not part of our sport. The first was during his freshman year at VT when he punched an opponent after the match and was DQ'd from the Southern Scuffle, the other was the NCAA finals this year.
The comparison with Cael is illustrative because he won, and lost, with grace....ooops, never saw him lose but I suspect he would have reacted without taking a cheap shot at his opponent.
I'm not condoning Caldwell's celebration and he admits that it was premature. My initial reaction in St. Louis was that Metcalf's action was flagrant misconduct and he could have been DQ's and forfeited all of the points he earned at the NCAAs. I've seen high school wrestlers DQ'd for less.
THAT would have delivered a message that athletes might remember.
Well put, WT.
I don't see why anyone is bothering to either complain about the what the NCAA has done or defend Metcalf.
Lost count this year of how many times I saw opposing bball players take cheap shots at Hansbrough -- sweeping his legs out from under him when he was high up in the air, landing hard on the bball court. No reprimands from the ACC, let alone the NCAA. Just the occasional "intentional" foul call.
I don't have a problem with the reprimand of Metcalf, I just agree with RYou that it should be more consistent. Too bad there wasn't TV coverage of the Caldwell-Balum match at ACCs.