Norwich to Drop Wrestling – act now!

To:      Wrestling Community
Fr:       Mike Moyer, NWCA
Re:      Call to Action – Save Norwich University Wrestling
Date:  December 22, 2008

Norwich University wrestling coach, Rich Hasenfus, contacted the NWCA to advise us that his administration will be eliminating their varsity wrestling program at the end of this year.  This is the second dropped wrestling program in the past week (Lawrence University has also dropped…we are working on contacting their coach for more information).  With the current state of the economy, we can be assured that more carnage is on its way for All Olympic sports if we don’t mount a very aggressive “public relations” campaign immediately.

That said, we need to have an immediate and sustained letter writing campaign directed at their university president and Chairman of the Board of Trustees executed immediately.    There contact information is as follows:

Dr. Richard M Schneider
Norwich University
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT  05663
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, Chairman
Norwich University Board of Trustees
C/o David Whaley, Secretary
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT 05663

When drafting your letters, please be sure to be respectful.  While this might be a very emotional issue, we always want to take the high road when voicing our opinion.  Secondly, please be sure to include the following speaking points in your letter:

·         Norwich University has a rich wrestling tradition as evidenced by the following:
a.    139 All-New England (conf. placers)
b.    47 Conference Finalists, 21 Conference Champs
c.     8 All-Americans
d.    2 National Finalist
e.    1 National Champ
f.     15 Scholar All-Americans
g.    11 Nationally Ranked teams
h.    1998 Conference Coach year – Coach Hasenfus
·         How can a military school even think about eliminating a combat sport like wrestling when you consider the following leaders with wrestling backgrounds?
a.    There are 13 former U.S. Presidents who wrestled.
b.    General Krulak, Commandant, USMC, Ret.
c.     U.S. Senator John McCain
d.    Don Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Ret.
e.    J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, Ret.
f.     Admiral James Holloway III, US Navy, Ret.
g.    General Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army, Ret.
h.    17 active astronauts have wrestling backgrounds

·         The stated reason for dropping the wrestling program is budgetary.    How does an enrollment driven university like Norwich justify eliminating wrestling when few, if any male sports, have a more favorable ratio of high school participants to college opportunities (260,000 high school participants vs only 220 NCAA wrestling teams).

·         This decision jeopardizes more than the 32 wrestlers currently on the Norwich wrestling roster.  It affects the 7 other military colleges that sponsor wrestling as well as over 260,000 underserved high school wrestlers that now have one fewer college to pursue their academic and athletic dreams.

·         How can Norwich University make the decision to eliminate wrestling without first reaching out to the alumni and wrestling community for help?

·         According to the Norwich University 2007/08 EADA, wrestling is one of the least expensive sports at the University.  It appears that wrestling is inexpensive, has provided the school with considerable national exposure, and has done more than its fair share to help Norwich bolster its undergraduate enrollment.

In summary, it is important that the University administration believes that the public outcry is going to escalate over the following days, months, and years.  The wrestling community encourages the administration to establish an alternative plan that maintains its intercollegiate wrestling program.