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This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

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NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

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Quotes from the NCAA Div. I Championships press teleconference held March 7



NCAA Div. I Wrestling Press Teleconference via phone, Wednesday, January 7, 2001, 11:00 a.m. Eastern Participants: David Martin (NCAA Wrestling Committee chairperson), J Robinson (Univ. of Minnesota coach), John Smith (Oklahoma State coach), Bobby Douglas (Iowa State coach), Jim Zalesky (Univ. of Iowa coach), Jack Spates (Univ. of Oklahoma coach). David Martin, NCAA Wrestling Committee "We are excited about going to the University of Iowa. Wrestling is going great guns in America. There is agreat demand for tickets for the event. Because of this, we have to do our homework on sites. We will soon be picking the next four years after Kansas City. Our preference is for arenas with 18,000 seats. We are excited about being in Iowa this year. The people and the environment is great for wrestling. The people at the Univ. of Iowa have done a great job. We are looking forward to a very close tournament." (Question about if all future NCAA events will be off-campus) "People have asked about that, if we are not going back to campuses. The answer is no. We said that we are going to places that can accommodate 18,000 fans. There are not a lot of campuses that can do that now, but there may be in the future. The reasons for our choices also include airlines, hotels and parking. This is hard to do on college campuses, but you can't say it won't happen. By the way, this is the first year we will be able to have finals, same day coverage, on ESPN2. This should be able to reach 72 million homes. (Question about holding the event in major markets) "Major markets do offer some of the things we need. If you take a look at some of the schools that have sent in bids, it's leaning that way." J Robinson, Univ. of Minnesota (about the arena size issue) "I think it needs to go to bigger facilities. Anything you can do to promote the sport you must do; you want to grow it. We have the hard core people, but to grow it, we need the marginal people. You need a bigger venue. I'm not opposed to being like the Final Four basketball, where you hold it in an arena like the Metrodome where you can put 25,000 people. There are some real wrestling people that can't get into the show this year; they can't get a ticket. You need to get bigger and bigger." (About not being favored at NCAA's after being top dual team and winning Big Tens) "People can write what they want and think what they want. The NCAA Championships are different. Iowa, with a lot of people in the finals, have an advantage there. You don't get points for preseeding. We have a game plan. It's OK with me. Those guys (Iowa and Oklahoma State) have to place at one and two; all I have to do is place three." Dave Martin, NCAA Wrestling Committee "What is different this year is we will have the brackets by Monday evening. This is a change from the past. The coaches would get the brackets Wednesday night, and they wouldn't be published until Thursday. We will do the preseeding over the weekend. On Sunday evening, we will start on our extensive phone call. By Monday evening, we will be able to get the brackets. Just like basketball, it will nice to have the brackets in advance. The fans and press can start to look at the pairings, make predictions, have fun with it." Jim Zalesky, Univ. of Iowa "At this level, you have to take them one at a time. You have to have everybody score points. Guys who are not ranked high have to step it up and beat their seeds. You have to be prepared for every match." John Smith, Oklahoma State (about the early finals to allow TV coverage) "I don't think it makes a difference. Most teams have their workout times around then. We have an opportunity for a large exposure for the sport of wrestling. We have an opportunity to go on a show with 72 million people on ESPN2. This is a great opportunity for the sport. If we have to get up at 6 a.m. for a small sacrifice, it's something we have to do." (about Cael Sanderson) "My athletes have wrestled him about six times during his career. He's an amazing athlete. He has no fear. He opens it up and has an exciting style of wrestling. He's the type of wrestler, with future development, who could be one of the greatest of all time, not just collegiate but also at the Olympics. He wrestles extremely hard for the full seven minutes." Dave Martin, NCAA Wrestling Committee (about whether 18,000 fans is etched in stone) "J (Robinson) hit it on the head. We're in a situation where we have things going on the national championships perspective. It's not that far fetched that maybe in St. Louis we get where we outgrow the Savin Center (formerly the Kiel Center) and go into the Trans World Dome. We have to think on those terms. Last year, we sold over 16,000 all-session tickets. We did studies and over 65% of the people who went to the tournament drove to it. Wrestling is a driving community. The location in St. Louis was good for our community. That was great for wrestling. They like to drive. 18,000 is the minimum. We could grow to 20,000, then consider some of the domes." (about changing the date of the NCAA Tournament) "We're looking at an April date. The Big Ten has forwarded a proposal. The committee is not opposed to that. We are trying to nail down the right date. We are able to get the facilities in March. In April, major league baseball is starting off. Many of the bigger arenas are tied up with the hockey playoffs. We have to work through it. We may say at some time, let's try April. The committee members are proactive. We don't want to fix something that's not broken. When we took bids, we listed dates in March, but told the bidders it may be an April date." Bobby Douglas, Iowa State Univ. (his team's chances) "I think we are ranked about where our team is right now. The National Tournament is based upon points. Hopefully, we will wrestle above our seeds. We have a chance. If it is a five or six team race, then any of six teams could win it all. If it becomes a three-team race, then Iowa, Oklahoma State and Minnesota are the teams to beat." Jack Spates, Univ. of Oklahoma "I see three teams with a distinct advantage: Minnesota, Iowa and Oklahoma State, but not necessarily in that order. We are hoping for a six team race. The draw is important, along with many other factors. This is a great tournament, and we are glad to be in it." John Smith, Oklahoma State Univ. "I'm glad they are watching us. Early in the season, we didn't see it. We knew we had an opportunity. Neither did the media see it. We are returning 22 points. 22 points isn't going to win the Nationals; you need 90 points-plus. In the beginning, we had three or four ranked. We have progressed. We have to capitalize on our progress. We have individuals who can put some points on the board. We have to do it in Iowa City. It will be rewarding if we have a great performance in Iowa City." Jim Zalesky, Univ. of Iowa "We have four guys seeded pretty high, and four guys who are not. It will be up to the other four guys how our team will do. It could all come down to the finals and the consolations. It should be exciting for the fans, and will be a great week." J Robinson, Univ. of Minnesota "We are in a similar situation as Oklahoma State. Not alot of people were taking us this year. We are basically a young team. We have three freshmen, three sophomores and some juniors. They feel good about who they are and how they are competing. At the national tournament, you throw out what you've done. It all depends on who gets hot. You have to put people into the finals.We've excited, our young guys are excited, and we're looking forward to Iowa City. Wrestling is important there, and it's a great place to finish the season." John Smith, Oklahoma State Univ. (Can Sanderson get beaten) "Absolutely. If history has proven anything, it's proven anyone can get beaten. You'd need to wrestle the perfect match to beat him. His style is exciting, but it leads to an upset or two. It's a dominating style, and he's become a dominating wrestler. He's shown no signs that someone will challenge him this year. Someone is going to ha
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