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Iowa athletic director Gary Barta confirms school is considering adding women's wrestling

by Various media sources

According to media reports, in public statements about the decision of Iowa athletics to reinstate its women's swimming program, University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta also confirmed that the university was considering adding a varsity women's wrestling program.

From story by Steve Batterson of the Quad City Times:

In response to a question, Barta said if finances work Iowa is open to adding women’s wrestling to its athletics offerings — a suggestion made by those who filed the Title IX complaint who assert Iowa does not meet federal requirements in its scholarship offerings.

“We have looked into women’s wrestling for obvious reasons, the history and tradition on the men’s side and then last July, the NCAA recognizing women’s wrestling as an emerging sport,’’ Barta said.

With facilities in place and new facilities in the planning stages, Barta recalled that an earlier study put estimated start-up and annual costs for the sport at somewhere between $750,000 and $1.5 million.

Quad City Times: Barta works to rebuild trust with swimmers

From a story by Leah Vann of the Gazette

University of Iowa athletics director Gary Barta on Tuesday confirmed his department is and has been interested in adding a women’s wrestling program.

But, he said, the department would need up to $1.5 million in startup costs and he hasn’t identified a way to finance it — especially given COVID-19 losses leaving his department with a $50 million to $60 million deficit this year.

“We are interested in studying having women’s wrestling for obvious reasons,” Barta said. “One obvious reason was our history and tradition on the men’s side and in wrestling. But in addition to that, this past July the NCAA approved women’s wrestling, as an emerging championship.

“The popularity of the sport at the high school level continues to grow. And so all of those, make it intriguing.”

Gazette: Gary Barta cites lack of funds as barrier to adding women's wrestling at Iowa

Editor's Note: Women's wrestling is an NCAA Emerging Sport at all three divisions, and is growing at the intercollegiate level. Going into the 2021-22 season, there will be nearly 40 NCAA institutions with women's varsity programs, which brings the sport close to being eligible to become an official NCAA Championship sport. Girls wrestling is also a rapidly growing sport at the high school and youth levels in Iowa.