There was a lot we wanted to write, but Craig Sesker of USA wrestling summed up our emotional position in his article yesterday. That can be found here: http://www.themat.com/section.php?section_id=3&page=showarticle&ArticleID=23332
Mr. Alberts used numerous canned responses to justify his reasoning. As we dug a little deeper we realized none of his reasons passed the sniff test. The Open Mat was in communication with the media department at UNO yesterday and was first referred to their FAQ page on the topic. They stated that if our questions were not addressed, we could send them a list of questions we feel were not covered. We did and have not heard a word since. Below we will list the questions we asked so you can see what they are not willing to answer. We will also give you what we have learned in relation to each question. Finally, feel free to use these questions as you contact the Chancellor and Regents. We will list all contact info at the end of the article.
- Why did AD Alberts feel the need to make this announcement within hours of the team winning its third straight National Championship?
- All scholarships for wrestling are paid for through private funds and for the most part the program is self sufficient. With that said how could he possibly make the case that this is a money saving move?
- Schools have the ability to compete in different conferences by sport such as SDSU, Wyoming etcâ€¦ Why couldnâ€™t the UNO wrestling team do the same thing?
- You speak about saving money, could you please let us know the costs associated with creating programs from scratch?
- All of this is mostly based on the argument that becoming a mid-level DI Basketball team will result in revenue, despite the fact that the majority of mid-level basketball teams lose money. How will UNO become one of the few that actually do not lose money?
- Please provide us with a line item breakdown of where the money comes from to support the wrestling program. That way was can see the substantial costs associated with the program.
- Is it true that Mr. Alberts changed the locks on the field house prior to these UNO Student Athletes returning?
Now letâ€™s look at each of these questions. We all know the answer to the first one, they wanted to hit this hard and fast. The goal was to catch people off guard and give them as little time as possible to mount a defense. The list of adjectives to describe this is long, but feel free to add which ever one you prefer. The team was called into a meeting at 1:00 am and notified of the decision. Can you imagine?
One reason he will not respond to the second question is that he simply has no good response. He alludes to the fact that wrestling in part is being cut to save money, but he knows the reality is that that is not an accurate statement. The scholarships all come from private funds and coach Denney has made the program, for the most part, self sufficient.
Now the third question really puts him in a box. He alludes to the idea that the summit conference does not have wrestling. Interesting that both North Dakota and South Dakota State are a part of that conference and both have wrestling programs. There is no reason UNO could not do the same as these schools and participate in the Western Wrestling Conference.
After speaking with the NWCA one thing we learned is that there are substantial costs associated with starting a new DI program. UNO is starting several. So again, his financial argument makes as much sense as Lindsey Lohan teaching a sobriety class.
Another thing we learned yesterday is that about 70% of mid-level DI Basketball teams actually lose money. So, his big argument that somehow this will be different for UNO makes him look like he did not do his research.
We are almost certain that number six will never be answered. The reason is simple, if they did produce this information they would expose themselves as frauds.
Finally and maybe the most despicable thing about all of this is that Mr. Alberts had the locks physically changed prior to the team returning. Not only that, he also had security in place to assure he could show the maximum amount of disrespect possible.
We could go on about how poorly Mr. Alberts has acted but that makes little sense right now.
We will say that the NWCA is working very hard to gather information and support the UNO program as best it can. We spoke with NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer a few hours after the news broke. We can assure you that Mr. Moyer and his staff are doing everything they can to not only help UNO, but wrestling in general.
What can we do?
Show your support, but do so my contacting the Chancellor and the Board of Regents.
Below are the email addresses of all the regents. Please take the time to email them.