photo courtesy of Greg Prescott
George Mason has been a program that is on the rise. Early this preseason TOM stopped by the campus in Fairfax, Virginia to see what it takes to #BeUncommon with is the most of the program under head coach Frank Beasley. During the 2018-19 season, Beasley’s second at Mason, the Patriots dual meet record improved from 4-13 to 9-7, giving the school their first winning season in 11 years and they earned a win over Edinboro for the first time ever. One of Beasley’s assistant coaches Mason Beckman was able to sit down with Takedown Radio on Saturday to discuss Regional Training Centers (RTC’s) and the recruiting process, as a whole. Beckman, a two-time All-American for Lehigh, just finished his first year coaching at the DI level and has recently used his Twitter account to spark conversations about the recruiting process.
Recruiting has meant a lot to Beckman since before he was even old enough to experience the process. His older brother, Lawrence, was a DI wrestler and he got a feel for how it all works four years before it was his time. Mason credits Lehigh Head Coach Pat Santoro for “recruiting him hard, yet staying within the rules and not even getting into any grey areas.” The sincerity and honesty of Santoro meant a lot to him and his family.
One part of the recruiting process that could use a facelift is the procedures used to report violations. Discipline or enforcement is left in the hands of the violating team’s compliance office which as Beckman says, “typically means there are no repercussions and they keep it moving along.” Beckman and the TDR crew agreed that most coaches are hesitant to report possible violations because they don’t want anyone else to look into their own programs. According to Beckman, there is also an underlying thought among coaches that reporting violations will help contribute to athletic departments dropping programs. He explains that in some athletic departments where wrestling is not a priority, they may grow tired of having to investigate small infractions and decide that keeping a team may not be worth the trouble.
Also discussed were verbal commitments. There have been rumors that one of George Mason’s prominent signees from the Class of 2019 has requested to look elsewhere. Of course, Beckman declined to comment directly on that subject of but spoke of the coaches role in mentoring and developing wrestlers off the mat. “Morales and ethics are life lessons we’re teaching, as we attempt to develop young men of character. It is ok to bail on a decision because something that seems prettier or that other people perceive to be prettier comes along? It’s within the rules, but what are we teaching student-athletes?”
He would also field questions about the new transfer portal and its impact on wrestling, particularly a school that’s outside of the NCAA’s Power Five conferences, like George Mason. It makes the transfer process easier from a student-athletes standpoint and “allows them to do the most in their career.” Finally, Beckman and the crew sounded off on the sometimes murky topic of RTC’s and payment of student-athletes during camps run by the RTC, school, or club.