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For week ended December 05, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

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BYU Coach Pins His Hopes On Dual Meet

Summarized by Eric Bunker

BYU Coach Pins His Hopes On Dual Meet
Salt Lake Tribune 3Dec99 S3
By Michael C. Lewis

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: BYU Administration officials announced earlier this year that it would eliminate men's wrestling in an effort to comply with Federal Title IX guidelines that mandate equal athletic opportunities for men and women.

In a last ditch effort to prove its popularity and save the Brigham Young wrestling program from extinction, the Cougars have scheduled a dual meet set for 7 p.m. Saturday December 4, in the Delta Center against the most legendary of college wrestling programs, the #2 nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes.

BYU Coach Mark Schultz knows his team by all accounts is doomed to lose the match. The Hawkeyes come with a lineup stacked with perhaps three times as many All-Americans as the Cougars.

Winning the match is not the point, however. Schultz and his supporters are shooting to set an attendance record to show BYU Administration that wrestling is economically too valuable a sport to be cut in the name of gender equity.

Former athletic director Rondo Fehlberg, also an ex-Cougar wrestler, arranged for a private donation to pay the $80,000 rental fee for the Delta Center. Schultz believes the match can attract a sellout crowd of 19,911 to break the record of about 17,000.

If they can get the crowd, the team will have some impressive credentials in their battle to keep the sport going at BYU. They have formed the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation to help raise money and hope to eventually work out a deal with the school to keep the sport from getting the Title IX ax.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information