It's been a marvelous couple of days for the sport of wrestling.
- After the Big Ten said Penn State and Iowa couldn't have a wrestling dual this year, the two coaches took care of it themselves. So PSU and Iowa will wrestle a "non-conference" dual on 12/21, at Carver Hawkeye Arena. You're right, Jim Delany - conference members really do want to compete against each other more, not less. In unrelated news, BTN immediately announced they'll be broadcasting the event - LIVE.
- The International Olympic Committee voted wrestling back into the Olympics for 2020 and 2024, by a vote of 49 to 24 to 22 (wrestling - baseball/softball - squash). So, we'll have the world's greatest sport as part of the games for the next three Olympics, which is awesome news, and a huge win for all of those who put a ton of effort behind it. Congratulations. Becoming a permanent, "core sport", remains a goal.
- ESPN ain't stupid when it comes to money. They saw a 55% increase in TV viewership for the NCAA Finals, year over year, and a 13% increase in viewership for their online "ESPN3" platform - to over 12 million minutes consumed. The ESPN3 platform is pretty cool, allowing you, in past seasons, to choose up to 4 mats for online viewing at once. The only downside to that, was that the opening rounds featured wrestling on 8 mats - so you only got half of them. But this year and moving forward, ESPN has solved that dilemma, as they will now offer ALL 8 MATS in the prelims, and ALL 6 MATS in the quarters.
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