Sad news from MMA Weekly regarding one of the best PAC-10 wrestling programs in the country which has recently produced a number of up and coming prospects in the world of mixed martial arts, including TUF 7 contestant C.B. Dollaway and current UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez:
In its official statement on Tuesday, the university sited “economic realities experienced over a long period of time” as the primary reason for shutting down the wrestling program.
According to ASU’s Vice President of University Athletics, Lisa Love, “These three sports were selected with the following criteria: financial impact, potential competitive success, conference/regional support and gender equity. Our revenue trajectory has been positive, however, our ongoing financial challenges have been well documented by the media. The decision to discontinue sport programs is a last resort, yet necessary.”
The report from MMA Weekly goes on to talk about Arizona State not being the only university to fall on economic hardship right now and may be the first of many schools to put athletic programs on the chopping block. As we’ve seen in recent history, wrestling programs are usually one of the first to be considered to go. For mixed martial arts’ sake let’s hope this is an anomaly and not the standard.