USA Wrestling purchases themat com as first step of AWA internet presence

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 17, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)

USA Wrestling has announced that it has purchased web page from its founder and owner, Joe Lareau of Columbia, Md.

USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body of amateur wrestling in the United States and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the international wrestling federation FILA.

The purchase of is a first step in the expanded internet strategy for the Amateur Wrestling Alliance, which will be developed during the 2000 year. The Amateur Wrestling Alliance includes USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.

"The Mat" has been one of the most active web pages covering the sport of amateur wrestling in the United States. Lareau created "The Mat" in April 1995, while enrolled as a Computer Science graduate student at the Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte. Before creating The Mat, Lareau created a newsgroup ( for fans that is still in use today.

While living in North Carolina, he also developed web pages for wrestling within the state. In 1998, he spun off NC Mat (, the Super 32 individual prep rankings (, and the Elite 10 team prep rankings ( Lareau is currently employed with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Systems Security Engineer in Columbia, Maryland.

The goal of the Amateur Wrestling Alliance is to develop into the most comprehensive web page in the wrestling market, as well as one of the most popular sports sites on the entire internet.

There is expected to be a transition period, where USA Wrestling will work with Lareau to transform into a new and expanded page, offering more features and activities for all users.

USA Wrestling will continue to utilize its current web page (, in its current form, as the new internet entity is designed and launched.