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USA Wrestling s Executive Committee met in Auburn Hills Mich March 17

By Gary Abbott | May 06, 2007, 7:33 p.m. (ET)

USA Wrestling's Executive Committee had an in-person meeting at the Palace Club in The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich., Saturday, March 17. The meeting was chaired by USA Wrestling President James Ravannack of Metairie, La.

The meeting was held in the arena which hosted the 2007 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships.

The Executive Committee made the following decisions during the meeting:

- Approved a proposal to begin background checks for coaches, officials and non-athletic team personnel, beginning on Sept. 1, 2007.

- Authorized the national staff to proceed with a Grappling program for the organization, and to work with the appropriate committees to implement it.

- Approved the creation of a President's Award program, which would support bringing a qualified state leader to attend the World Wrestling Championships as part of the USA Wrestling delegation.

- Approved the creation of an Officials Education Award program, which would support bringing two qualified officials to attend the World Wrestling Championships as part of the USA Wrestling delegation.

- Selected the 2007 USA Wrestling Man of the Year and Woman of the Year award winners. (The winners will be announced at a later date).

- Approved the transfer of $400,000 to the organization's Capitol Campaign fund to restore funding that had been used for other approved purposes.

The Executive Committee members provided information to the Long Range Planning Committee, which will be used by the committee to develop goals for the organization during the next four years and eight years.

Treasurer Duane Morgan of Hollister, Calif. updated the Executive Committee on the financial status of USA Wrestling. He reported that the organization had met or exceeded financial goals within the existing budget to date, and he praised the national staff for its ability to achieve this.

Lee Roy Smith, the Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum updated the Executive Committee on the Legends Fund, a joint project with USA Wrestling and the Hall of Fame to build and expand the sport. Smith gave information on the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Leadership Camp, scheduled for this summer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., a joint project with USA Wrestling.

FILA Bureau member Stan Dziedzic updated the Executive Committee on the new Grappling initiative by the international federation. He reported that a delegation of USA Wrestling leaders would attend the next FILA Bureau meeting which was part of the dedication activities for the new FILA headquarters in Switzerland in June.

Executive Director Rich Bender informed the Executive Committee that USA Wrestling had received an International Relations Grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the annual FILA Officials Meeting in Orlando, Fla. in 2007. This is considered one of the most important meetings held each year by FILA.

It was the first in-person Executive Committee meeting held since USA Wrestling changed its by-laws which call for one Board of Directors meeting each year and one in-person Executive Committee meeting. In the past, USA Wrestling held two full Board of Directors meetings annually, and did not require an in-person Executive Committee meeting.