USA Wrestling A statement from Sta...

A statement from Stanford Wrestling

By Stanford Wrestling | Dec. 08, 2020, 3:28 p.m. (ET)

STANFORD, Calif. - On July 8th, our student-athletes and coaches were blindsided when Stanford announced its intention to eliminate wrestling and ten other varsity athletics programs at the conclusion of this season due to fiscal concerns.

Though shocked, our team immediately decided that it would band together and do what wrestlers do best—work to persevere through adversity. We began developing and executing a plan to reverse the university’s decision and establish an endowment that would not only ensure wrestling’s place at Stanford, but help preserve collegiate wrestling’s presence on the West Coast and nationally.

The resilience and determination our team has demonstrated has been inspiring. We have raised over $12 million and counting since September when our fundraising efforts began in earnest. We have established working relationships with many allies within the university and across the country. We have the support of 36 Sports Strong and other prominent Stanford alumni. These successes now have us more optimistic for the program’s continued future at the varsity level than ever.

Still, from the beginning, we understood that our efforts to reverse the university’s decision would take time and were unfolding on top of the NCAA and academic calendars. With that and the best interest of our student-athletes in mind, we planned for our student-athletes to enter the NCAA transfer portal at an optimal time so they could line up their best options should Stanford decide not to keep the wrestling program. With fall classes recently concluded and a month before the start of the NCAA competitive season, we feel that time is now.

Tomorrow, five of our students will put their names in the NCAA transfer portal with the full support and encouragement of their coaches, teammates, and families. All of these student-athletes are committed to staying at Stanford through the 2020-21 academic year. In a worst-case scenario, almost all will stay until they earn their Stanford degrees and then look to continue their eligibility in a graduate program elsewhere. Should we succeed in reinstating the Stanford wrestling program, all will stay at Stanford through the conclusion of their academic and athletic careers.

The resolve and optimism that our student-athletes, coaches, alumni, supporters, and families continue to feel toward keeping Stanford Wrestling remains unchanged. Our student-athletes are simply executing our plan. They enter the portal today so they can receive information from schools they would consider should Stanford maintain its uncharacteristic course. They intend to retract their names from the portal prior to the start of the NCAA wrestling season.

We appreciate the support of the wrestling community and request respect for our student-athletes’ privacy as they attempt to gain clarity on their potential options in the midst of such uncertain times. Thank you.