The Boise State athletic department this week announced their decision to drop the school's wrestling program in favor of a future baseball program. In a brief release the school's reasoning seemed to center on baseball being "better aligned" with the Mountain West Conference. From first blush that logic seems flawed.
Overall, the story is still developing and there is some reason to be hopeful about the direction the school will take in the wake of the backlash, but the message for the wrestling community is once again clear; to preserve the number of programs at the collegiate level the involvement by alumni, fans and friends of the program can't self-limit investment to successful years and successful programs. The nature of NCAA athletics and financials of schools demands our community to consider a wider and more generous distribution of funds (by a method TBD) to support programs who are not doing as well as other programs.
(Side note: The profit-share method is why professional baseball has maintained 30-plus teams for 20-plus years.)
For wrestling to succeed with an average of 80-plus programs for the next 20-plus years, our methods need to ensure that. What are some ways we can passively support these programs, or ways in which we can create financial incentives that no school could afford to ignore?