5 storylines to watch in the 2021-22 NCAA wrestling season

All roads lead to Detroit. The 2021-22 college wrestling season will culminate on March 19, 2022, in Little Caesar’s Arena at the NCAA championships, but the events leading up to that finale under the bright lights on Saturday night are the moments that will generate the stories to remember.

After a shortened season in 2021 void of open tournaments and winter classics like the Cliff Keen Invitational, Midlands, and the Southern Scuffle, the 2021-22 season is expected to be more traditional, with one unusual twist. All wrestlers were given an extra year of eligibility last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that some athletes like Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman and Michael Kemerer will be returning for a seventh season while other athletes like Oklahoma State’s AJ Ferrari are essentially earning a second freshman year.

The weights are stacked, the field is deep, and the battle for each individual national title will be intense, dramatic, and full of surprises. Here are the major storylines you need to know in advance of what will undoubtedly be an exciting season ahead. Continue reading at ncaa.com →

NCAA adopts interim name, image and likeness policy

Interim policy goes into effect Thursday

NCAA college athletes will have the opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness beginning Thursday. Governance bodies in all three divisions today adopted a uniform interim policy suspending NCAA name, image and likeness rules for all incoming and current student-athletes in all sports.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

The policy provides the following guidance to college athletes, recruits, their families, and member schools:

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NCAA Panel approves rules changes for correcting in-match timing errors

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Tuesday approved wrestling rules changes that allow the referee to correct timing errors when that referee has reasonable knowledge of the correction that needs to be made.   

The NCAA Wrestling Committee proposed that competition occurring when the clock is not running is not subject to the dead time rule. The rules change also provides parameters for referees to use when determining the amount of time to add or subtract from the score clock.

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NCAA releases second coaches ranking for 2021 Division I Wrestling Championships

The NCAA has announced the second coaches ranking for the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

The coaches rankings are determined by a vote of 14 coaches in each weight class with two head coaches from each conference. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. For the second ranking, wrestlers must have three Division I matches in the weight class to be considered with at least one within the last 30 days. For the final coaches ranking that will be utilized during the at-large selection and seeding process, wrestlers will need a minimum of four Division I matches in the weight class.

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NCAA releases pre-allocations and first coaches ranking for 2021 Division I Wrestling Championships

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA has announced the pre-allocations and first coaches ranking for the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

The weight class conference champion in each qualifying tournament will earn an automatic qualifier to the national championships. Each conference was awarded additional pre-allocations based on the five-year average (2016-20) of pre-allocations earned by the conference in each weight class.

In recent years, pre-allocations have been determined by a formula measuring Division I winning percentage, ratings percentage index and coaches’ ranking. A decrease in overall matches, and in particular non-conference matches, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee to transition to using the five-year historical average to determine pre-allocations for 2021. For any adjustments in conference alignment over the last five years, historical pre-allocations stayed with the conference where they were earned. The competition status of schools for 2021 also did not impact the calculation of pre-allocations.

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Division III cancels 2021 winter championships

Due to low participation numbers among member schools, NCAA Division III winter championships are canceled for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Division III Administrative Committee, acting on behalf of the Division III Management and Presidents Council, approved the recommendation from the Division III Championships Committee to cancel all winter championships. The committee has been closely monitoring and discussing the membership’s winter sport participation for several months, and it has been providing updates to the councils.

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Division II reduces bracket, field sizes for 2021 winter and spring championships

Changes come as DII’s budget faces challenges with COVID-19 testing, limited fan attendance

The Division II Administrative Committee on Monday approved a recommendation to reduce bracket and field sizes for the 2021 Division II winter and spring championships.

The reductions were made to alleviate expected budget shortfalls, specifically as the Division II  budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year faces challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The field and bracket size reductions of the 18 Division II 2021 winter and spring championships vary by sport, with 12 of them being reduced by 25%. The reductions, listed below, were initially recommended by each sport committee. The Division II Championships Committee and the Division II Planning and Finance Committee each approved the recommendations. The reductions that are more or less than 25% were made because of logistical or practical concerns with operating that sport’s championship.

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DI Council extends eligibility for winter sport student-athletes

Members also provide additional flexibility in championships selection, membership requirements

Winter sport student-athletes who compete during 2020-21 in Division I will receive both an additional season of competition and an additional year in which to complete it, the Division I Council decided. The same flexibility was provided to student-athletes after the spring season was canceled in 2020 and the fall season was seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council met by videoconference Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The pandemic will continue to impact winter sport seasons in ways we can’t predict. Council members opted to provide for winter sport student-athletes the same flexibility given spring and fall sports previously,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “The actions today ensure the continuation of local decision-making in the best interest of each institution and its student-athletes.”

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