Two of the many things we at the Title IX Blog are interested in are: 1) the reasons behind why schools choose to add specific sports; and 2) wrestling programs.
The news that Ottawa College in Kansas is planning on adding both women's and men's wrestling to its roster of intercollegiate athletics, then, caught our attention.
Wrestling, of course, has been central in many of the debates about Title IX with some supporters arguing that the decline in wrestling programs at the intercollegiate level has been caused by the legislation, despite evidence to the contrary.
We have seen, though, that non-Division I schools are considering wrestling a viable option when adding sports and that women's wrestling can help preserve Title IX compliance and, at times, men's wrestling. This is not the case at Ottawa which will begin both programs from scratch.
The school, which will introduce the sport in the 2014-15 academic year, has begun looking for a head coach and student-athletes.
One of the reasons why the school chose wrestling is because administrators are committed to maintaining a high level of student-athlete academic achievement and wrestling. They found that elite high school wrestlers at the national championships maintain an average 3.0 GPA. Additionally they see the promise in women's wrestling, which continues to grow.