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NCAA Wrestling: Committee recommends Big 12 lose automatic qualifying

by Trent Shadid Published: May 30, 2014

The NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee has recommended that the Big 12 not receive pre-allocated spots into the NCAA Tournament beginning next season.

The committee made the recommendation during its annual meetings April 15-17.

In a recently released report from the meetings, the committee states the reasoning is the Big 12 only has four wrestling schools — Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and West Virginia — and providing pre-allocated spots to the conference tournament creates a competitive advantage.

Big 12 coaches have expressed the desire to move towards a different qualifying format on several occasions.

The committee also recommended the ACC, Big Ten, Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, Eastern Wrestling League, Mid-American Conference, Pac-12, and Southern Conference be the only conferences with automatic qualifying status.

The NCAA-sponsored West Regional would also continue to receive automatic qualifying privileges. The regional could include OSU, OU, and others as soon as next season as the committee suggested the West Regional provide access to schools which are not members of an automatic qualifying conference.

The regional currently hosts North Dakota State, Wyoming, Air Force, Utah Valley, South Dakota State, and Northern Colorado.

The reports states if a Big 12 school were to remain outside of an automatic qualifying event, wrestlers would still be considered for at-large selections based on their performance at the conference tournament.

by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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