The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 16, 1997, Page 10, Image 10

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Coaches look forward to duals
Staff Reporter
In its fifth and final year at Ne
braska, the Cliff Keen National Duals
have a chance to go out with a bang.
The Na
tional Duals, in
their eighth year
of existence, will
be in Lincoln for
the final time this
weekend, with a
I chance to make
even more great
memories. With a
_ — possible matchup
between No. 1
ranked Iowa and second-ranked Okla
homa State, the coaches of the 16
teams are looking forward to a high
quality of wrestling this weekend.
“It’s the most exciting tournament
I’ve ever been in,” North Carolina
Coach Bill Lam said. “If our team
wasn’t in it, I’d buy a plane ticket and
come up and watch those two teams
go at it.”
The excitement is well justified.
There is a good chance the Hawkeyes
and Cowboys will meet in Sunday’s
championship dual at 2 pjn. It would
be the only time this season the two
meet in a dual. Iowa is also the de
fending national champion, while the
Cowboys finished sixth at the NCAA
meet last year.
Iowa enters the meet as strong as
it has been in the past. The Hawkeyes
have seven returning All-Americans
on their roster and four returning na
tional champions from last year’s
team. One of those is senior Jeff
McGinness who had to redshirt be
cause he was beat out at his weight.
Iowa Coach Dan Gable said he is
interested in how his team reacts in
the 118 and 126-pound classes as well
as 142 and 177.
“This has always been a big meet
for us because it tells us where we need
to adjust our lineup for the rest of the
season,” Gable said. “We hope to get
in a position to stop some of the mo
mentum of Oklahoma State.”
Oklahoma State is led by four re
turning All-Americans, including No.
1-ranked 167-pound senior Mark
Branch. The Cowboys are the defend
ing Big Eight champions and have
won three of the eight dual crowns.
Cowboys Coach John Smith said
he is looking forward to a possible
showdown with Iowa.
“We can’t afford to overlook any
body, but we’d like to have a chance
to face Iowa,” Smith said.
Smith said Iowa may have a
strength advantage, but OSU still has
a shot to upend the Hawkeyes.
“We’re going to have to win six
matches to beat them,” he said. “We
can’t go 5-5 with them and win. There
will have to be some upsets.”
Beyond the top two ranked teams,
any team could be in position to fin
ish well or possibly pull an upset. Iowa
State, Penn State and Minnesota are
all ranked in the top five. Nebraska
— ranked 13th — will probably be
the eighth seed. Eight other compet
ing teams are ranked in the top 20.
ISU Coach Bobby Douglas said
with so many quality teams it is diffi
cult to pick one that will dominate the
We’d like to have a
chance to face
John Smith
Oklahoma State wrestling coach
“There is a lot of parity in this tour
nament,” Douglas said. “If you get
past Iowa and Oklahoma State, and it
becomes an issue of whoever’s hot.
“There’s going to be a lot of up
NU will have a difficult haul to a
possible title. The Comhuskers are 6
2 in duals this season, but have
struggled against two top-ranked
teams. Against No. 6 Illinois and fifth
ranked Minnesota, Nebraska lost by a
combined score of 61-23. In last year’s
duals finals, Nebraska lost to Iowa 20
Other teams in the field are No. 7
Michigan, No. 9 Michigan State, No.
17 Clarion, No. 18 Pennsylvania,
19th-ranked Fresno State, No. 21
North Carolina, Wartburg College,
Missouri Valley College and Pitts
The tournament has become so
popular among wrestling fans and
coaches that some people have advo
cated this as a possible system for the
NCAA meet.
“I think it would be a great way to
end the season,” Lam said. ♦
Men happy with NCAAs ruling
NCAA from page 9
Committee at the convention, said the
bill was a landmark decision for all
college athletes.
“That’s just great news,” said Har
ris, who is one of eight Division I rep
resentatives on SAAC. “I didn’t know
whether it would pass or not, but it’s
what is right. It kind of gives me con
fidence in the NCAA that ultimately
they’ll do what’s right.”
Prior to the 1995 school year, the
NCAA required 7 percent of the
schools participate in a sport to pro
vide championship sanctioning. That
meant about 40 Division I schools had
to compete in a sport for the NCAA
to sponsor it. The number of schools
with men’s gymnastics programs
dropped way below 40 in 1994.
In 1995, delegates at the NCAA
Convention heard the voice of SAAC,
which pleaded for the future of Olym
pic sports participation in college to
The student delegation succeeded
in passing a three-year moratorium to
keep certain sports on the NCAA’s
endangered list alive. Men’s gymnas
tics was one of those sports. v
The 1995 convention, Harris said,
was crucial in establishing this year’s
“Really, I think what that did was
it bought us some time,” he said. “It
raised the consciousness level of our
situation at the time.”
Harris said another force behind
the cause of fighting for Olympic
sports was Nebraska Athletic Direc
tor Bill Byrne.
“Bill Byrne really was big on this,”
Harris said. “He really wanted to help
us out and pass this legislation. He’s
a great guy to have on your side at a
convention like this.”
NU Men’s Gymnastics Coach
Francis Allen said the legislation’s
largest value comes from the incen
tive to make club gymnasts attend a
“It used to be that the clubs told
their people not to go to college be
cause (the NCAA) was going to drop
it,” Allen said “You should be able to
graduate from high school and go to
college, and not have to worry about
having gymnastics dropped. So in that
sense, we also wot the recruiting war.”
Allen said Nebraska would have
kept providing opportunities for gym
nasts even if the NCAA had with
drawn its sponsorship of the sport.
“I was sure as long as people were
there to compete against, Nebraska
would have gymnastics,” he said. “But
without the NCAA Championship
logo, it would have lost a lot of power.”
Convention favors the athletes
WRAPUP from page 9
to work and then challenging them to
think twice about the NBA draft, the
delegates followed Dempsey’s plea for
sanity and voted in all of the landmark
“I think what this convention said
is we’re going to try and trust each
other,” Dempsey said. “That we want
this to work out.”
Among the legislation passed
Tuesday was a modification of the
NBA draft rule. The new rule says ath
letes who enter the draft early and are
selected must give up their remaining
eligibility. If they aren’t taken, they
can return to their college team.
“The NBA has rendered the intent
of the (original) legislation useless by
establishing a rule that does not allow
players to re-enter the draft,” Big East
Commissioner Mike Tranghese said.
Also Tuesday, the delegates voted
to financially protect all men’s and
women’s NCAA championships in
Olympic sports. Men’s volleyball and
men’s gymnastics were in danger of
losing their funding.
This is perhaps the most important
step for Nebraska. The men’s gymnas
tics team, which has won eight na
tional titles, is now protected from
The convention, for once, finally
served the people it was meant to —
the student athletes. The highlight
occurred Monday when feisty, second
year law student Bridget Niland, from
the State University of New York at
Buffalo, helped push through the con
troversial part-time work proposal.
“Consider the welfare of the stu
dent athlete,” Niland said. “Look at
this legislation on the principle of
honesty and trust, not fear of abuse.”
With the part-time jobs, the poten
tial for abuse is ripe. Just keeping track
of things could create an administra
tive nightmare.
But Miami Athletic Director Paul
Dee may have said it best: “There’s
no question there are problems, but is
our inconvenience a reason to con
strain students? I think not.”
t . t.-. ’'.• -....v/’