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“Will there be a season?” My Prediction
“Will there be a season?”  My Prediction

My latest email from a few days ago might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but the point was, I have been able to predict the future with very strong accuracy ever since I started writing my book, Wrestling in the Coronavirus World(which I finished in March).

Recently, someone asked me the question on everyone’s mind:  What’s your prediction on the 20/21 wrestling season?

My answer:  
First, all schools will end up moving to remote learning through the rest of 2020 (if not from Day One, soon after).  All sports will be postponed until January 2021.

There’s a possibility – make that, a probability – of another major shutdown.  

IF we get the virus under control, we could see scholastic wrestling starting in January 2021.  Its a big IF though. 

I”m not convinced the shutdown will work.  The virus is here and it is determined to stay.

I personally despite the lockdowns, and because some of the elements are based in zero science (Michigan, we're looking at you), and amount to a seizing of power, leading to government overreach in many ways, people have been fighting the restrictions.  That trend will continue.

Example in point:  There is no scientific reason to require wearing a mask outside when no one is around.

As a result of the mess left behind, we are likely to still be dealing with this in 2021.

The biggest concern right now: 
This virus has mutations (as I also mentioned in my book would happen), and now kids are getting sick a lot more often.  That’s why I think schools will end up all remote.

Finally, this dire hope-I'm-wrong-but probably-not-prediction:  

Schools, state and local governments, and colleges have a huge financial issue on their hands.  

Many colleges will fold (some will shock people).

Colleges will continue to drop sports.

On the big stage, if football doesn’t happen – the other sports won’t (since football revenue funds the other sports).  

The end result being:  any program that isn’t self-funded – able to pay for everything themselves, is at risk of getting canned.  Penn State is probably the safest school in the country due to their endowment program.


PS:  Regarding privately owned training, tournaments, etc.  I was deeply critical of trainers that I mentioned in my book – people who don’t take safety into consideration and are reckless.  Personally, I’d rather put the kids’ safety first – hence our very strict health protocols for the recent SuperGroup trainings that we concluded.  I address this in my book as well, especially in Chapter 4:  The Danger Zones of Wrestling.

The path forward for wrestling is here

I hate it when I’m right

Back in March, I said this in my book: In all likelihood, Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. After all, SARS saw a resurgence in Toronto after its initial wave…

I went on to add this:

It is a unique time in our society, and also for our sport. A scary time to be certain. But this moment in time also provides a unique opportunity to get our act together as a wrestling community – plug the holes in our health protocols that relate not just to Covid-19, but a host of medical issues that the wrestling world faces.

In Chapter One, Alarming statistics and dire predictions by health experts, I added this:

If you think the government can protect you from coronavirus or any future pandemic, all you need to do is study history so you’re not doomed to repeat it.

As we stand right now, March 2020, there is no cure – and it will take a minimum of 6 months to develop a vaccine.
The most prepared government in the world is never prepared for a pandemic. The next pandemic, like this one will be upon us, in our communities, with people infected, literally before we know it exists.
That’s why it is imperative that you take safety measures now, and in the future, to protect yourself and your family.

Additionally, this from chapter two:

It is likely that this virus is not going away anytime soon…..and precautions enacted by authorities could stem the threat – however, variant strains of this virus may well rear their ugly heads for many years into the future.
Our lives, in essence, could be drastically changed forever.

Chapter Three explains why the wrestling world is doomed (it certainly is, unless changes are made quickly, as outlined in the book, and especially chapter 5, Health protocols to keep your wrestlers safe).

Many of these protocols apply to life outside the wrestling room as well. Want extra assurance that you’re taking every precaution to keep your athlete safe and healthy? This book can certainly help.

You can check out the book here


PS: Combine all this with what our current situation is:

  • Covid-19 roaring back, in our area as well as many parts of the nation
    fall sports everywhere being postponed
    schools on remote learning
    colleges and universities, as well as state governments and business as a whole, facing enormous financial deficits (see what I said in my book about Penn State and why they are likely to survive while others fail).
God never gives anyone everything
God never gives anyone everything

“Tell me something:  are those NFL players tough?”

That was the question that the great Pat Pecora, Carlton Haselrig’s collegiate coach asked him.

His answer:

Naw.  They’re not tough.  Those 125 lb college wrestlers – Those guys are Tough.

Carlton would know.  Haselrig, drafted in the 12th round of the 1989 draft, despite having not played football since high school (Pitt-Johnstown doesn't sponsor a football team), developed into an all-pro guard for the Steelers, following a stellar, record-shattering collegiate wrestling career at University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, where he won an unmatched 6 national championships – 3 in Division 2, and 3 in Division 1.

Before 1990, Division 2 and Division 3 champions were extended an invitation to compete in the Division 1 national championships.

Haselrig’s success led to the appropriately nicknamed Haselrig rule, which was enacted in 1990.  After he won both Division 2 and Division 1 titles- 3 seasons in a row – they changed the rule and rescinded the invitation to D2 and D3 champs.  Because of this, his feat can never be matched, unless they change the rule again.

After his collegiate career ended, he was drafted in the 12th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

When it came time to find an agent, he asked his college coach, Pat Pecora, to represent him.

I need somebody I can trust, he told Pat.

So Pecora, now the winningest wrestling coach in NCAA history, obliged him.

Pat once said this about Carlton Haselrig:  God never gives anyone everything.

He was blessed with great athletic ability and work ethic, but cursed with substance abuse, which ultimately ended his football career and occasionally landed him in jail.

It was a sad ending to a brilliant career.

Carlton Haselrig died on July 22.  He was 52.

Pat Pecora is an old friend of mine.  Long ago, I worked his wrestling camps along with my friend and fellow coach, John.  I came to know some excellent people – wrestlers on the UPJ team, coaches from around the area, and some excellent Pennsylvania wrestlers.  It was an experience that positively shaped my coaching for years to come.

It was Pecora’s belief that every human being, no matter how great, has built-in strengths and weaknesses.  Certainly the sport of wrestling highlights this – nowhere is it more prevalent to wrestle to your strengths and exploit your opponent’s weaknesses.

It is also a fundamental key to finding success in one's life.