It's been three weeks since Stanford announced its intention to discontinue wrestling following the 2020-21 season. For many of us, it feels much longer. This unsettled feeling should remind us that the Keep Stanford Wrestling (KSW) effort will require a consistent and disciplined approach in order to be successful.
Below is an update on our progress. We decided to answer the three most common questions asked by members of our community, namely:
How's the team doing?
What's been happening?
How can I help?
People almost always ask about the team first, and this speaks volumes about our community's priorities. Initially, the announcement shocked the team to the point of disbelief. These feelings soon gave way to frustration and anger, which grew into sadness and confusion.
After receiving such devastating news from the athletic administration, it has been reaffirming for the staff and athletes to hear from so many people who care not just about the sport but about our program and its individuals. The sport of wrestling creates incredible bonds and we've drawn from those to regain our focus and motivation as we move forward. With the creation and evolution of the KSW effort, the team seems to have found a higher purpose, which has only galvanized them further. We could not be more proud of their strength and resolve. As one Stanford wrestling alum recently said, "Envision unifying hundreds--if not thousands--of wrestlers in the same manner against a common imminent threat... that's a scary situation." We all believe in this movement and are confident we will succeed.
To ensure that they are continuing to provide everyone with the assistance they need, the coaching staff holds weekly Zoom calls with both the team and their parents. Now more than ever it is important to support the holistic development of our student-athletes.
What's Been Happening
Since its creation on July 9th, the KSW Advisory Board has been working furiously to organize and drive the movement's effort.
The board was responsible for crafting wrestling's initial response to the university's open letter, which was delivered on July 10th and posted publicly late last week. The board also put together a key messages document to ensure that the important conversations being had revolve around a central strategy. More recently, the board solidified its leadership with the addition of Robert Hatta ('97), Shawn Harmon ('01), and Patricia Miranda ('01) as co-chairs.
The board is currently in the process of finalizing an appendix to the key messages document that will refute the decision criteria listed in the university's open letter. It is also working to schedule a meeting with the athletic administration in the near future.
Finally, the board is collecting data to determine the minimum endowment needed to perpetually fund a title-competitive program for men and women. This will be the monetary target necessary to reinstate the program. Expect more information as the fundraising campaign formally kicks off in the coming weeks.
How You Can Help
Please keep in mind that this is our one and only chance to preserve the legacy of Stanford wrestling for future generations. With that in mind, please take as many of the following actions as you are able:
If you're an alum and feel comfortable sharing, write a testimonial on how Stanford wrestling has impacted your life in a positive way. Email it to KeepStanfordWrestling@gmail.com so we can use it on social media.
Make a lasting financial contribution when the time comes.
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