Carl Albert State College to begin men’s wrestling next year, women in 2022-23
Courtesy of Carl Albert Athletics – Link
March 9, 2021, indeed will go down as one of the most historic moments in the athletic history of Carl Albert State College.
At Tuesday afternoon’s CASC Board of Regents Meeting inside the J.T. and Mary Jo Stites Multipurpose Room in the Mayo Building on the CASC-Sallisaw campus, the board unanimously approved a men’s wrestling program to begin next school year and a women’s program the following school year for the 2022-23 season.
“It’s huge for Carl Albert State College,” CASC Athletic Director Randy Graves said. “We’re appreciative of our Board of Regents for approving the wrestling program. It was a great decision made here by Carl Albert State College. Carl Albert will now join NEO as the second community college to offer collegiate men’s wrestling and be the first — or possibly join NEO — community college to offer a women’s college wrestling program. We wanted to do this because it would be a Title IX compliance for both men’s and women’s programs. It will be a historic day on the timeline on the Carl Albert State College athletic website.”
However, CASC’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Roberts had his doubts but totally did a 180-degree change of heart after attending January’s meeting.
“When I was asked to come to the meeting in January with ‘our new friends,’ I was skeptic — as I told them at the meeting,” Roberts said. “I showed up to the meeting skeptical, but I wasn’t skeptical when I left the meeting because of the fact they showed me their Facebook page that had 600 members. Their enthusiasm was overwhelming. On top of that, they mentioned high schools that we could potentially get students from which were schools which we currently get any students from — Van Buren (Ark.), Bentonville (Ark.), Rogers (Ark.), etc … These kids are going somewhere else, a long ways away in most cases, to go wrestle. They are paying close to three times as much as they would at Carl Albert even without a scholarship — which was something else that excited me. They’re going to be excited to find a place to go wrestle (closer to home).”
“The folks that have worked on this have been outstanding,” CASC President Jay Falkner said. “One thing that I’m so proud of is the possibility of how this could be an economic driver for our community with things like tournaments for other NJCAA teams and participants. We’re talking about hosting youth league kind of events as fundraisers for our program. To provide a program like this, this is going to be great for students and campus life. It’s also going to be a economic driver for the entire community for people like those who own local restaurants, own motels and hotels and gas stations. It’s all part of what we’re supposed to be doing as a community college. I appreciate those (who were at Tuesday afternoon’s Board of Regents meeting) who have gone after this with their passion, dedication and willingness to help us not only financially but talk to us with these future possibilities. It’s a win all the way around. It’s a great day for us.”