Foley's Friday Mailbag: September 15, 2017

The International Olympic Committee officially announced this week that Los Angeles will be the host of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. The announcement was part of a historic two-city awarding ceremony, with Paris being awarded the 2024 Summer Games.

The announcement is positive news for the U.S. Olympic Committee and its national governing bodies, including USA Wrestling. Host nations see a considerable increase in the number of medals won when hosting the Games, to go along with expected increases in viewership and ad revenue.

The IOC also announced that former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon would lead the IOC Ethics Commission, which would be responsible for instituting ethical controls over a variety of IOC departments as well as interactions with International Federations. The role could even lead to a fundamental restructuring of how IF's are mandated to run their organizations -- a move that FIFA has already committed to achieving.

Overall, the IOC session (held in Lima) taught the sports community that the antiquated ways of the IOC are being challenged internally and changed through external pressures. There were still disappointments, but overall the organization seems more responsive to the needs of its constituents and willing to tackle issues of impropriety.

This doesn't mean they are without fault, but it is worth taking this as a marker for future progress. How much leeway will Ban Ki-Moon be given to not only suggest, but implement his ideas? Will a relaxation of the bidding process mean lower costs and better management from the overworked staff at the IOC? Will there be continued enforcement of penalties against members proven to be corrupt?

I'd like to think we will see this top-down level of responsibility take hold at the IOC and trickle into member IF's. Everyone, including wrestling, could use fresh ideas and goals to achieve in order to ensure that the world's sports are enjoyed by young and old all around the world.

To your questions …

Kaori Icho after winning gold in Rio (Photo/Tony Rotundo,

Q: Is Kaori Icho going to wrestle Helen Maroulis at the Beat the Streets Benefit? Say yes … please!
-- @davidcelias

Foley: Are you sitting down? I have some news that might upset you. As of now it looks like Kaori Icho is going to stay retired. Helen will be back on the mats, but just when is still uncertain.

Icho, you may have seen, is in Iran and from the looks of it she's loving her life. The Iranian Wrestling Federation asked her to help teach wrestlers (and coaches) in Iran on how best to lead a women's wrestling program. The two-week experience is a great cross-cultural experience for Icho and a platform for her to learn more about coaching.

She is looking to travel more often, so maybe she will come to Los Angeles and do a clinic. I've also heard that she's looking for the chance to coach in an English-speaking country.

Q: Which team has the most fickle fan base (one minute they love you, the next they hate you)?
-- @jammenjammez

Foley: Though you might mean "me" as Tim Foley, I'll go ahead and take this towards a more productive, less self-reflective place.

The team(s) with the ficklest fan bases tend to be those that pop into, and then out of, the top 25. Programs like Penn State and Ohio State have more-or-less cemented their following by producing team and individual national championships. Yes, their fans get upset, but they generally don't lose touch with the program in part because they enjoy the winning.

Programs in and out of the top 25 tend to see a loss of fans if they aren't creating "first-ever" outcomes. I know that at Virginia there was a time when the fans were very excited and times when they fell off. Currently the attitude is positive and trending upwards with more programs and meet-and-greets for alumni and fans. Still, it's not impossible that a school like Virginia, but one that is currently down on their luck, faces lackluster support from those friends of the program.

Luckily, wrestling has a tight-knit community that continues to grow and connect online. Programs that are willing to put in the work to "friendraise" can ensure themselves an increase in gift giving through cash, in-kind and even simply time.


Video on the pre-World Championship training camp last month in Finland

Beauty is a Beast

One of the best highlight videos you'll ever see …

Q: With Ohio State getting Joey McKenna and Penn State losing Nick Suriano, can the Buckeyes win the team title in 2018? Do you still consider Penn State the favorite?
-- Mike C.

Foley: Yes. Ohio State has the ability to win five weight classes. Penn State has the ability to win five weight classes. Both programs are well coached and trending towards even better 2017-2018 campaigns.

That I think Ohio State CAN win an NCAA title does not mean that they will. However, Tom Ryan is as good a leader as any in the nation and whoever he puts on the mat will perform. You'd have to give them a 40 percent chance at the title, especially with Iowa buffed up and making the national title a three-way race.

Ohio State NCAA title contenders: Nathan Tomasello, Joey McKenna, Bo Jordan, Myles Martin, Kyle Snyder

Penn State NCAA title contenders: Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, Bo Nickal

If you add in Kollin Moore as a title contender at 197 pounds then you may even give Ohio State the advantage.


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mcaroten (1) about 1 year ago
As a long time fan of this column, I am very happy with any increased coverage of women's freestyle. Women are key to the future of the sport's growth worldwide, though I have to say framing female athletes through tropes of "beauty" is something UWW needs to avoid at all costs....There is a long history of double standards and objectifying female athletes so UWW don't even hint at this with your titles.
trfoley (1) about 1 year ago
Beauty is a Beast is a good way to achieve that goal. It plays off the idea that people view these women only in the context you describe, whereas this video is showing their competitive and athletic side. UWW has devoted enormous resources to women's and has never objectified them in any way. I do appreciate the comment.
cmbcii (2) about 1 year ago
Virginia has a solid program under Steve Garland and the Paulsen twins. Garland is a mentor of good men, and a great coach. I would rather be a significant member there than back-bench at the mega-programs.
djhart69 (3) about 1 year ago
Thanks Andrewmah for reminding us wrestling fans that it's impossible these days to get to read a Friday Mailbag comments section without some right wing nut-job craziness.
kanownik (2) about 1 year ago
Please correct the top 5 title contenders for Ohio State by switching the locations of Kollin Moore and Joey McKenna. Because a guy that didn't place last year will dethrone a 2x Champ vs. an weight class with the two finalists graduated?

Also, failing to mention bonus points when discussing the team race makes the discussion incomplete.

Sometimes I wonder how much you drink on Thursday nights when writing this junk.

I read it purely for the fictional entertainment.
trfoley (2) about 1 year ago
Kollin Moore is a legitimate contender as is McKenna.

Seems I should wait to start drinking come Friday AM.
kanownik (1) about 1 year ago
djhart69 - If Foley would just stick to wrestling the commie posts would be left out. He could have written about how kids 12-18 will now have a home Olympics to aspire to, how that is a boost to wrestling in the USA he could talk about Cross, Brands and Angle's gold medal runs on home turf and it was the last time we won the medal count. The hope for all the women that will have their first chance at a home Olympics. But no...Foley uses the platform to point out his hard on for former UN officials
djhart69 (2) about 1 year ago
I didn't see Foley's post as being overly politicized or even slightly politicized this week and the first comment comes out firing with 'Foley is a commie', The UN is Un-American', 'International Swamp! Obama! Hillary!'

Good Lord! I wouldn't have been surprised if his next paragraph jumped into Lizard People, man-made hurricanes, Obama's "real" birthplace and child porn rings run by Democrats.
vhsalum (2) about 1 year ago
Sooo... You still refuse to reply to the subject of Olympic referees?
bdhof (2) about 1 year ago
Suggesting Iowa is part of a three team race is ludicrous, even if you throw in Lee and Downey. Those additions would bring them into the top 5 but about 50 behind PSU and tOSU.
EastCoastTimeOut (1) about 1 year ago
I didn't take this a political statement just more deflection from the larger issue which is corruption within UWW. But I will say that it is pretty telling that the IOC, which the world knows to be one of the most corrupt sporting organizations in the world, is taking the lead in the ethics department. Call me skeptical but I don't think we'll be seeing changes any time soon.

UWW's corruption and hypocrisy is so flagrant, I just wish someone (Foley in this case) would address it.

Also, not sure how you leave out Kollin Moore, who is probably tOSU's 2nd best shot at a national champ!
Stanley123 (2) about 1 year ago
I'm one of Foleys biggest critics and I also don't see this Mailbag having much of a political slant. Unfortunately some guys just look for a reason to attack every week. However I do wish I could hear more about wrestling and less of a history lesson on the IOC. Stick to wrestling TR Foley and you'll have greater success. We want to hear WRESTLING, WRESTLING and more WRESTLING on this WRESTLING web site.
silvermedal (1) about 1 year ago
Good mailbag. I like that TF keeps us informed as to what is happening with international wrestling. Only discrepancy would be that Iowa is almost certain to redshirt Lee and transfer Lugo. They're not challenging. Michigan and Oklahoma State, however, are not far from the top two.
LoneWolf (1) about 1 year ago
The most fickle fan base is in Ames, IA. Iowa State are the 3rd best program in NCAA history (2nd in wins), they used to consistently be #2 in attendance, and now you can hear echoes in Hilton Coliseum when they wrestle.
sjt1956 (1) about 1 year ago
Kollin Moore has a better chance of winning the NC than anyone on the Ohio St team not names Kyle Snyder. He is a clear favorite at 197 where NaTo is in a tough 4 person race for the favorite spot with a lot of depth behind him. BoJo has Hall & probably Zahid V returning to that weight as well as a deep field beyond that. The other 2 MyMar, & Joe McK are not favorites to win although it wouldn't be a huge shock to see them pull it out.