Foley's Friday Mailbag: October 28, 2016

Last week's mailbag churned up a productive discussion on the role of women in the future of wrestling in America. Forgiving outliers, most fans agreed that women should have a role in the sport of wrestling, even though that type of consensus is decades delayed.

At some point we will look back and see that the women's current role in the sport (while an improvement) is still woefully inadequate. We are a sport that honors meritocracy and thus should be a sport that welcomes and promotes progress not panders to backwards ideologies.

This is clear and simple.

Women are wrestlers and wrestlers are women. That role is historic, that role is contemporary and that role will be the future of our sport. It's time to get on board or get out of the way.

If you need an introduction to women's struggle for recognition in the sport, pre-order "Wrestle Like a Girl" written by Jamie Moffatt and Craig Sesker. The more you know …

To your questions …

Isaiah Martinez gets his hand raised after winning in the NCAA semifinals (Photo/Tony Rotundo,

Q: Isaiah Martinez's Twitter bio says "The face of NCAA wrestling." Do you agree with him? If not, who is the face of NCAA wrestling?
-- Mike C.

Foley: Two-time NCAA champion with some crafty language skills!

I think that he is one of the faces, but in stating "NCAA wrestling" on his Twitter bio, I think he might be acknowledging Kyle Snyder's celebrity and Olympic gold medal.

No question that Imar has captured the imagination of the younger wrestling crowd and created a sincere and deep admiration of the older crowd. He's a generational talent, lovable and a total hard ass. What's not to love?

The face? Nah, there are many, but he is one of the top celebrities in the sport and I respect the self-promotion.

Team Imar.

Q: There will be some intriguing matches when Ohio State travels to Tempe to wrestle Arizona State on Nov. 19. Bo Jordan and Zahid Valencia will likely wrestle at 174 pounds, and Nathan Tomasello and Ali Naser will meet at 133 pounds. What sides would you bet with these lines?

174: Bo Jordan -2/Zahid Valencia +2
133: Nathan Tomasello -3.5/Ali Naser +3.5
-- Mike C.

Foley: Making lines is always a blast, none more so than when two of the wrestlers are largely unproven at the NCAA level. Are you adjusting for their redshirt freshman status? Are you operating on insider information?

With 2 and 3.5 point spreads I'm very much inclined to take book action with Ohio State. They are proven Division I winners with several big matches under their belt. While Zahid Valencia and Ali Naser have the home-mat advantage, I don't know what type of crowd Coach Jones will have supporting his new all-star lineup, especially this early in the season.

So, in short, the lines are soft, but I do think this will be an excellent barometer to measure where Arizona State is in developing their big-name talent. Many programs have hired new head coaches, recruited well and then failed to grow that talent. Coach Jones won't follow that path, but it's important to keep in mind that a winning program takes the right combination of talent, timing and coaching.

If Jones can pull off a victory over Ohio State -- if Naser and Valencia can step up on the big stage -- it'll show that Sun Devil program is progressing through a full maturation off and on the mat.


Brent Metcalf in Tokyo teaching wrestling is among my favorite moments on Twitter. Love this guy.

Solid self-promotion from Conor McGregor

Link: Mates to Mentor: How Franklin Gomez sparked Jaime Espinal's success

Q: Will Oklahoma State win the Duals championship?
-- @MtBSpartans

Foley: Yes!

Maybe? While Penn State's dominance over the past several years leaves me uncertain about placing any large bets, the best wrestling team in the country is in Oklahoma -- and they have a pretty damn good coach, too.

The only problem will be how the dual meet season shakes out in and out of conference. Though we know there is no guarantee of a 1-2 matchup, I'd like to know that there will be less interference in this year's bowl season.

Americans often complain about the follow-the-leader style of international wrestling because they want to see the best rewarded for their hard work. I think that same logic can be applied to the bowl selections at the end of the season.

Mark Cody coaching against Missouri last season (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Q: Do you expect Mark Cody to return to college wrestling coaching at some point? Or do you think he's retired from coaching?
-- Mike C.

Foley: I find it tough to think about college wrestling without Mark Cody. For more than four decades he's worked for the sport in nearly every capacity and had success at each step. Oklahoma seems to have been a late career letdown, but I don't know that it should be enough to pull him off the mats.

My hope is that Coach Cody will become an athletic director, or take on a senior leadership role at a school that could use his leadership skills. We have lots of great young coaches who can stay on the NCAA Division I grind, but there are few that would be capable of handling large administrative tasks.

Mark Cody is the type of wrestling leader able to grow the sport from the C-suite, but I'd miss seeing him on the mats.

Q: Any rules changes this year? Any new rules being tested at the NWCA All-Star Classic?
-- @kuhn23

Foley: Not that I'm aware of.


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SetonHallPirate (1) about 5 years ago
Of note: Intermat will be covering the Arizona State-Ohio State dual mentioned above, slated for November 19th in Tempe.
trescuit11 (1) about 5 years ago
did you guys know that foley does jiu jitsu?
donkeylips (1) about 5 years ago
@trescuit11 I also heard he thinks singlets are antiquated. Is that true?