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USA Wrestling to provide season-ending competition for NCAA Division III wrestlers

USA Wrestling announced Friday that the organization will provide competition for NCAA Division III wrestlers who lost their opportunity to compete at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

USA Wrestling's Rich Bender and Bruce Baumgartner released statements.

Bender: "USA Wrestling is extremely disappointed and heartbroken about the hundreds of wrestling student-athletes who have lost their opportunity to have their 2020-21 season-ending competition due to the cancellation of the winter sports national championships at the NCAA Div. III level. This is the second straight year that this important group of student-athletes will not have an official national tournament.

As the National Governing Body for wrestling in the United States, we feel we have an obligation and responsibility to provide a competition for these athletes. We are poised to step into the breach on behalf of Div. III wrestlers. We have been actively pursuing a number of options that are available to us, working with our partners and stakeholders within the sport. It is our goal to provide a high-quality event for these athletes during this academic season. USA Wrestling has been able to successfully host numerous competitions at many levels, using its COVID-19 Return to Events Guidelines and following local health and government regulations."

Baumgartner: "USA Wrestling believes that creating a season-ending tournament for NCAA Div. III wrestling student-athletes fits in line with our mission to "provide quality opportunities for its members to achieve their full human and athletic potential." We clearly understand the role that the NCAA Championships play in the lives of these students. USA Wrestling is eager to help, and believe we have both the resources and ability to assist during this challenging time for the wrestlers and their families. "

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