The first round of Pac-12 Network money is in, and Oregon is using their cut to bring back an old friend in an entirely new way.
In 2007, as part of athletic department restructuring, Oregon decided to disband its wrestling program, a program that produced a number of All-Americans, five Olympians, and UFC fighter (and noted shit-talker and possible cheater) Chael Sonnen. At the time Oregon claimed needing to attain Title IX compliance, but in reality it was more due to a lack of facilities, and lack of interest aside from the diehard fans. However, the want for a wrestling program never completely left the athletic department, and with the extra media revenue from the new Pac-12 Network deal, Oregon has set into motion plans for a wrestling program, the likes of which have never seen. Let's go over the details:
- The biggest plan is for state-of-the-art wrestling equipment to be added to Matthew Knight Arena, including a sixteen-foot tall steel cage that will descend from the rafters and shoot flames, a top-of-the-line wrestling ring with ample room underneath for hidden metal chairs and garbage cans, and a new sound system so you can really hear it when the Road Dogg tells yo ass to call somebody.
- Oregon's sports marketing majors will be instrumental in developing and promoting images and personas for Duck wrestlers.
- Many Oregon athletic department executives have taken a page from the wrestling book and have begun to adopt more menacing nicknames, including Rob "The Mutilator" Mullens, Andy "Return of the Mac" McNamara, and Vin "Vinsane" Lanana.
And seeing that men's wrestling is a spring sport, a number of Duck football players have expressed interest in cross-training as members of the wrestling team, including:
- Rodney Hardrick, "The Hard Way"
- Andre Yruretagoyana, "The Basque Show"
- Hronnis Grasu, "The Back Snapper"
- Bralon Addison, "The Texas Twister"
- There is even talk that the Amoako brothers and the Robinson brothers might petition the NCAA to add a tag team division for Spring 2015.