Foley's Friday Mailbag: Aug. 31, 2012
T.R. Foley, InterMat Senior Writer
email@example.com, Twitter: @trfoley
InterMat senior writer T.R. Foley answers reader questions about NCAA wrestling, international wrestling, recruiting, or anything loosely related to wrestling. You have until Thursday night every week to send questions to Foley's Twitter or email account.
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The vacation is over and I'll be replanting myself back to the reality that is college wrestling. No more mai tais and luaus or paddle boarding and snorkeling. For the foreseeable future I am back on the mainland to keep an eye on the developments of the day and read your questions.
Because of today's other article regarding the change to the NCAA proposal, we are going to keep this one short and I'll answer the rest of your questions in next week's mega-mailbag.
Q: The main rule difference everyone focuses on when watching freestyle is the force out rule. I absolutely love the force out rule, and it should be implemented in college. To prevent pushouts right after escapes you would have to blow escapes dead and move them back to the center, but this would still mean fewer whistles in a match.
I think the rule everyone is missing that should be discussed is that it's a takedown when the defender's butt hits the mat. Folkstyle is about control more than freestyle, but I think this could be implemented in college and high school. Once you get the opponent to the mat on his butt beyond reaction time, it should be a takedown. It could help reward the offensive wrestler for more scoring, more exciting matches, and less controversy (Stieber-Oliver).
-- Tom from Grand Rapids
Foley: One of the great developments in American folkstyle wrestling has been the ground style we've developed. As a style it's totally unique and offers an on-the-mat fluidity that is only matched in jiu-jitsu. What's so incredible about the style is that it flows from the feet to the mat and back to the feet with almost no outside interference. This makes scoring debatable at times, but wouldn't a takedown that was called when wrestlers touched the mat eliminate some of those fantastic scrambles we've seen over the past several years?
I know "spaghetti wrestling" isn't very popular with some fans, but it is exciting. And though it's controversial, you must remember that controversy draws in fans.
I don't agree, but I love where your head is at on this one. We want to create excitement and speeding up the matches and making them more simple would certainly do that. Maybe that's why sumo is the most watched form of the sport?
Q: You slighted Donny Pritzlaff in the recent podcast when you were talking about a coach that can create a game plan for Howe to potentially beat Burroughs. I was waiting for you to say Donny Pritzlaff, but then you said Sean Bormet. Both have been instrumental in Howe's development, but Pritzlaff has spent more time with him ... and there was no mention of Donny. Just giving you a hard time. :)
-- Andrew H.
Michigan coaches Donny Pritzlaff and Sean Bormet have been instrumental in Andrew Howe's development (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)Foley: If you only knew how scared I am of Donny Pritzlaff -- I'm feeling equal parts fear and embarrassment. Yes, Pritzlaff was Howe's biggest influence in college and to not mention that role was a major oversight. Bormet and Pritz are now together and taking an equal role, there is no distinguishable difference in influence, at least from my seat in Chicago.
The bigger oversight was not discussing further the influence of the Oklahoma coaching staff on his future output. Let's not fudge the facts too much, but the OU coaching staff did produce two Olympians, and assuming they are both back, then Howe is well-positioned to make some type of attack on the reign of Jordan Burroughs.
Q: What is the Jeff Buxton story? Although you can say "he resigned" end of story, I am sure there is a lot more to it and not "I want to spend more time with my family." I realize Intermat is not the National Enquirer, but inquiring minds want to know. Why does a dedicated coach that claims the development of the wrestlers he coaches as human beings is the most important thing to him just all of a sudden drop out and turn his back on all that he built?
Jeff Buxton gets interviewed (Photo/Rob Preston)Foley: When I write a story I have to be careful to not write something that can't be verified by reputable sources. I'm also close to coaches and sources and need to always make sure that I am respectful of their position within the community and the anonymity they request.
The details are all but impossible to verify in a story like this. The moment it hit I got dozens of texts and emails claiming to have insider information and even more asking for details. I don't have any details to report. However, you answered your own question. Coach Buxton has given his life to coaching and to resign in August is indicative of a foul up on his part and a disagreement with the administration. The school made their decision to not retain his talents, gave him the choice to resign, and he took it. I highly doubt that we won't see Coach Buxton at another program in due time. He's a great coach and leader of men, and when the time comes to for a big time high school program or college team to hire a coach they will look at Buxton.
Q: Since Jeff Buxton is too young to ride off into the sunset, where do you think we'll see him turn up next?
-- Richard D.
Foley: I'm expecting a college program starting in 2013-2014. Just a guess, because there is still a lot that needs to come out.