I am currently a wrestler at Boise State University. I grew up in Sandy, Utah, and I started wrestling at 8-years-old. I was a three-time state champion and a national champion. I was heavily recruited by many colleges including Ohio State, Iowa State, Arizona State and Boise State.
I chose to become a Bronco because the program was ranked No. 2 in the NCAA and was the best Division I wrestling team in the Northwest. BSU wrestling has always had a strong tradition of achieving excellence. It has turned young men into NCAA champions, All-Americans and world team members.
While the success of BSU wrestling has been tremendous on the mat, the real success has come from how the program has taught life-essential character traits such as hard work, sacrifice, discipline and integrity.
Whether it is wrestling, baseball, music or the fine arts, most parents want to provide opportunities for their children to develop their talents and these important character traits. We all want our children to have opportunities to achieve their dreams and go as far as their determination and talents will take them. Regardless of the sport or discipline, it is inspiring to know that our youth can continue to improve at the collegiate level.
On April 22, I attended the Idaho State Youth Wrestling Championships in Kuna. It was incredible to see these elementary and middle school athletes from all over the state compete. Idaho has some of the best youth wrestling programs in the nation. At the close of this tournament, every participant came together to raise a banner that read: “Save BSU wrestling!” Idaho’s young wrestlers need the opportunity to dream.
Boise State president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman, “I think it’s great we have such a solid baseball program across the Valley. And yet, if someone wants to go on and play Division I ball they have to go someplace else.” Baseball is a great sport, but my question is what about the kids who wrestle? Should what President Kustra said not be true for both sports?
Just last summer, Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey spoke to the wrestling team and told us the program was not going away. He told us the community loves and supports wrestling and that we were going to continue to make Boise State wrestling a dominate force in the NCAA.
Wrestling is more than a sport. It is a tool that molds young men into great members of society. We cannot afford to lose wrestling in the great city of Boise, the state of Idaho and in the Northwest. I ask them to reconsider this decision. If this is a financial decision, then give us the opportunity to raise the money. If this is not a financial decision, then please support both wrestling and baseball.
Give us an opportunity to save the program and sport we love.
Carson Kuhn is a junior at Boise State University.