INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Wrestling to be reinstated with specially earmarked funds
Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur was joined by State Sen. Thomas W. Libous last week to announce that $230,000 in additional funds, specially earmarked for the intercollegiate wrestling program, has been allocated to Binghamton’s operating budget by Gov. George E. Pataki.
“This funding will enable the University to preserve our commitment to our academic priorities, while providing support to reinstate our wrestling program,” said DeFleur. “This is a positive outcome for the University - a win-win for all of us.”
The decision made last fall to discontinue wrestling at the end of the 2004 season last spring was budget driven and based on Binghamton’s commitment to make academics its top priority during challenging times. Wrestling supporters at the local and national level, including some Binghamton alumni, had been advocating with government representatives to request funding for wrestling.
Libous stressed that the funding is for the long term. “We’ve always believed that if we could fund wrestling at the appropriate level that we then could move forward in a way that this University and its students could be proud of, so the commitment was made,” he said.
“We made it very clear that the money would need to be there every year. This is not a one-shot deal.”
Joel Thirer, director of health, physical education and athletes, will now begin work to reinstate wrestling for the 2005-2006 season. “Our goal is to build a program that is as good as - or better than - ever,” he said.
Binghamton will conduct a national search for a full-time head coach and apply for reinstatement to the Colonial Athletic Association as an associate member for wrestling.
Thirer said his department will also begin planning for new practice and competition sites for the team and when a head coach is on board, a search will begin for a staff and recruitment of student athletes to field a team for the 2005-2006 season.