Our Game Plan

Hello, Save Oregon Wrestling supporters. I’ve been asked what the future holds for the Save Oregon Wrestling Foundation.

Ron Finley
Ron Finley  

We are moving forward with our efforts to get the wrestling program reinstated as an intercollegiate sport at the University of Oregon. We are building a self-sustaining endowment for the future of UO wrestling. We need not only your continued financial contributions, but also your commitment to mail letters to the UO administration and government officials. We are confident, that with your help, the current athletic director, Mike Bellotti, will make the right decision and reinstate wrestling.

But I cannot stress how important it is for you to continue to send letters to the university administrators as well as our state representatives. We must let them know we support our children’s aspirations to work hard, make good grades and earn that Division 1 scholarship to the University of Oregon. This is their dream, to have the opportunity to walk on the mat and represent the Ducks.

Let’s all do what we can to help make their dream a reality. Let’s help provide educational opportunities for our young athletes, and future teachers and coaches of America. It all starts right here, right now.    

I plan to have a face-to-face meeting with the new athletic director, Mike Bellotti sometime in the future. Because he is new to his position, and is currently under a lot of pressure due to the econimic downturn, and with all the budget issues going on with the new basketball arena and new baseball stadium, it may be some time before we meet. But once we do, my goal is to get his commitment to support our efforts to build our endowment.

When that day comes, we expect to have a huge showing of support, nationally. We want to be a leader in showing that it is possible to rebuild a wrestling program at the Division 1 level, and restore the dreams of our student athletes. Please join me now. If you have already shown support, thank you and please commit to continue your support. Please do whatever you can to help. Let’s make a commitment and do this together. Together, we can win this fight. Do not think others will take your place. We need your support. Please help by writing letters and doing whatever you can to help grow our endowment fund.

At this time, we need donations to our Foundation and letters mailed to the University’s administrators and other government officials. Please commit to writing one or more letters per week, and mail copies to all contacts listed on our “Contact UO” page.

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20 Responses to “Our Game Plan”

  1. Jerry Valencai says:

    Coach Finley,
    Remind Bellotti that Ohio State has a wrestling program! Plus, could we get an update on our new Cheer team? Haven’t seen any scores in the RG!

  2. Coach Finley,

    The work you’ve done and continue to do will go on and on and on, as it should.


  3. melquist says:

    I still think bringing in womens men wrestling together is the key – it gets alot of attention….and the liberal nature of the U of O will embrace this in a new york minute. Look at Pacific Univeristy! http://www.goboxers.com/wwr/index.cfm

    This is the wave of the future and savior to all mens wrestling. It may even put a few more people in the seats.

  4. Brian says:

    Just read today where they plan on paying a new baskeball coach around 2 million dollars a year. The priorities of these “public” universities are out of wack.

  5. melquist says:

    This is a perfect time to get wrestling back with a new AD.

    Pro Wrestling choices

    1. Greg Byrne / Bill Byrne’s son
    2. Steve Miller / Nike – Much like Ernie Kent who believes in building good citizens not just national attention.
    3. Rudy Chapa – For sure shot to get wrestling back…ran at UofO 70’s

    Ernie Kent might even have made a great AD. Too bad Bellotti stuck it too him before he jumped to TV….and in a few years back to football probally at USC.

  6. Grasshopper says:

    Did anyone see that the NCAA finals were on ESPN? Not bad for a “dying” sport. Women’s BB was on ESPN2, Sat. night.

    It’s a shame that we even have to fight on to keep our sport at UO.

  7. DuckSportsFan says:

    The NCAA finals were awesome, as usual. And we will get wrestling back at the U of O.

  8. Grasshopper says:

    Is this new Interim AD a friend of UO Wrestling?

  9. rrockwell says:

    Any updates to post?

  10. Grasshopper says:

    Thanks for the update. Something tells me that the decision to cut wrestling came directly from Phil Knight himself. After all that is happening/has happened, it all boils down to the new arena. The firing of Ernie Kent, the sudden departure of Mike Belotti…something isn’t right.

    As for the endowment, is there some kind of fund raiser or get together planned? I could make plans for something like this, but really this must come from the SOW Leadership.

  11. Brian says:

    2 million a year for one baskeball coach and now a 2.3 million dollar golden parachute for Belotti. You quite after 9 months on the job and your handed 2.3 million? I hope none of my tax dollars are involved in these payments.

  12. Grasshopper says:

    Money talks.

    Question for the people who know:

    Once we get Oregon Wrestling back at the UO, can we hold our matches somewhere other than the new arena? I have a funny feeling that Phil Knight is using Pat Killkenny to be his millionaire “pawn”.

    “No, I dont want wrestling to be held in MY arena”

    Well, wait a minute – When Ken Kesey bought that new wrestling bus for the wrestlers, didn’t other sports use that bus as well? I’m sure if Ken was alive today, things would have been different.

    Our parents ALWAYS taught us to share. Ken Kesey definately did! It’s a shame the wrong person died here….

  13. Grasshopper says:



    President Lavierre is smelling some blood and is wanting to make things right!!!!!

    We need to write to him and tell him of the injustices that the Wrestling program has faced!!!!

    Coach Finley, are you out there???????

  14. Grasshopper says:


    I am seeing talks about the PAC 10 and the BIG 12 working out some kind of “partnership”, possibly joining the two conferences.

    Can one imagine what it would look like to have Oklahoma, Ok State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Missouri join forces with OR State, Stanford, and Arizona State?

    THEN, reinstate Oregon wrestling? Now, THAT would be one tough coalition of a conference!!!! It would be hard to drop any of those programs. Maybe even add once womens wrestling takes off.

  15. Grasshopper says:


    Please read today’s Sunday Vancouver Columbian. May 16, 2010. There is an article from Greg Jayne about Kyle Bounds. Kyle was one of the UO Wrestlers who transferred to Michigan State after they cut our program.

    Funny thing, I spoke with Greg Jayne yesterday, the day before this article came out. He told me of what he wrote, and I proceeded to tell him of the progress we are making in getting our program reinstated. Funny thing, he thought that the reason why wrestling was eliminated was because of the reinstatement of baseball. Far from the truth I told him!!!! Any ways he is wanting to hear more about our effort, the truth, and is willing to write about it.

    If anyone is reading this, please let me know who I need to call to set this up.

  16. Grasshopper says:

    Here is the article:

    Bounds finds key to success at Michigan StateGreg Jayne: Commentary
    By Columbian Staff

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Sometimes, you just have to make the most of a difficult situation. Like, for example, if your college drops its wrestling program — and you happen to be a wrestler.

    That’s what happened to Kyle Bounds. A three-time state champion at Columbia River, Bounds went to the University of Oregon with dreams of getting an education and being a college wrestler.

    Good plan. Until the Ducks decided they didn’t want to have a wrestling team anymore.

    “I was pretty angry,” Bounds said. “They didn’t tell us face-to-face that they were going to cut the program. I found out on the news.”

    So, two years ago, Bounds suddenly was a wrestler without a team. That can be a difficult situation. Or it can be an opportunity to continue your wrestling career, compete in the NCAA Tournament, earn a college degree, and be lauded for your dedication and contribution to the program.

    Bounds accomplished all of that at Michigan State.

    “Kyle was impressive,” said Red Wakeham, director of strength and conditioning for Olympic sports at MSU. “He was impressive in every way, his actions, his words.”

    And that’s what brings us to the crowning achievement of Bounds’ college career.

    No, it wasn’t his 25-15 record this past season, his final one as a competitive wrestler. It wasn’t even his three victories in the consolation round of the 165-pound bracket in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

    Instead, Bounds’ crowning achievement is his inclusion as a member of the “House of Sparta.”

    We’ll let Wakeham explain: “A couple of years ago I set out to create a project that would announce and reward the ‘neck-up’ standards that I felt were most important for our athletes to demonstrate in order to achieve success.”

    So he wrote a creed to describe the House of Sparta. You know, because Michigan State is the Spartans.

    “We are driven self starters who arrive early with a dominating attitude,” reads a portion of the creed. “We have a steadfast focus to improve, excel and win.”

    There are additional attributes, as well. Things such as trust and responsibility and commitment.

    And through his two years at Michigan State, Bounds exhibited enough of those characteristics to be inducted in the House of Sparta and receive the ceremonial key to the house.

    “I’ve trained about 4,000 to 5,000 athletes over the last 15 years,” Wakeham said, “and about 70 people have qualified for the Key to Sparta.”

    Elite company? Sure.

    Especially when you consider that MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo needed only six Final Four appearances before being inducted this year. Especially when you consider that Bounds is the only athlete to be inducted after coming to Michigan State as a transfer.

    “Every match I went out there and left it out there,” Bounds said. “I don’t have any regrets like, ‘I should have worked harder.’ ”

    Which is really all that any athlete can ask of themselves. Bounds might not have won an NCAA title. But if the people who worked with him every day thought he demonstrated uncommon trust and responsibility and commitment, can there really be any higher honor?

    Bounds is finished with college, graduating last week with a degree in psychology. He will soon be packing up the car to return to Vancouver, with the goals of earning a teaching certificate and passing along some of those worthy attributes to future generations.

    And in sporting culture in which success typically is measured solely by wins and losses, Bounds serves of an example of a greater truth: The real definition of success can be found in how much you make of the situation you’re in.

    Greg Jayne is Sports editor of The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4531, or by e-mail at greg.jayne@columbian.com. To read his blog, go to columbian.com/weblogs/GregJayne

  17. rrockwell says:

    Here’s an opportunity to learn about a new wrestling organization starting in Oregon that will help to benefit all levels of wrestling, including college wrestling.

    Here’s the link to the list of teams for our 1st Annual ORWAY Summer Brawl Dual Tournament. http://www.theowf.net/2010_orway_summer_brawl

    Things are changing in OR. Hope to see you in attendance, July 10th, 9am at Clackamas HS for the evolution of OR wrestling.

  18. Grasshopper says:

    With the PAC 10 somehow becoming the PAC 16, I would think that the likes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will not be too excited about the future of Wrestling in their new conference.
    Nebraska and Missouri will go to the Big 10. OK.

    That leaves Oregon State, Stanford, and Arizona State. Call it the PAC 5. Not all that great in a newly formed Super Conference.

    So, What will Oklahoma and Oklahoma State do about this?

  19. Curtis Sexton says:

    A US Judge in Conn. ruled that Competitive Cheer is NOT a Sport meeting Title 9 Criteria. I hope someone sends this to our Oregon Judge and to our past AD. Small minds give small and unfair results.

    Go to: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38347400/?GT1=43001

    Curtis Sexton

  20. Grasshopper says:

    Won’t this ruling hurt SOW’s efforts? If Women’s Cheer is not a sport, won’t the UO need to find another woman’s sport to satisfy the Title IX needs? There are budgets and the money only goes so far. If this is the case, then UO will need to bring in two more sports ( Mens and Womens Wrestling).

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