Eastern discontinues wrestling program

Eastern no longer has an intercollegiate wrestling program, effective immediately.

University Director of Athletics Dr. Rich McDuffie made the announcement Thursday that Eastern was discontinuing it’s wrestling program.

The program was cut because of recent academic performance, McDuffie said in a press release.

For the past three years, the NCAA has collected academic performance data and implemented its new Academic Performance Rate.

The wrestling team has received NCAA penalties in scholarship reduction and further penalties could include post season competition or recruiting restrictions, McDuffie said.

“Therefore based on wrestling’s academic performance as per the NCAA’s new Academic Performance Rate, the discontinuation of the wrestling program was regrettably a decision that had to be made,” McDuffie said.

Current head coach Ralph McCausland will be retained by the University and reassigned to a position yet to be determined. McCausland, who graduated from here in 1980 after a stellar wrestling career, was the Panthers head coach for the last 24 years.

Eastern will also continue its scholarship commitments to current wrestling athletes including those who have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University this fall.

Eastern’s academic services plans to assist any wrestlers who choose to transfer. Based on their academic standing, they could be immediately eligible at any other institution.

Eastern, which finished with a 2-13 dual record last year, graduated only four seniors and had 19 members on its roster expected back for next season.