Brands opposes National Duals


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Iowa head coach Tom Brands has adopted a stance of opposition to the possibility of a new National Duals tournament format that could crown the nation’s top wrestling team each season, according to Flow Wrestling.

The Hawkeye head coach previously supported a shift from the current NCAA Tournament, which determines both the team title and individual titles, siding with many Big Ten and nationally successful programs in favor of National Duals to crown the team champion and a separate individual tournament for individual weight classes. The justification for the change was that dual meets draw crowds and provide a more exciting team-oriented environment than individual tournaments.

But Brands has changed his mind.

Brands stated that, although many predicted larger-than-ever crowds to fill the National Duals meets, the attendance at both the regional and national finals of National Duals meets in the past season haven’t been satisfactory.

The National Duals event was held in mid-January for several years, but in 2012 it was pushed ahead to mid-February with four regional competitions and finals a week later. Iowa participated in both sections of the meet last season.

“We already have both formats; we have had both formats for years,” Brands said in a release from Flow Wrestling. “We found out that the attendance was poor at the regionals and below average at the finals. It is IMPORTANT to note this, not to throw salt in the wound, but to point out that the new structure was more of a bust …”

Brands isn’t entirely opposed to a new national finals format, but he believes the current system isn’t working. He proposes more “tweaking” and that the National Wrestling Coaches Association “keep working at it until we get it right.”

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