Once a Mecca in the amateur wrestling world, Toledo’s wrestling community is now a ghost of its former self due to the effects of Title IX.
Toledo’s wrestling team was founded in 1949 by Joe Scalzo. One of Scalzo’s most promising pupils was Dick Wilson, who went on to compete at the Olympics before taking over for Scalzo as head coach. Together in 1973, Wilson and Scalzo founded the Wrestling World Cup, a premier international competition hosted at the university.
One of Wilson’s proteges was Greg Wojciechowski, who won the NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight Championship in 1971. After coming up short in 1972 and 1976, Wojciechowski made the U.S. Olympic Team in 1980, but lost his chance to compete due to president Jimmy Carter’s decision to boycott the games. Devastated, Wojciechowski shifted to a career in professional wrestling and teaching.
Congress passed Title IX into law in 1973, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school that receives federal funding. As a result, many universities across the country slowly started dropping the less profitable NCAA men’s programs. Because of this, In 1994, the University of Toledo dropped its wrestling program.
Today, UT Wrestling is a club sport, ran completely off of donations. The team practices in a run-down warehouse filled with asbestos, they drive themselves to tournaments, and many of the wrestlers are competing without scholarships. Despite this, they are a contender for the national title this year.
This film will follow the team as they make a run for the national title, while highlighting the rise and fall of Toledo’s once rich wrestling tradition. It is also going to explore the effects that politics has had on athletics, and how the less profitable collegiate sports suffer in the wake of Basketball and Football.
Spark A Discussion
Most people are unaware of Toledo’s wrestling program and its rich legacy. This film will start important discussions about collegiate athletics and the lack of funding in less profitable sports.
Foster Community Support
Nobody will want to see this program fail after seeing the blood, sweat and tears that are sacrificed to make it run. This film will foster much needed community support to champion the program both on and off the mat.
The sacrifices and difficulties of keeping the program alive will take your breath away. As such, we hope this film creates the fertile ground necessary to raise funds to provide the wrestlers with scholarships.
Wrestling teaches athletes important lessons that can be used off the mat. By supporting the program, you are helping these athletes succeed in the classroom, which benefits the community.
LoudKid Films is seeking out individuals and organizations who are passionate about the mission of this film to commit to becoming sponsors.
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Email the Producer
Perrysburg, OH 43551