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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

No Holds Barred: Jason Bryant on 2015 NWCA All-Star Classic, College Wrestling, and Beards 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with wrestling journalist Jason Bryant of Mat Talk Online.

Our subject was the 2015 NWCA All-Star Classic, the college wrestling all-star meet which takes place Sunday, November 1. The location Georgia Tech, in the McCamish Pavilion, 965 Fowler Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30332.

The main matches of the 2015 NWCA All-Star Classic will be televised live in the U.S. on ESPNU and will also be available on the WatchESPN app.

Held at the start of the 2015-16 college wrestling season, this event is its semi-official kickoff.

This year's event includes matches featuring three defending NCAA Div. I national champions as well as a total of 19 of the 20 wrestlers in the main matches who are returning All-Americans. There will also be several other matches featuring wrestlers from the Georgia area, including a women's match.

We spoke with Jason Bryant by Skype Tuesday.

Besides being held in Atlanta, the home of the 1996 Olympics, this event is very accessible to viewers through both ESPNU on television and the WatchESPN app.

"As a cord-cutter, I don't have cable or satellite anymore, but I do have access to the WatchESPN app, so I'm still watching ESPN content," he said.

"With the way that the cord-cutters have adopted streaming and things through high-speed Internet, I think that the fact that it's on ESPNU, yes, it's on television, but there's also that ability to watch it on a mobile device, to watch it wherever you're at. I think, and having it live, it really will create a captive audience."

Here is the announced lineup so far, with the place in last season's NCAA finals of the wrestlers in the main matches:

125: Zeke Moisey 2nd NCAA (West Virginia) vs. Nathan Tomasello NCAA Champion (Ohio State)

133: Mason Beckman 6th NCAA - 2X AA (Lehigh) vs. Rossi Bruno 8th NCAA (Michigan)

141: Dean Heil 4th NCAA (Oklahoma State) vs. Cody Brewer NCAA Champion (Oklahoma)

149: Bryant Clagon 5th NCAA (Rider) vs. Alexander Richardson 7th NCAA (Old Dominion)

157: Mitchell Minotti 8th NCAA - 2X All-American (Lehigh) vs. Cody Pack NCAA Qualifier (South Dakota State)

165: Alex Dieringer 2X NCAA Champion (Oklahoma State) vs. Ethan Ramos 6th NCAA (North Carolina)

174: Zach Epperly 7th NCAA (Virginia Tech) vs. Kyle Crutchmer 5th NCAA (Oklahoma State)

184: Blake Stauffer 4th NCAA (Arizona State) vs. Nate Brown 2nd NCAA - 2X AA (Lehigh)

197: Conner Hartmann 2nd NCAA - 2X AA (Duke) vs. Max Huntley 8th NCAA (Michigan)

285: Adam Coon 2nd NCAA (Michigan) vs. Ty Walz 7th NCAA (Virginia Tech)

Local Features:

125: Devane Dodens (Life) vs. Sean Russel (Edinboro)

149: Chris Perez (Princeton) vs. Derek Arnold (Ursinus)

157: Chad Pyke (NC State) vs. Kamaal Shakur (Chattanooga)

174: Jason Grimes (American) vs. Brandon Womak (Cornell)

184: Willie Miklus 7th NCAA (Missouri) vs. Hunter Gamble (Gardner Webb)

197: Bryce Barnes (Army) vs. Scottie Boykin (Chattanooga)

197: Chance McClure (Virginia-Unattached) vs. Chip Ness (North Carolina- Unattached)

Local Features - Women's Division:

123: Jennifer Jaurez (Life) vs. Cindy Calixto (Emmanuel)

We opened our discussion with, of all things, observations on beards and their place in cultural and social history.

Our main discussion was about this important event, its significance and some of its history, the importance of holding it in the city of Atlanta, the rules of it including an experimental rule of awarding three points for a takedown, the likely effects on college wrestling of the O'Bannon decision which mandates some college athletes be compensated, notes from the history of wrestling podcasting, and much, much more.

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