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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling Snubbed by ESPN

Photo by Penn State Wrestling: Cael Sanderson and Carter Starocci

There objectively isn’t a more dominant college sports program than Penn State wrestling.

Cael Sanderson’s empire has won 11 of the past 13 national championships— including each of the last four.

The most recent title, which took place this past March, was statically the most dominant of all.

Penn State won by a record 100 points, a la Wilt Chamberlain.

But that didn’t impress ESPN enough to nominate PSU wrestling as one of the nine options for Best Team at the upcoming 2924 ESPYS.

Of the nine nominees, four of them— South Carolina women’s basketball, Michigan football, UConn men’s basketball and Oklahoma softball— were college national champions.

Now, some will argue that this is because college wrestling is a “niche sport,” and there’s a degree of validity to this statement. At the same time, ESPN broadcasts the NCAA Wrestling Championships every year, so it should be familiar with Penn State’s dominance. ESPN has also acknowledged Penn State wrestling before, with Zain Retherford being a nominee for Best Male College Athlete in 2017, coming off a national championship and Hodge Trophy (in roughly a month, Retherford will be competing for an Olympic Gold Medal at 65KG in Paris).

This isn’t the first time this summer that Penn State fans have been irked by “The Worldwide Leader.”

Earlier this month, after Oklahoma softball won its fourth straight national title, ESPN ran a graphic featuring other programs who had won four straight or more. Despite winning four straight twice— 2011-14, 2016-19– Penn State wrestling was not on that list. Penn State volleyball, which won four straight from 2007-10, also didn’t make the graphic.

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