BATON ROUGE, La. -- Intercollegiate wrestling was discontinued Friday as a varsity sport at Louisiana State University, the college's athletic director said.
'Wrestling has not been a Southeastern Conference sport for several years, so in order to compete against top level opponents, we have had to wrestle teams for the Midwest and the West Coast, and the costs involved are extremely high,' Athletic Director Bob Brodhead said.
'Since wrestling is not a heavily emphasized high school sport in this part of the country, recruiting efforts have had to be centered on the Midwest and the West Coast, and again the costs run very high,' he said.
Brodhead said LSU had attempted unsuccessfully to persuade other SEC schools -- which once competed in wrestling -- to reinstate the sport. He said LSU also had tried unsuccessfully to enter the Big Eight Conference as a wrestling member.
'It is unfortunate that the SEC schools made the decision to eliminate the sport at their schools, but this diminishing interest in wrestling has forced us to make the same decision,' the director said.
LSU wrestling coach Larry Sciacchetano led the Tigers to consecutive eighth-place finishes in the NCAA championships in 1983 and 1984. His squad this year finished 17th nationally. Sciacchetano chalked up a 93-5-2 record during his nine years at LSU.