The Big 12 has added Fresno State and Northern Iowa as affiliate members in the sport of wrestling to give the Conference a 12-team field.
The new additions will join Air Force, Iowa State, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, South Dakota State, Utah Valley, West Virginia and Wyoming in future regular and postseason competition.
“We are excited to add Fresno State and Northern Iowa as affiliate members in the sport of wrestling,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “We already compete at a high national level in the sport, and look forward to welcoming coaches, student-athletes and fans from each institution.”
The affiliate membership is effective immediately for the 2017-18 academic year. Northern Iowa and Fresno State will join the other Big 12 wrestling members in a regular-season scheduling alliance and will compete for the Conference postseason title and automatic qualification into the NCAA championship.
“We are extremely excited that our wrestling program has been accepted into the Big 12 Conference as an affiliate member,” said UNI Athletics Director David Harris. “The Big 12 is one of the best conferences in all of college athletics and it contains some of the very best student-athletes and coaches within the sport of wrestling. We look forward to the challenge of competing in the Big 12 and expanding the brand of UNI wrestling.”
“When you bring back a sport there are many hurdles to clear. Today, we are pleased to clear this hurdle and become a member of the Big 12 Conference in the sport of wrestling,” commented Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko. “It’s long and rich history in this sport is deep and we are pleased to become a part of it.”
The 2018 Big 12 Wrestling Championship will take place for the second consecutive year at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 3-4.
In addition to wrestling, the Big 12 also includes affiliate members in the sports of gymnastics and rowing.