As a wrestler, it isn’t unusual for Jordan Conaway (No. 9 @ 112) to find himself twisted in a dozen different directions at once. But nothing could have prepared the New Oxford senior for the head-spinning 24 hours he recently experienced after learning that Liberty University reclassified its wrestling program.
Conaway signed his National Letter of Intent to attend the Lynchburg, Va. school several weeks ago, and was set to receive a sizeable scholarship that would span the entire time he planned to attend Liberty. That all changed in an instant Tuesday when Conaway learned that Liberty, in accordance with Title IX, was reclassifying its wrestling program from NCAA Division I status to a club program, effective immediately.
Liberty has added three new women’s athletic programs since 2009 (lacrosse, swimming and field hockey), but was still unable to meet NCAA proportionality standards.
Liberty also dropped wrestling in June of 1994, eventually bringing the program back in 2006. “I was shocked,” said Conaway, who won a PIAA Class AAA 112-pound title on March 12 in Hershey.
“I didn’t see that coming. I felt bad that I couldn’t go there, but also for Coach (Jesse) Castro. He’s out of a job.”