Cornell's Wrestling Center: 'A Frat House Without the Vices'

Rob Koll, Cornell University's wrestling coach, recently told The New York Times that the school's $4.5 million on-campus wrestling center is "a fraternity house without the vices."

Wrote reporter Bill Pennington: It has a $35,000 sound system that would be the envy of any party scene. There are 40 custom-made maple lockers for the brothers of this frat, in addition to two whirlpools, a study hall, a lounge, a fitness room and walls that are lined with the portraits and pictures of the building's past inhabitants.

Oh, yes, and it has 6,300 square feet of mat space for wrestling around with their best buddies. It also has seats for about 1,000 fans, for when Cornell invites athletes from another institution to wrestle. The bleacher-like seats unfold until they are nearly on the mat, creating an intimidating and intense competitive atmosphere.

The Friedman Wrestling Center opened in 2002 as the only free-standing facility on a college campus at the time devoted completely to wrestling - proof that wrestling is valued at the institution. And it's one of the main reasons why Cornell holds this year's preseason No. 1 national ranking. "If you build it, they will come," Koll told Pennington. "And they have."

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