We've all seen wrestling. And not World Wrestling Entertainment wrestling, but real wrestling. The Olympic sport. The college sport. The high school sport. It is a grappling, tough, throw-your-opponent-around kind of sport, and the spotlight on it is getting bigger. Unfortunately, it's a spotlight of shame.
In California, a former high school wrestler has been charged with a sex crime for performing a move called - presumably colloquially - the "butt drag," according to the Fresno Bee. The name of the move on its own may raise an eyebrow or two, but the way in which the move is performed is something else.
When executed properly, a wrestler will "intensely grab his opponent's butt cheek to obtain leverage and better positioning," according to the Bee.
If done improperly, "anal penetration does occur on occasion," one coach tells the Bee.
And that's why Preston Hill, a former senior at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif., faces a sexual battery charge. Police say he "rammed two fingers into a teammate's anus during a wrestling practice last summer," according to the Bee.
The case has wrestling coaches in California up in arms, not just because, as one coach tells the Bee, he'd never tell his team to "practice sticking their fingers in their teammates' rear end," but because the negative publicity the case has drawn is making some coaches think the sport's future is in jeopardy.
Wrestling has already been cut from a number of colleges in California, including Fresno State. UC Davis announced in April that it was dropping four teams, including the wrestling team. The butt drag case has garnered negative attention the sport may not live through, at least in California.
Some coaches don't approve of the move at all, even if done correctly. Mike Moyer, the executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, tells the Bee, "In many cases, the 'butt drag' is technically a 'hamstring drag' because the wrestler typically grabs the back of the leg [hamstring] to use it as a lever to move from a neutral position to a scoring position."
Whatever the case and whatever the move, the coaches all agree: Wrestling is in trouble. "Even if all the wrestlers know what's legal and illegal, wrestling can't have the general public think illegal and dirty moves [are] legal," Bill Pendleton, a former assistant at Lemoore High School, tells the Bee.