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Miesha Tate, Johnny Nunez leading charge to reinstate Boise State wrestling program

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BOISE, Idaho – More than a year after Boise State University’s wrestling program was unceremoniously disbanded, a former member of the team is leading a charge to reinstate the program.

And he’s got the support of an MMA superstar, as well.

Three-time WSOF veteran Johnny Nunez, who credits his wrestling experience at Boise State for launching his professional MMA career, hopes university brass will realize the mistakes of their ways and consider reversing retired Boise State University President Bob Kustra’s decision to kill off the team that had operated since 1959

“For Bob Kustra to just cut it with no notice, we had 12, 13 guys already signed to go here to Boise State – two recruits on campus,” Nunez told MMAjunkie. “They flew those recruits here, knowing that they were going to cut that program, and they still let that happen. What are we trying to teach our kids here? Are we trying to each our kids that let’s just make a big decision and not to talk to anybody? Because he has not been open. He has s not addressed the issue in public or with anybody at all. Zero.

“Dan Gable called him and said, ‘Can I come and just sit down and have a conversation with you?’ He said no. That’s obviously – there’s something wrong with that.”

According to the Idaho Statesman, Boise State’s wrestling program operated at a loss of about $350,000 in 2015-16. That’s not abnormal in collegiate athletics, where football and basketball traditionally serve as the moneymakers that provide financial resources for a school’s remaining programs.

Kustra’s decision appeared to have little do with balancing a budget and more to do with adding baseball – which operates at a significantly higher cost than wrestling – to the school’s athletic offerings.

Nunez’s partner, Miesha Tate, believes that decision was short-sighted for many reasons, and the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion is utilizing her significant spotlight in MMA to help bring awareness to the situation at Boise State.

“We just don’t have a lot of answers as to why the program was cut, and when we tried to talk to the president, who just retired a year after cutting the program – we tried to sit down and just say, ‘Hey, is there something that we can do on our end? Can we raise the funds? Can we take the program and just not really ask anything from the school except to just allow us to have it?'” Tate explained to MMAjunkie. “He wouldn’t even sit down to hear us out. Just that the program was cut, it was done, it was final, and baseball was coming in. I think that we could have come to a better resolve than just having the program cut.

“It feels like the carpet was just pulled out from everyone’s feet, and that’s just not really a fair way to do things.”

To hear more on Tate and Nunez’s hopes, check out the video above.

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