In May 2018, the University of Regina announced it was eliminating its men’s and women’s intercollegiate wrestling programs.
This May, a wrestler for the now-defunct mat program discovered the team’s trophies, plaques and awards in the garbage.
The discovery was made by Dane (who asked to be identified only by his first name) behind the Kinesiology Building on the Regina campus.
“I wasn’t happy to see the team’s legacy just discarded and thrown in a dumpster,” the former wrestler at the Canadian school told CTVnews.ca.
Dane said he was looking for wooden pallets in a dumpster behind the Kinesiology Building, when he found the awards, which included two MVP trophies, multiple plaques from the Cougar Invitational wrestling tournament and several Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association (SAWA) medals.
Another former University of Regina wrestler, Inga Hammer, said, “Overall it felt very disrespectful. The university wrestling program had a legacy of success while it was here and when it was cancelled last year, it was extremely hard to take.”
Harold Riemer, the University of Regina’s dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, said those medals, plaques and MVP trophies had been sitting in the office of former assistant coach Dan McGee for a full year after the wrestling program was cut, despite multiple requests for McGee to pick up the awards.
The university needed to clear the space for construction work and a decision was made to throw out the awards, according to Riemer.
“If you’ve been on this campus, space is extremely tight. We have, in this building, very, very little storage space and any storage space we have is effectively full right now,” Riemer told Regina radio station CJME. “To keep personal belongings on the hope that someone, someday is going to come and grab those personal belongings I don’t think is being a good steward of this space.”
Riemer added there was never any intent to be disrespectful to the students involved in the awards.
Former Regina wrestler Dane wants to see the original plaques hanging in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame which has said it would accept the awards rescued from the dumpster. In the meantime, the University of Regina has said the honors are in the process of being sent to the school’s archives.