By Jason Bryant
The announcement came without warning and just a day after Slippery Rock finished behind Edinboro, Bloomsburg and Lock Haven at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference wrestling championships.
It was just a day after Slippery Rock had hosted the PSAC championships to boot.
But the proverbial axe fell and wrestling at Slippery Rock will be gone after this season, along with seven other sports.
In his third season as head coach, Derek Delporto has guided The Rock to a respectable 8-8 dual record so far this season and has picked up notable victories over Cleveland State (which has a win over Ohio State) and Clarion this season.
The Rock still has eight more duals on the schedule, including this weekend's East Region Duals, which will put the five teams in the East Region together for a series of duals to help with the East Region tournament seeding process later in the year.
With those eight duals remaining, Slippery Rock has a realistic shot at turning around last season's 7-16 mark and finishing over .500 for the first time since the 2001-02 season, when interim head coach Chris Elliott led The Rock to a 7-6 finish.
Delporto is a 1999 graduate of Slippery Rock and the school's last All-American, placing eighth at heavyweight in the 1998-99 season. Delporto has has had coaching stints at Oklahoma and Cornell before returning to Slippery Rock after its previous head coach, Jim Harshaw, returned to the University of Virginia to run the Commonwealth Wrestling Club in Charlottesville.
The program hasn't just been a doormat, in fact, in the 1970's, Slippery Rock was one of the top programs in the East.
Current USA Wrestling president Stan Dziedzic was a three-time Division I All-American, winning the title in 1971 while current Oklahoma head coach Jack Spates won two Division II titles and finished second at the Division I tournament in 1972.
The program's best years were under Freddie Powell, and in 1974, The Rock finished 10th in the nation at the Division I tournament.
Overall, the program has produced 24 All-Americans on both the Division I and Division II levels.
At the time of publication of this story, Derek Delporto could not be reached for comment and Sports Information Director Robert McComas deferred comments until after Slippery Rock's 4 p.m. press release that will announce the expected cut