19 Comments

  1. On your first point, women's coaches are not 'doing better' by choice. They are taking the best talent for their teams. The foreign field is much more diluted on the women's side because of their propensity to go professional at a younger age. For foreign men, this option is much more risky at a young age, thus they take the opportunity to get stronger and develop on the US Universities' dime.

  2. If you look at the BCS conferences (I know, it's a football term) you have the Big-12, SEC, ACC, Big-10, and Pac-12. Between them you have about 60 schools. Looking at women's tennis there are 8 scholarships which means that each year a team is trying to fill two scholies. That means in the BCS conferences alone there are 120 scholarships for girls entering college each year. Think about that - in theory the top 120 girls of a given high school graduating class can get a scholarship at a D1 BCS conference school. Some of those top 120 won't go to college, and some of the scholies will go to foreign players, so let's assume that the top 60 in each graduating class get a D1 BCS scholarship. That is a lot of scholarships for tennis talent. And when you take into consideration the rest of D1 and the Ivy League the number of scholarships soars. And then there is D2 and NAIA. I'd say there are for more scholarships than there is talent. I realize the number of scholarships per team for men is lower.

  3. Lisa, Thanks for all your hard work. Not to be nit-picky, but Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt (ranked #9 in the preseason poll) is an American. He is from Miami and played all the USTA junior events growing up.

    • Thank you for correcting me, John! I fixed it and updated the numbers accordingly. :)

  4. Its all about $$$. Most American recruits cost less for the school. While a foreign player uses all of the scholarship money. Most American kids qualify for some type of fin-aid, grants, etc., thus costing less for the school.

    • Ted, I'm not sure what you mean by "American recruits cost less for the school" - can you please clarify further?

  5. The following was just sent to me via message from a reader: Not to be politically incorrect, but why don't you talk about the whole Title IX issue that limits how many scholarships men's teams actually have? When will the NCAA get a backbone and take the football scholarships out of the total then balance the rest? The limitation of scholarships has a dramatic impact on the "minor" sports especially for men. Since the pressure to win and build a successful program is so great, no wonder many programs have so many foreign males. It's also interesting how many of the top 50 teams have 2 or fewer American males and some have none.

    • Lisa, thank you for writing this article. Attention has to be brought to this problem as it's one of the major reasons why boys, or really their parents, choose a different sport. Tennis is one of the most expensive sports out there, but the payback in scholarship money is very little. Then add in that the foreigners usually get most of the scholarship money and the American boys are lucky if they even get a spot on the team. The USTA pretends that this is some type of legal lawsuit problem. Bullshit. It's already been done for the community colleges as they limited the teams to two foreign players. So why does the USTA continue to ignore this issue that is a thorn for all American parents of boys? Simple, they don't care. They just want an American in the quarterfinals of the US open. And it helps them, at least they think it helps them.. if the few Americans that get to play college tennis...get to play with the great players from South America and Europe. And the coaches of women are not doing a great job. It's just that there is not enough supply for the demand. Think about a country like Egypt. Are there men's tennis players? Yes. Are there women's tennis players, no. The women aren't even allowed out of the house in some countries, so how are they going to play a sport? Then factor in title IX, and we have a recipe for a disaster. Let's make that fair, after all title IX is all about being fair... and not let the women's teams have any revenue from football and basketball. If football and basketball take up most of the men's scholarship spots, then it just seems fair that the revenue from men's football and basketball should be split only among the men's teams. And I'm not in favor of all these changes to college tennis scoring, but the men's tennis teams have no choice. If they don't get some revenue, they will be canceled.

      • Ted, not true about foreigners not getting financial aid... I know quite a few that received financial aid.

        • Lisa, we do have talented 16 year old, 17 year old and 18 year olds in this country. They should not go to college, but be out grinding it out on the tour . But the USTA won't make any significant contribution to our players, their fickle and change their mind constantly.. If we want to have a player in the US Open QF, the USTA has got to get behind at least 100 players and support them on the tour. Why are we spending $60 million in Orlando? Who does this really benefit? I would rather see the $60 million go to the players on the tour.

          • Lisa, also can you do an article on senioritos and burnout, and ideas on what to do.

          • Randy, great suggestion! Are you going through it with your junior? Would you be willing to chat with me?

  6. Best example is my daughters. She received a scholarship to play tennis at a private D1 school that cost about 62k per year. Since we are not wealthy people, she qualified for federal and state grants, which off set the actual cost for her.scholarship. The foreign plays on the team do not qualify for any federal or state grants, making their scholarship costs much higher than my American daughter.

  7. tennis5, good to see ur still at it. I'm talking about federal and state grants. Yes, some schools will offer their own grants to foreign players, but they don't qualify for federal or state grants/aid.

  8. This just in from ITA regarding format for Fall tourneys: September 10, 2014   Dear ITA Coaches:   As you may already know, the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet has tabled the proposed changes to the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships format. The ITA Division I Operating Committee is scheduled to meet via teleconference on Monday, September 15th, to discuss feedback provided by the Cabinet, and most immediately, to review and confirm our plans for the fall season.   For those of you with matches scheduled before the ITA Division I Operating Committee meets, please use the below information (taken from the ITA Dual Meet & Fall Scoring Format FAQ) as a guide in how to play your tournaments.   Fall scoring format:   No-ad scoring will be used in all ITA singles and doubles matches in the fall season. In all ITA Regional Championship events a doubles match must consist of a minimum of an 8-game pro set (tiebreak at 7-all), with the semifinals and finals doubles matches consisting of two out of three sets, with a Match Tiebreak in lieu of the third set. In the fall ITA National Championship events (All-American and USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships) all doubles matches must be two out of three sets, with a Match Tiebreak in lieu of the third set.   *Please note that the format for ITA sanctioned events may be adjusted (for example, in doubles shortened to an 8-game pro-set) to meet court availability, draw sizes and other important considerations.   We will be back in touch next week with an update. Thanks for your patience and support, and best of luck to you and your players in your upcoming matches. 

  9. Randy, I agree that the usta should support young american players. The usta pro circuit is a complete joke. 10k tournaments cost all but the winners money to enter. Just not enough money for all but the well funded players to play.

  10. Can chat here. I already went through it with my son who is in college now, but have a daughter who is entering senior year now, so I am worried about a repeat experience. For my son, it seemed to be tied into his school's senioritis. His whole grade ( a very big public school) seem to be in agreement that little school work should be done and somehow that bled into tennis. While junior year is probably the toughest year for kids in traditional schools, I'm not sure that senior year should be a blow off year, as I think it hurts them when starting college. For tennis, he wanted to blow off some practices to hang out with his friends. In regards to my daughter, who is a bit more dramatic, I am also hearing this is the last year with her friends too. I wonder if kids who are homeschooled experience this differently as there is no senior year of friends to miss? Any way, just think it would be an interesting article.

  11. Lisa, one topic that might be relavent to the college tennis scholarship discussion is the number of men's college programs that have been dropped in the last 3-5 years. My son played 3 years for WKU, DI, and after his junior year they dropped the program "due to budget cuts". Despite the fact they finally built a new tennis complex which opens this year and hired a full time coach for the womens team that will continue. Men's tennis may become a BCS conference program only down the road as they are the only schools that can afford it and deal with Title IX. The mid major schools may not be able to continue with it. Swimming, golf, etc will also be at risk.

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