The Raleigh News and Observer published an article by Barry Jacobs on November 30, 2018. Mr. Jacobs made particular note of the increasing percentage of international collegiate basketball players in the United States. He also pointed out the history of this issue with other sports in the USA.
American college tennis, men and women’s, has struggled with this issue for more than fifty years. Any sport that is played internationally
( basketball, soccer, track and field, golf, and others) will have people who will want the education we offer. Often via scholarships funded by state tax revenues. The tennis tsunami is expanding.
The IntercollegiateTennis Association is the NCAA affiliate that manages college tennis in large part. Periodically they rank the teams, and singles and doubles
They rank men and women in NCAA Divisions 1,11, and 111, the NAIA, and Junior colleges. Having just read these 2018 fall rankings (google ITA TENNIS) and anyone can see the listing of the top players) my observations of these current lists reflect the long time history of college tennis:
- I once asked a player of mine who had just won, who he played next? Another “strom” he said. Lots of Ovas in women’s tennis now. Lots of oriental names in women’s LPGA? Don’t see as many Reggie Williams or Sol Epsteins. It is not the Smiths and Jones who are on the lists. And taking the scholarships.
- Sure, Americans are great mixture of people and names, but believe me, I have studied the lists a lot, and the rosters that reflect their nationality . Pick a school, google men’s tennis . Tag the roster and see for yourself. Just recently I researched the total rosters of Division 11’s top six mens teams. Of 63 players on the combined rosters, 62 were international. Six schools, one American. When I saw the USTA figure of some 25% of college tennis players being internationals, I cringed. TRY 80% of top players.
- No scholarships for American kids, no elite players. Our great players, past and current, come from parents, high school and college tennis. Not Academies or the USTA.
- Is diversity our goal, or winning, or our children? Scholarships are the answer. Should our kids get the lion’s share.?
- Is this spreading? Like kudzu !!! And the most cruel sport is basketball, given the need of the players.
In 1998 I wrote the BLACK BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (BCA) acknowledging this change. A copy is enclosed. Twenty years! Who will be playing on our collegiate teams twenty years from now.