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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Is diversity our goal, or winning, or our children? Scholarships are the answer. Should our kids get the lion’s share.?
  5. 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.

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  1. ethomasparham

    Christian Theodossiou
    Dec 28, 2018, 9:21 AM (6 days ago)
    to me


    Thanks for sending! As you know we are dealing with this situation right now. I should admit, I was and still am thankful for your giving me the opportunity in the 80’s to come to the States to play tennis and earn a degree. I could never have had the same quality of life in France or Australia, even though I was raised in a upper middle class family.

    We are in a better position than most as Zach is a good student and eligible for academic scholarships. As a freshman my daughter Alix walked on to the UNCW tennis team with an understanding she could potentially gain an athletic scholarship. With hard work on and off the court she earned partial tennis and merit scholarships her sophomore and junior year and earned a full tennis scholarships senior year.

    For American tennis players who are top 100 in the country or a 12 UTR there are still scholarship opportunities, but there is not much out there for the rest of the field. Fewer coaches are coming to tournaments looking for potential in junior players when they can recruit better, older players from overseas. Strong academics can still open some doors for a kid who wants to play tennis in college. Regardless it’s a very frustrating and stressful procedure. We are fortunate we’ve done this once before and we have help from your book, coaches like you, John Shackelford…

    Wishing the Parhams a Healthy and Happy New Year!


    Christian Theodossiou

  2. ethomasparham

    Tom Parham
    1:28 PM (7 minutes ago)
    to theodossiou

    Happy New Year to my buddies–
    Christian–you represent internationals who stay here and see it from both sides. I have tried to do that too, and God knows have benefitted from international players. But you now see it as a parent, affecting your kids.
    Never have I said no to internationals who are eligible, good people. I passionately believe scholarships should be awarded with our kids in mind. Love to you and yours. Coach

  3. ethomasparham

    Lane Evans
    Thu, Jan 3, 6:33 AM (1 day ago)
    to me

    Preaching to the choir coach. I was explaining this to a couple at dinner the other night. They had no clue. Hope you are well. Le

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