The southeast is experiencing lots of colleges dropping of sports. Men and women’s tennis teams are among the first to go it seems. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is trying to stop the bleeding. Here are a few personal observations:
Scholarships: International college tennis players, men and women. are usurping the scholarships. College tennis sold its soul to winning.
Diversity: Coaches hitched on to the popular gravy train of “diversity”. Diversity in college tennis became an American with a large scholarship.
Facilities: The big question is why do athletics directors cut non revenue sports with tiny budgets and paying customers. In our area the schools who have cut tennis often need new, competitive facilities. The price tag has gone up for these. The schools in our area who have dropped tennis all seem to need new facilities. (Appalachain, East Carolina, Winthrop, High Point for a few).
In my active career as a tennis coach I found a sympathetic ear from my athletic directors about saving grants for Americans.
“I’m gonna bring that up at the convention!”) Post convention apologies went like this—“Tom, I’m sorry. The football and basketball problems are so big we forgot about tennis.”
2020 and the squeeze is on and the A.D’s and President’s may be thinking differently: ‘Wait a minute! We are giving eight women’s and 41/2 men’s grants to almost all foreign kids. They eliminate Americans who often pay the freight? Plus we don’t have a reasonable facility and we’ve promised them one for years. More and more are building larger more expensive, arms race courts. And my coach say we can’t be competitive without an indoor facility. What’s that 12 and 1/ 2 times 50k a year in foreign aid. Six hundred thou, plus? Then indoor and outdoor courts, another 3 million?
Conclusion: The only revenue of sizable amount from non-revenue college sports is when an American parent writes that check for 50k.
One thought on “CHUNK TENNIS?”
Dear Tom Parham
The collegiate athletics is a complex issue. Your blame of collegiate tennis of trying to win by recruiting foreign tennis players (selling out) is misplaced giving the larger system in which they operate. You also fail to acknowledge the contribution they make to strengthening the colleges and our country. You seem to want to have the cake and eat it too or eat the cake and have it too. My understanding is that you supported policy of keeping foreign tennis players from participating at the NAII national tournament or at least not objected to the policy to “possibly” enhance your winnings. And now you seem to blame collegiate coaches to bring foreign players to win.
The current collegiate athletics is a ‘mess” with football coaches making millions on the backs of student athletes and college presidents drawing big salaries. I do not have solutions to the issues but hope some reforms to make the collegiate sports equitable for all will emerge.