CLIPS (INTERNATIONALS)

CLIPS

I spent a lot of effort on the international issue.  Below are some clips, or comments from other related articles.  www.tomparham.wordpress.com has these articles and more in toto.

 Anyway–to start the new year how about the SIX BY SIX plan? There are six singles players in the standard team format. There are also 6 slots for doubles (2 players per team, 3 teams). How about this: Six of the twelve slots must be filled by Americans

(From XENOPHOBIA)

Sixty years ago Carolina won its first national NCAA basketball championship.   We watched it on this new thing called TV.   UNC beat my Wake Forest Deacons four times in close games that undefeated year for the Heels (32-0).  The last one on a buzzer beater by Lennie Rosenbluth.  UNC Coach,  Frank McGuire observed “…the Baptists and the Catholics were having a swell game when the Jewish kid ended it all”.

This year’s UNC roster was made up of all American players.   Three of five solid starters were from our state.   Gonzaga listed five internationals on their roster.   Someone said there are five thousand international basketball players in the USA.

. I asked Coach Verdieck early on if he knew Dennis Van Der Meer?   Not only is Van Der Meer the world’s most prolific tennis teacher, he was very close to my mentor, Jim Leighton. Verdi eck said, “know Dennis”? I taught him 90% of what he knows!”

When I asked Coach Leighton if he knew Coach Verdieck, he said no. I told him of the Verdieck comment about Dennis Van Der Meer. Leighton was appalled, and said he intended to ask Dennis about that!

A couple of years went by and I asked Leighton if he’d asked about Verdieck. Leighton admitted that Dennis had responded, “Yes, that’s probably about right.”

THE USTA HAS COME UNDER FIRE JUSTIFIABLY FOR THE LACK OF RESULTS FOR THE TREMENDOUS MONEY POURED INTO “PLAYER DEVELOPMENT”.

. Five years ago I told all kinds of parents and friends that Title IX would provide tremendous opportunities for our girls, through golf scholarships. In just five years later, I wonder. Have you witnessed the women’s world golf rankings. The number of Korean players at the top is truly impressive. Due in no small part to a frenzied number of young Koran aspirants, putting in the lengths of practice sessions we reserve for school.

How long before we see college coaches bringing in entire rosters of girl golfers, borderline if not pro, from overseas? Tennis blinked and boom, no scholarships left for us.

What happens if internationals usurp collegiate basketball scholarships?

Was Title IX intended to offer opportunities for our women, or someone else? Other sports? Those to come?

MY high school football team, playing in the homecoming game, gave up a quick touchdown. Then we fumbled on the first play on offense. In our defensive huddle our captain concluded, “…we better get a toe-holt on this son of a bitch.”

North Carolina has produced 3 real moneymakers from professional tennis. One,Tim Wilkison, turned pro at age 17. John Isner and John Sadri attended college 4 years on tennis scholarships before going pro. Sadri and Isner both credit college tennis for their success.

From the 1970’s until today, the number of scholarships awarded to internationals has spriraled upwards, as grants for Americans declined in response.

Within this same time period Americans among the upper tier of professional tennis has declined to the point of alarm. Obviously the two are connected.

Scholarships are the only reasonable financial reward for American athletes. Professional tennis as a possibility has proven a particularly unreasonable bet.

American women’s sports have produced two interesting related examples.

Our women just won their third soccer world cup since Title IX (1970). Of the 23 roster members on the USA squad this year, all 23 attended college. My guess is that all were on sizable soccer grants.

Duke University’s women’s golf team finished 2nd in NCAA this spring. There was not an American on the roster.

is it not possible to reserve  American monies for American young people?   Would the NCAA go to court on the issue? Is it true the NCAA is not a “state actor”, i.e, able to make decisions in the best interest of the organization?

I asked if he’d consider recruiting a player from this state?  It was a state funded university, yet with a typical all international roster.  His response was “…Oh no! Our fans wouldn’t  tolerate a lesser quality of team!”   I couldn’t resist noting that there were three non-players in attendance–me, him, and his school’s financial aid officer.

The second speaker startled me and others with his topic. Stripped down, it proposed to bring smaller satellite tournaments for college tennis in America. One panel member questioned where was the financing of these local tournaments coming from? Response: “we already have five million dollars in reserve.” Silence! Who is that sponsor was the question from the floor. I do not remember the name but another panelist replied “that is a gambling outfit in Europe isn’t it?” Yes was the answer. We all seemed a little stunned. And did not bring up the subject through the next several presentations.

As I exited the meeting Coach Kriese stopped me and asked “what do you think?” I was very frank with my friend –“Chuck this is an attempt to bring big time gambling to American College Tennis.” I was then no longer involved with this effort.

THE ISSUE CONTINUES

 But the time has come for others to help.
What about a USTA “think tank”. Don’t we have any lawyers? The last I heard a ton of money will find a good lawyer. The USTA got any poker players? I bet there is a legal way. At least run a good bluff at litigation. Bet the NCAA wouldn’t take the football/men’s basketball money to risk on an expensive trial?

I think it is right and legal. But somebody has got to “…screw up some courage”. Only those who love American tennis will do it.

  • Few good Americans develop without high school tennis.
  • Girls high school teams and girls of limited ability are the most neglected learners and often the most receptive.
  • The maturing of our women’s league players, coaches, and administrators is a gold mine of help for high school girls teams.  Boys too.
  • There are a lot of different ways to help our high school teams and coaches.
  • The two  toughest teaching spots are  developing  a working one hand backhand grip for 1. the slice and 2. the advanced serve.

The Men’s singles finals yesterday was Andy vs the Joker. Since 2010 my strong feeling has been that these two had realized the value of the offensive and defensive demands of great drop shots, and worked the hardest at developing the necessary skills.

Yesterday’s rain delay and other duties caused me to abandon my drop shot chart. Over the first several games Novak won 5 of 6 drop shot attempts. He had a wide open down the line pass on the one point he lost. Andy tried two and won both points when I had to miss a lot of the match.

I would love to know the feeling of these two champions as to 1. doesn’t an effective drop-shot have a particularly tiring or fatigue potential 2. as well as a psychological damage that is a corollary weapon.

I don’t think this is going to “back off” any. And I would remind all players that you have to develop defensive quickness, and movement patterns and postures that offset this demon.

ONIONS

NEW YORK TIMES (March 23, 2021)


“In the last decade or so, UConn and other top programs have increasingly sought players from Europe, Canada, Australia and Africa, as a growing parity in college basketball has made recruiting increasingly competitive. There were four different women’s champions in the four seasons before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 N.C.A.A. tournament.

All four No. 1 seeds in the 2021 women’s tournament — Stanford, UConn, North Carolina State and South Carolina — listed at least one international player on their rosters. South Florida, another tournament team, listed 11, along with a player from Puerto Rico.

UConn (25-1) is seeking its 12th national title with a roster that includes two Eastern Europeans — Muhl, who injured her ankle in the Huskies’ first-round win on Sunday night, and Anna Makurat, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard from Poland — and Aaliyah Edwards, a 6-3 freshman forward from Canada. They are three of only 12 players from outside the United States signed by Auriemma in his 36 seasons coaching at UConn.

“If you don’t have international players, you’re almost behind the ones that do,” said Blair Hardiek, global technical director for the N.B.A. Academy Women’s Program, a development project for international athletes.”

***************************

Onions have many layers. Lots of things do. Earlier I cited a letter addressing international men tennis players in small colleges in 1970. Kudzu-like, this layer of college athletic issues has added women.. All divisions of organizations (NCAA,NAIA, JUNIOR COLLEGES,etc.), tennis, track, soccer, race, money sports and non revenue, Nearly all of our arenas.

Again my concern is for “our kids”. Women’s basketball at the top allows 15 scholarships annually. African – American women will lose a lot more scholarship money as this trend expands. An American is eliminated for every international granted a scholarship.

CRY FOR ME–Soloman Burke

CHUNK TENNIS?

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.

A response to NCAA President, Mark A. Emmert

Below is a letter to me that states the position of NCAA President Mark A. Emmert on international athletes in American college athletics. And I agree with the content. However, I believe there is another tenable side to this issue. Therefore, in addition to President Emmert letter, I have shared what I believe is another salient side to the issue.

NCAA-Emmert-Letter.jpeg

Dr. Mark Emmert
President, NCAA
PO Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana  46206

Dear Dr. Emmert,

I am appreciative of your letter of March 15, 2017. Earlier this winter I had a long conversation with Timothy Russell , CEO of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).   I have also pled my case to Paul Lubbers of USTA player development, the Southern district of USTA, (STA) and the North Carolina Tennis Association (NCTA).

And have done so with countless others since 1970. Your response ensures that I have been heard at our highest levels and that is truly fair.

Approaching age 77 with fifty years of coaching, teaching and administering in two small (Barton College) to mid size Division 1 (Elon University), I have watched this issue closely, and while I fully agree with diversity and inclusion and equitable participation, there seems to be more to the issue.

My teams rosters included fifty plus internationals. From about a dozen different countries. Roland Thornqvist, women’s tennis coach at the University of Florida just won the women’s D1 National team tennis indoor title, owning a handful of national titles. I recruited Roland to the USA and he is probably best known of my recruits who are in the athletics arena and have stayed in the country. No less known in the world of orthopedic surgery in America is Dr. Pramote Malisitt, a native of Bangkok, who remains in our country. Dr. Peter Lindstrom, is one of twenty nine Swedes whom I recruited, and who is nationally known as a vital computer expert with our defense department. Neither our schools, nation, nor I would wish they weren’t here.

Never have I suggested we shouldn’t have delved into internationals then or now. But it seems to me to be a half full/half empty issue. Not once have I ever said an international should be prohibited from participation. Or equal admittance. The elephant in the room is scholarships. Never have I suggested internationals should be exempt from a reasonable amount of money. I do believe that the NCAA has a legal right to provide aid to our citizens first. One link to follow allows that about 200 million American dollars go into international men and women tennis players.

Many parents and taxpayers question all foreign rosters, all with grants and many from state schools. (See enclosed latest rankings from Division II) I wouldn’t object to an all international team in any sport if they paid the bill. But to scholarship an all African team, rather than an African American team is bothersome, to say the least. What we have now is foreign aid, not trade. Not once in the many times I asked any international , “Would your native country do what we do?” was the answer yes. And the money is coming from the coffers of the only reasonable financial return for all the expenses encountered: Scholarships. Scholarships can easily amount to a quarter million dollars per student ,over four years. Not to mention the subsequent benefits of quality education. I don’t even mention the rarity of professional player rewards, as we all know the status of American elite players. That is another issue, but giving American college tennis to internationals via disproportionate scholarship is directly related to this demise (again link to follow).

Basketball, golf, and other international sports are making forays into the American college arena. As a young coach I quickly realized if they have a nuclear weapon or two, I had better find some to help me keep my job. This is true today. Witness Duke University’s meteoric rise in Women’s golf. Surely young coaches watched an all international roster ascend to the top. Is this the intent of Title IX for our women? The American college system is the best system in the world to train elite athletes. The best example is surely Women’s Soccer.

Soccer, the most widely played sport in the world ,has never been won by American men. Yet, since the advent of Title IX our women have won three world cups in soccer. All twenty three women were participants in American College Soccer. And I’d bet they all had scholarships. Some one asked me where was the national training center for women on the world cup team? Chapel Hill, I replied. (Anson Dorance’s UNC teams had six of the twenty three players). And his teams influenced all the rest.

Upon accepting the job at Elon University, the then president admonished me, “… we don’t want an all foreign team!” After ten years that included a national team championship, I was concerned that a walk-on international was good enough to shift our team balance to more than 50% international for the first time. A decided shift in attitude was “ Coach we’ve decided that we don’t care where they are from if they are the quality of people you’ve been recruiting.”

And, while this validates your position, I believe a compromise is the answer.

My internationals returned home at about a 90% rate. That money may have brought in any number of our own citizens, equal in every way, except talent in tennis, as a true 18 year old freshman . (see DAY DREAM BELIEVER) on addendum to follow. Without scholarship aid for many American tennis youngsters, the “…pathway to opportunity” does not currently exist.

I have shared a few opinions, mine and others, on Addendum 1.

I intend to include a copy of your letter, and valid position to several interested parties. Knowing I have had my say, I remain sincerely grateful.

Tom Parham

THE MOREL LETTER

April 14, 1992
I.T.C.A. P.O. Box 71 Princeton, NJ 08544 Gentlemen:
I have recently learned that the I.T.C.A. has taken the position that any regulation of foreign tennis players is prohibited by law. I have thoroughly researched and reviewed the law regarding this issue and wish to inform you that the law does not prohibit such regulation.
If your association has legal counsel, I’m confident that he is full conversant with the law of the higher education, and specifically, that as it pertains to intercollegiate athletics. I encourage you to confer with your counsel on this very important issue. If he does not concur with my opinion, or if you do not have legal counsel, I am readily available to discuss this issue with you or him by telephone, or, if need be, in person. Moreover, I am willing to provide you, or him, with all of the law as it pertains to this issue so that this matter can be decided on the basis of a policy decision. This problem is not going to go away. If anything, it is going to become worse as it pervades other sports in addition to tennis, track and soccer, the predominantly foreign athletic teams.
The issue should be fully discussed and decisions made regarding it on the basis of merit. The respective members of your Board, and those of other similar associations, should state what their position is, and then vote on it on the basis of policy. The law permits you to do that in regulating the number of foreign tennis players that may participate at various levels of intercollegiate tennis. No association should hide behind the shield of the law in order to avoid considering this very difficult issue.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (N.J.C.A.A.), based upon their legal counsel’s analysis, which concurs with mine, has provided for regulations as to the number of foreign students that may participate.Their action, and that of your Association, is not “State action”.They are permitted, as your Association is, to do this under the law. Minnesota also had adopted regulations, which the total number of foreign athletes is limited. There are a variety of methods, too numerous to mention here. Some regulation is done based upon the ratio of the total number of foreign students to the total students enrolled; some are as a percentage of the total team members; and some are simply by number.
As stated above, I am willing to confer with you or your counsel on the state of the law on this very important issue. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours, John L. Morel

MEMORANDUM
April 23, 1992
To: ITCA Board of Directors, Sheila McInerney, Jeff Frank, Rick Evrard, Dan Calandro From: David Benjamin
Re:
Foreign Player Scholarships
As we all know, one of the most controversial areas involving collegiate tennis is the issue of scholarships given to foreign players. Over the past years, we have been asked innumerable questions about this by the media as well as members of the USTA and many concerned parents. It has always been our understanding that there are Constitutional constraints preventing an Association from passing any formal legislation which would limit scholarships given to foreign players. Last week I raised this question with Rick Evrard, NCAA Director of Legislative Services, who said his initial instinct was that it could be met with legal opposition, but he would look into it further.
This week I have just received the enclosed letter from an Illinois attorney, Mr. JohnMorel,in which he states that the“law does not prohibit such regulation.” I plan to discuss this matter in more detail over the phone with Mr. Morel, and to follow up with further conversation with the NCAA and other appropriate authorities.
In the meanwhile, I am bringing this matter to your attention in order that you might discuss this with the coaches at our ITCA. Annex Membership Meetings in May. If the points raised by John Morel are correct, it might be time for the ITCA and the NCAA Tennis Committee to explore this issue in depth.
I would appreciate having your ideas and reactions from the coaches after your discussions at the ITCA Annex Meetings.
Best Wishes.
Yours truly,
David A Benjamin – Executive Director
P.S. I am enclosing a fact sheet put together by Joe Lynch about foreign players and collegiate rankings.

YOUNG GUNS

Let’s Make American Tennis Great Again
(Dan Parham)

Introduction
– 5 minute overview, 10 minutes questions after my overview
– Today I will focus on a proposed solution … if anyone would like to talk more about how we ended up in this position, I’m happy to answer those questions over a beer after my allotted time today.

Why
Over the past 35 years, the number of top ranked US players has declined drastically. For example, right now there are zero top 10 ranked men in the ATP, and two in the WTA. By comparison, in 1970, there were x men and x women in the top 10. Additionally, we’re giving approximately 7,000 scholarships a year (~$200m/year) to international players. In comparison, the USTA spends $18m/year on player development.

Vision
What if we invested these resources into American tennis players? Would we see a dramatic increase in top ranked players in the next 10 years? Either way, we will have allocated tens of thousands of scholarships to young Americans, investing over $250m in educational resources into the US economy. Let’s build a coalition of supporters of American tennis to test this theory. Our goal is the adoption of a new policy by the NCAA that requires 70% of men’s and women’s scholarships to be allocated to US citizens over the next 10 years.

Measuring success
We expect to see a 300% increase in Americans in the top ten men’s and women’s worldwide rankings by 2027 (ten years).

Accomplishing our goal
Today we are all here as leaders in the American college tennis community. We have the potential to build a grassroots coalition of likeminded supporters of American tennis. Once we determine our strategy, we can leverage our collective relationships to determine the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of our campaign. We’ll start by privately approaching Tim Russell, CEO of the ITA privately, and understand the ITA Board’s concerns with our proposal. Once we have their support (or opposition), we will reach out to the ITA coaches to help us demonstrate their support for our proposal. We’ll state the potential benefits and consequences of this policy shift, and petition the NCAA to make the changes. If they refuse to consider our proposal, we’ll explore a legal approach.

Risks
The first question is, is it legally possible to reserve a percentage of scholarships for US citizens? We may need to hire a legal expert to determine the complexity of our proposal if necessary. We need to understand the incentives of the ITA Board, the ITA members, NCAA, or USTA have an incentive to incur the cost of fighting this proposal. We should address any negative consequences in our proposal. For example, we understand that we would eliminate some great international players (and scholars) from our institutions. It is also probable that the overall quality of competition would decrease in the near term, and that this could put some smaller college programs at risk. Finally, there would be a decrease in the “diversity” of students in our higher education institutions. We are willing to take these risks.

Next Steps
Determine the right legal and financial structure to support this campaign. Is there an existing non-profit that we could leverage as a fiscal sponsor to move more quickly?
Start a coalition of supporters to staff and fund this campaign. Establish a working leadership council with clear roles and responsibilities, and a decision making process.
Identify an internal or external program manager with campaign experience and strong relationships in the ITA to plan, manage, and execute our campaign.
If we face resistance from the ITA or NCAA, we will need to hire a legal team experienced in NCAA policy and laws to litigate this proposed change.
Identify the ideal leader for the campaign coach.

COLLEGE TENNIS IN THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE-2017

Quite a year in the Atlantic Coast Conference tennis arena.

UVA wins third straight team title (D 1 men).

UVA, Wake Forest, and UNC –Chapel Hill all finish in top five of D1 mens.

UNC women win NCAA D1 women’s indoor title.

UNC men are runners-up in D1 for the first time in a storied history.

Sam Paul (UNC) is justly named NCAA D1 men’s coach of the year.

Coach Paul was aided by Tripp Phillips, who was recently named top assistant coach in men’s D1. The men and women combined were the best in D1.

Coach Kalbas has been at the top of D1 women’s tennis along with Roland Thornqvist of the University of Florida’s women. The Gators won their 4th women’s D1 title under Coach Thornqvist last week. Roland, a UNC graduate continues along the path of a legendary player and coach.

HOME GROWN

Sixty years ago Carolina won its first national NCAA basketball championship.   We watched it on this new thing called TV.   UNC beat my Wake Forest Deacons four times in close games that undefeated year for the Heels (32-0).  The last one on a buzzer beater by Lennie Rosenbluth.  UNC Coach,  Frank McGuire observed “…the Baptists and the Catholics were having a swell game when the Jewish kid ended it all”.

This year’s UNC roster was made up of all American players.   Three of five solid starters were from our state.   Gonzaga listed five internationals on their roster.   Someone said there are five thousand international basketball players in the USA.

Our guys are something to be proud of.  The best.

MOTHER AND CHILD REUNION

“How many times have you heard someone say,

if I had his money, I’d do things my way!”

Patrick Mouratoglon,  Serena Williams’ tennis coach, said it.  The commentators missed a great chance.  Was the USTA listening closely?  His point about Co Co Gault’s win over Venus Williams was, here is another example of where great American tennis players have come from, then and now.  What better example could you want:  From Richard Williams and Venus and Serena, to 2019 Wimbledon and Co Co and her parents.   The Bryan brothers and their dad,  Isner and his mom, all the  way back to Chris Evert and her father.  Connors and mom.  McEnroe/Father.  No one gives their attention to a child like  parents.   There were five American men entered in the 2019 French Open.  Tiafoe, at #32, was the only seeded American male.  Taylor  Fritz won a first round match.  The rest lost.

For the umpteenth time,  all entities sincerely interested in developing quality American tennis players, should demand a reasonable slice of college tennis scholarships for American students.  Parents need help, a carrot at the end.

 

Former college tennis players
Jack Kramer, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Bob and Mike Bryant, Jim Courier, Brad Gilbert, Bill Tilden, Roscoe Tanner, Jimmy Connors, Dennis Ralston, Dick Stockton, Vitas Gerulaitis, Michael Chang, Malavai Washington, Todd Martin, Bob Lutz, Bill Talbert, Tony Trabert,, Vince Spadea, John Isner, Steve Johnson, MANY MORE.

AMERICAN TENNIS IN THE FUTURE

  1.  College tennis is directly related to the development of elite players in America.  Without more scholarships for our youngsters,  we will continue “the dearth”.
  2. Pickleball could be an obvious first choice as the best lead-up game for our junior tennis programs.   The mass of people are unaware of our  current programs to address junior participation.  Awareness of pickleball popularity grows daily.