NY Post: "McEnroe's 'Scam' Charity For Elite Players, Not Poor Kids"

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by AngieB, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. AngieB

    AngieB Hall of Fame

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    http://nypost.com/2014/08/02/mcenroes-tennis-charity-nets-cash-for-elite-players-not-poor-kids/

    McEnroe’s ‘scam’ charity for elite players, not poor kids


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    John McEnroe, right, and his brother Mark, left, have been sending elite players -- not poor kids -- to play tennis in their charity.

    You cannot be serious — about John McEnroe’s tennis charity.

    The former Wimbledon champ’s nonprofit, the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, promises to serve scholarships to “expose young athletes . . . to the sport of tennis” and touts its programs in city schools.

    But the real beneficiaries are elite players on the junior circuit who are getting their lessons and travel costs comped at Sportime, the for-profit Randalls Island tennis club where the John McEnroe Tennis Academy is located.

    Sportime started the Johnny Mac Tennis Project in 2011 to create a cash stream to subsidize its top players, whose lessons the tennis club had been providing at a discount in order to build its prestige, according to a Sportime insider.

    “It’s really a scam,” said the insider. “All the money goes to the for-profit business. Now we get reimbursed for our good deeds.”

    The Johnny Mac Tennis Project raised $266,826 in 2012, and $242,625 of that was lobbed to Sportime so it could fund lessons for 20 players, tax records show.

    The “charity” was the brainchild of Claude Okin, the owner of the Sportime chain of clubs, and Mark McEnroe, the tennis champ’s younger brother who was the general manager of the Randalls ­Island Sportime club and president of the separately incorporated nonprofit, the insider said.

    The source said that John McEnroe had to be persuaded to sign on and that he donated no money to the effort at its inception. He is on the nonprofit’s board of directors.

    John McEnroe did not return a call for comment. A spokesman for Sportime said John had always supported the charity and has donated his time and artwork from his collection to benefit it.

    Sportime opened its 20-court Randalls Island center in 2009. John McEnroe lent his name to its academy program in late 2010 and gets $750,000 a year to teach there. The charity was then founded in March 2011.

    Mark McEnroe admits the charity was “set up to find the very best kids we could find.”

    “In our efforts to build our academy, we wanted to find a way that we could pay our bills and train the best kids and at the same time expose lots of other kids — like the hundreds of kids who come here in our community program — to the game,” said McEnroe who is now Sportime’s corporate development officer.

    But while those community programs are done in the name of the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, their cost is paid by Sportime. The tennis center’s pros teach the kids on Randalls Island or at local schools.

    “We didn’t have a lot left over to offset those costs,” Mark McEnroe said.

    Three East Harlem youngsters got Sportime scholarships through the charity’s community outreach programs, but they were doled out only in the last six months.

    In 2012, the nonprofit spent $45,470 to buy tickets to a World Team Tennis program featuring John McEnroe and resold them as its main fund-raising event.

    This year’s Aug. 21 fund-raiser features current star Novak Djokovic and tickets go for up to $500.

    Among those who have benefitted from the fund-raising is Noah Rubin, the 18-year-old Rockville Centre, LI, player who just won the junior title at Wimbledon.

    Rubin received $32,200 from the Johnny Mac Tennis Project in 2011 alone, records show.

    Jamie Loeb, the 19-year-old national college player of the year from Ossining, was pursued by John McEnroe and given a scholarship by his charity when she signed on to his academy in 2011, said her mother, Susan Loeb.

    “They offered her a full ride,” she said.
     
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  2. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Wow, the Mac Bros doing something shaddy....

    I'm shock.:???:
     
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  3. AngieB

    AngieB Hall of Fame

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    I know. It is VERY "shocking". More that Patrick isn't also involved.

    #Shade

    AngieB
     
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  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I don't know how much of the charity fundraising was publicized as "helping poor kids," but when I saw John McEnroe on TV talking about it a few times, I got the impression that he was excited the academy would train kids to become pros. I don't remember him ever saying that he wanted the academy to help poor kids.
    Money is a fungible asset, so in the end it doesn't really matter if it goes directly to the elite players, or it goes to the other kids and allows Sportime to spend their money on the elite players ("Now we get reimbursed for our good deeds").
    If they misled people, that isn't right, but legally it will probably come down to technicalities of specific wording.
     
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  5. Tennis sensation

    Tennis sensation Hall of Fame

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    Shocking :shock:
     
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  6. RUC

    RUC Rookie

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    Exactly

    I don't believe anyone from the Macs and at Sportimes ever said ALL the money would go to only poor kids. It was clear they would reach out to various communities in poor sections like they do with after school programs and looking for that special kid or kids who could develop into something great. But it was always part of the deal to try and develop a New York based academy and look to all of 5 boroughs.
    Really a non story - plus it's from the Post so what do you really expect?
     
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  7. AngieB

    AngieB Hall of Fame

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    Tennis has long tried to shed its image of being an elitist sport. The increased popularity brought-forth by the Open Era gave a strong signal that in order for the sport to grow, it would need to stay more inclusive. Public parks tennis, school programs and local tennis participation surged.

    Funneling money from a charity whose publicized intent was to help encourage minority participation in tennis to a program for elite juniors is an example of the wealthy trying to take advantage of the disadvantaged. Greed.

    If anyone questions what is wrong with American tennis, this is just one symptom of a larger problem plaguing the sport. The mindset that the next great American player will be coming from the suburbs is part of the problem and this latest expose' additionally proves a failure of leadership.

    What we need are more Williams and less McEnroe's in the sport of tennis.

    #Give2NeedyNotGreedy

    AngieB
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The 3 brothers seem to look after each other very well
     
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  9. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    The name of the game is funding elite players, Mac also helps poor kids learn tennis. Don't see what the big deal is here.
     
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  10. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    That's a shame
     
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  11. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    The NY Post ("Headless Body in a Topless Bar"). Good one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    We certainly miss Vitas Gerulaitis.For reasons like that, among others
     
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  13. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    McEnroe's academy is not in the suburbs.
     
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  14. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    This is so confusing. I thought tennis academies were cross-breeding grounds for elite players and rich kids. It is a flexible system that only fails to accommodate poor kids who are non-elite players. What is the complaint here?
     
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  15. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Noah Rubin plays out of the sportime in Bethpage, Long Island - in the suburbs.

    Sportime has facilities all over the state


    His face is plastered every 10 feet on every wall.
     
    #15
  16. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Well Patrick McEnroe is involved so nothing surprises me here.

    :grin:
     
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