Why oh why did Kosakowski go pro?

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by jdubbs, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    #1 at UCLA. Quits after his freshman year to go pro.
    Gives up full scholarship worth another $200K, and a degree.

    Horrible performance as a pro except for 1 tournament where he go to the round of 16 this summer in a challenger and 1 futures win.
    Alright not completely horrible, but why not wait a couple more years, get more seasoning, and get your degree, go pro later? It's not as if the $20K you made this year will go very far.

    I really don't understand this. This isn't the NBA where you get $1M+ guaranteed for going pro early. There are no guarantees in tennis, and its not as if he was going to make this money up anytime soon.

    Anybody know his deal? I like the kid, but man, can't see why he would go pro and give up a nice scholarship like that.
     
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  2. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Daniel and his brother felt that it was now or never.
     
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  3. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    maybe his dream is to be a pro tennis player,and he's just following his dream.. chances are if he stay at UCLA and tries to play tennis at that high level he wouldn't learn anything of from the classes anyways ,they miss too many classes all year round.. he can always go back to school anytime after does his thing with tennis.. DK is from SoCal and as resident student, UCLA doesn't cost $200K .. with all that aside..
    I heard there was a thing with the coach B.Martin.... I had a feeling something was fishy when DK didn't show up at the Ojai tournament this year... if you're a Pac 10(12) top rank player,it's a long standing tradition you play Ojai...
     
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  4. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    The final 3 years of in-state tuition, fees, room and board at UCLA is worth $200K?
     
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  5. goober

    goober Legend

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    Problem is that if he tries pro for say 4-5 years and then decides to go back he won't be on scholarship any more. He will have to pay everything out of his own pocket. If ends up like most low level pros with little money made after expenses, he may regret it.
     
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  6. subban

    subban Rookie

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    Lets see. tuition instate probably 10k plus another 3k for housing and meals. so 13k a semster or 26k a year. for three years 78k worth. Not really in the 200k but I think that poster was just exaggerating to make his point. I still agree with him though, the odds of playing professional tennis are very very slim. And most pros that make the atp start going pro after juniors and don't even go to college. Unless, your like a Isner type player with a huge booming reliable serve, its tough to go pro from playing US college tennis.
     
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  7. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    I think UC shool's are about 28K for instate students, tuition, fees room and board.
    Daniel is from Downey, Ca., so if he were to go back to UCLA, he would pay in-state tuition, plus I'm sure he would receive grants and aid.
     
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  8. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    He has lost 2 very close matches to Strode and Farah the last 2 weeks. He is ranked 385. I think one more year at UCLA would not have hurt him but is probably would not have helped too much either.
     
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  9. socaltennnis

    socaltennnis Rookie

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    naw. dk left the team on good terms with the coach and teammates. last year, he had been playing all of the usa futures in between his college matches, skipping most of the fall tournaments including last year's ITA All-Americans. at ojai, even though most top pac 10 players play, typically ucla's top players (kohloffel, abid, srugo) in years past do not compete, often playing only in the doubles draw or not at all. basically it was always dk's plan to go pro and thats why he played all of the american futures while in college. the question was when he should move on. and for dk, he is really dedicated to tennis and he sees tennis as something he wants to do for a long time. for those talking about if dk will need to pay for tution if he goes back to school, i dont see dk going back to college either. he left cause he wants tennis to be his career.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
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  10. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Fair enough. But realize that for 98% of players on tour, its a money-losing proposition. It costs a lot to compete year after year. And then you come back and that scholarship is gone.

    I dunno, an education worth, lets call it $100K, fine, is still worth a lot. UCLA room, board, books etc is pretty pricey.
    Degree would come in handy when trying to get a real job in a tough job market when tennis doesn't work out.
    Trying to go back to college at 28-32 years old and pay full boat...well, good luck with that, most don't do it. He'll end up a country club pro at best. Nothing wrong with that...I guess.
    You're telling me he couldn't compete in 3 more years? Didn't hurt Isner..at all. Young could have benefited from it too.

    Anyway, it's his life. I get it. But its not now or never. Let him grow physically, learn the game more, play top collegiate players. Just seems shortsighted.
     
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  11. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Plus you've got successes like Devvarman, Kevin Anderson, Isner. All saying that you can't physically compete at 19 with these 25 year olds out there on tour.

    β€œ[College] was the best preparation in could have ever asked for,” Isner said. β€œIn those four years [at Georgia], I had unbelievable coaching with Coach Diaz. I learned so much mentally, and I got so much stronger physically. Coming out of high school I was tall, skinny, and gangly, not strong and not mature. I was none of that. I had to go to college and get stronger. I had to start growing out instead of up.”

    http://www.itatennis.com/AboutITA/News/CollegePlayersInThePros.htm
     
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  12. SoCal10s

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    physically he's there.. the other stufff about learning the game... he's better off learning while on tour.. tour players hit and think different from college players.. staying at UCLA ,even competing with the best will only make him the best college player,which doesn't often lead to a exceptional pro career .. you have to be out there doing pro stuff to know what pros do.. it's a grind,it's an attitude,it's not pretty but then one day hopefully everything sort of clicks..
     
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  13. mad dog1

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    i did a double take...initially, i thought this was the same person with a bipolar personality carrying a conversation with himself in the thread. :confused: :shock: then i looked at the usernames again and realized they're the "same" name but "different"! :lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
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  14. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    I'm the original ,but I don't mind imitations .. hahaha:) and I'm not Brad...
     
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  15. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    His family probably worked out some sort of sponsors from somewhere. LOL this attitude is why americans are behind at tennis...you are telling someone who is currently ranked 385 that he should have stayed in school? are you kidding me.
    My advice would be for DK to get out of the states for tennis. This is the only country where if you are 385 that you are losing money. If I was in his same shoes I would move to Argentina, they have 15-20 futures a year just there, also u have Brasil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile where is very cheap to travel too. The Cost of living in argentina is really cheap, with the 15k he makes in Prize money he can easily cover his expenses and travel down in that region. And since the tournaments are close to home compared with the states. You don't need to pay hotel when you lose, u drive 3 hours and you are back home. Another way us americans are bent over when trying to go pro.

    But Im glad to see him go pro. for me, if you can make it to 400 on your first year, and only 20 years old...you should go for it,

    Mi dos centamos...
     
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  16. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    You could travel all around to the easiest futures each week. Those tend to be in southeast Asia. Challengers too. That's why you see players like Ito,Soeda in the top 100 with their limited talent
     
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  17. socaltennnis

    socaltennnis Rookie

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    Just wanted to add that he also won qualifying for the LA Countrywide classic tournament in July, beating Denis Kudla in straight sets. He then won 1 round in the main draw, beating Tim Smyczek. Thats two americans pros that he beat who didn't go to college. If you look at just the younger americans, only young, harrison, kudla, and sock are ranked higher at the moment.

    Edit: he also beat kudla again in the US Open Wild Card tournament in August.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
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  18. Shaolin

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    It's called following your dreams.
     
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  19. Tennis_Stringman

    Tennis_Stringman Rookie

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    I think he has a better shot at making it than Jack Sock. He moves so much better and hits a clean ball. He is mentally stronger than Kudla. It was time for him, all or none so be it.
     
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  20. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Theres more to college tennis than tuition room and board etc. Throw in strength coaches, trainers, coaches court time travel, equipment and other incidentals and it creeps up.
     
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  21. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. And it costs, according to the USTA, $140K a year to be on the pro tour.
    Which means, just to break even, you have to make about $250K of earnings, given taxes.
    now, throw on lets say $40K a year (which takes another $70K of earnings) for free college at a top tier school, that means in the next 4 years, he has to earn $320,000 a year for it to have been worth it, and realistically, far more than that to give up all the advantages of having a degree for down the road.
    Anybody think he's going to make $1.3M his next 4 years?

    I don't think people realize how little most tennis players make. Sure, follow your dreams, but be realistic as well. There's no reason he couldn't make it at 22, and probably would do better to boot.
     
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  22. SoCal10s

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    sure there is ,look at Nadal.. he's 25 and his body is already breaking down.. at 25 look at all Nadal has accomplished.. those years lost in playing college tennis will never be equal what DK can get on the pro tour.. everyone is different.. DK is already close to his prime physically ,so he has a certain amount of time to capitalize when he's still in peak,physically.. tennis is not like golf .. the body is more of important factor.. most(most) men slow down at around 30.. so do the math.. not everyone are the same.. guys like Steve Johnson,Sock and Fratangelo are not built like DK.. DK had bulging muscles and a full 6 pack at 15.. S.Johnson was almost on the fat side before going to USC.. DK ready ,he just needs pro match experience ..
     
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  23. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Actually, most pros will tell you they peak physically much later, 24-25. And the grind of the tour, with 25+ tournaments and constant travel, is very hard on the body, much worse than college tennis.
     
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  24. SoCal10s

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    exactly.. that's why he better do it now so when he's 24-25 he will be in the position to be at his best...

    the hardest thing about being on the pro tour is thinking about money.. if you have a sponsor ,then it sort of eases the pain a bit.. after that is the traveling .. but I think going to classes and trying keep up your grades is much more difficult than the traveling..
    .. winning for a whole team might be harder than winning for yourself.. when you're on the tour,there's always next week.. NCAA play-offs week is a final act for those seniors ..
     
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  25. yonexpurestorm

    yonexpurestorm Rookie

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  26. Vik

    Vik Rookie

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    Huh? Are you just pulling numbers out of the air?
    If it costs $140K a year to be on the tour, then you need to make $140K to break even. A tennis player is a business, not an employee. You pay taxes on your earnings AFTER expenses.
     
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  27. SoCal10s

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    yeah,Dave's tournament is bringing in some heavy weights right there.. these are some pretty strong SoCal players that I enjoy watching as they grow up.. I'll be sure to check it out.. you might be watching some future pros right here,now for free.. good luck to Dave on that tournament .. hope the rains stay away..
     
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  28. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    I am not familiar with this player but chances are 99 out of 100 he should have stayed in school. He will not be going back to UCLA, as his scholarship is gone. Ask Billy Beane if he made a good choice in not going to Stanford. Beane was the top recruit in the country, a can't miss prospect. He missed.
     
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  29. farmpro

    farmpro New User

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    I believe you just summed up my life perfectly in this post....
     
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  30. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Thanks to you and to the following poster. I think a lot of the comments about "following your dreams" are from amateur players who would love to think they gave it a shot at being pro with the obvious talent a kid like this has.
    It's also an instant gratification culture, and potentially big dollar signs.

    On top of that you have parents and agents who don't get paid until the checks start rolling in, and usually don't have your true best interests at heart.

    The sad reality is 99% of these guys don't make it.

    I look at a guy like Paul Goldstien, who finished at Stanford, rose to #59 in the world, beating guys like Moya, Rafter, and even Djokovic (at the Aussie Open no less), retired, and has a solid Silicon Valley career.

    Just wish more guys would follow this path instead of taking the easy way out.
     
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  31. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    He lost to Rhyne Williams in the 1st round of the Texas future.
     
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  32. mad dog1

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    is this tournament open to public spectators?
     
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  33. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    yes I think it's free.. he never charged to watch before..
     
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  34. yonexpurestorm

    yonexpurestorm Rookie

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    im hoping to make the 4.5 finals so i can just hang out and watch the open finals and see just how good these guys really are.
     
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  35. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    Anyone know what he was even majoring in? A college degree isn't worth much these days. Unless he got into a top business school or in a specialized field his prospects aren't going to be much better than it already it.

    Being a former pro player he could end up being a coach or take tennis management courses, I know one school offers it as a major.
     
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  36. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Rafa, Sampras, Becker all made it in their teens. Not saying they declined scholarships, but given that a player is considered over the hill by late 20s, the sense of urgency is probably not misplaced.
     
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  37. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    not these days. The game is more physical now and players are maturing later. There is something like 2 teens in the top 100 at the moment. While players like Fish,Melzer and others are playing the best tennis of their life while pushing 30.
     
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  38. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    cool, thanks!
     
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  39. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    hitting a rough patch now. This is life in the ATP.

    Tennys Sangren's decision to go pro may be even more head-scratching. He had the opportunity take the reign as the #1 player for Tennessee and improve his game as a #1 in the SEC. He has not lit the world on fire in any of his pro results thus far. And unlike Williams, he actually showed care for the Vols and how the team did. He made the wrong decision, even more of an error than Kosakowski's decision.
     
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  40. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    you know all these kids may be being pushed a bit by outsiders like USTA or management groups who are influenced by USTA ... well wish them all the luck in the world because it's a hard life if big""IF"" they don't make it.. unless their parents are rich.. it's tough gig...
     
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  41. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    At least with Donald Young, he had one junior world tournaments and it looked like he was the future. I could understand guys like him and Agassi and Sampras.

    With these guys, just breaking the top 200 would be an accomplishment. And there really isn't much money until you break into the top 100.

    Most will have quit long before then due to financial concerns. And then you're looking at trying to get a job with no degree. Guess it's ok if you're feeding balls to little old ladies, but that's fairly limiting for most.

    Wayne Odesnik, #134 in the world, made $49,838 so far this year.
     
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  42. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    exactly. If your a world class talent then you should go pro. The US has less world class talents now simply because the game is so global. The tennis world does not run through southern california like it once did. It nows seems to run through Eastern Europe.

    Like you said, in the case of Kosakowski and Sangren, what are their goals? Because at best these guys will be floating around the 150-180 range
     
    #42
  43. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    For those that are taking a "practical" look toward DK for "abandoning" his scholarship, the meaning of one's life is different for everybody.
    Those decision made are not easy or simple, they are many reasons why DK decided to turn pro.

    All of us are not at that level of play, so who are we to say that he made the wrong choice.

    Of course I personally think staying in school would of been the best choice, but I'm not living DK's life, and don't know the true reasons why he turned pro.
    My daughter is friends with his sister, I've meet DK and family on several occasions, they are a solid good family. Tight Polish family.

    I'm guessing that it was a family decision.
     
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  44. Vicious Vik

    Vicious Vik Semi-Pro

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    UCLA would be very good. What an idiot
     
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  45. SoCal10s

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    Maybe the best ,elite 3 for sure..
     
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  46. floridatennisdude

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    4 kids...4 D1 tennis players. Some good genes there.

    I do think he made a mistake, but who am I to judge another man when I haven't walked in his shoes. I just would have thought having 9 losses in a college season would have made him see that he still needed to work on things before abandoning the free education.
     
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  47. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Sandgren got really bad advice from someone. He went on a little run over the summer and has come back to earth in no time. This guy could have done very well in the sec this year and threw that away.
     
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  48. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    if he doesn't make it in the pros he can always go back to school with loans like the rest of us.


    to me the whole you are losing so much to quit college and go pro, never made sense to me in any sport. the football player luck probally lost 5-6 million in carreer earning to stay another year at stanford. he probally made stanford atleast 5-6 million but they aren't going to give him that.
     
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  49. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Football and tennis are apples and oranges. A tennis player has to be in the top 150 range to even break even on expenses. There are 32 NFL teams with 53 man rosters and all those athletes have contracts. Quite a bit different being top 150 vs top 1500 with a salary.
     
    #49
  50. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Watched him today vs Zverev at the clay courts - looked pretty good - was up 3 - 0 in the 3rd when Misha quit due to the heat (wasn't that hot nor humid). DK was running him into the ground.
     
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