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tennis5 05-03-2012 01:37 PM

Foreigners in College Tennis
 
Well, the last thread, 58 pages, on foreigners in college tennis was pulled due to poor behavior on the part of the posters of Talk Tennis.

However, since it keeps spilling into other threads, I am starting a new thread here with the hopes THAT IT CAN BE CIVIL.

The following is a well balanced article representing both sides from coaches and recruiters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12561545
Debate over foreign players in US college tennis


US college tennis row over foreign stars

In US college sports, a debate is raging between opponents and proponents of international players receiving scholarships and competing in collegiate sports. The BBC's Franz Strasser gathered the opinions of leading tennis coaches and officials.



Craig Tiley, Tournament Director, Australian Open

Tiley, who used to coach the successful men's team at the University of Illinois, made it a point to recruit local American players and says it is a bit of a stretch and not in the best interest of college tennis to have a team with all foreign players. He would like more coaches to focus on developing players and have less pressure to win.

"You have to be willing to have a down year as you develop. If more coaches do that then the sport really grows," says Tiley. "It is about aggressively promoting the matches and showcasing college tennis to the community."

"I don't buy the argument about there not being enough good American players. They may not be good now but you give them a great coaching environment and you can make those players great."



Jill Hultquist, women's tennis coach, University of Washington

Hultquist currently has six players from outside the US on her roster of eight and says she made a conscious decision to recruit foreign players as well as Americans. "It's hard to rebuild a team if you lose the top 20, 30 American players to the traditional powerhouse programmes each year."

Sensitive to the ongoing debate, she picks a few select American players each year and offers them scholarships first. If they don't take them she goes international.

"The coaching world is competitive and our jobs are on the line. So we are just looking to compete," says Hultquist, who points to the large number of scholarships available to female players each year. "If you work hard enough you should be able to succeed and get what you want."



Tim Cass, Associate Athletics Director, University of New Mexico

Cass, who has coached the men's tennis team at Texas A&M University for 10 years, says the mix of international students throughout American campuses adds great value and is positive for a team. But he feels strongly about limiting the number of international players and the number of scholarships they are awarded.

"I don't think that was the mission of college tennis to basically fill your team with internationals," says Cass, adding that universities are limiting the chance for Americans.

Universities are investing more money into their athletic programmes but also putting more pressure on winning, he argues. "It's a moral question to some degree. Is that the mission of your program to use your scholarship money in that way?"



Ben Belletto, men's tennis coach, Pomona College

Belletto coaches in a lower tier of collegiate tennis and has seen a trickle-down effect for a number of years. With international players taking an increasing number of scholarships in Divisions 1 and 2, he says more American players are forced to look at other options.

"Look at a school like Amherst and the quality of tennis players there. Five, 10 years ago that would have been unheard of."

"I'm sure some grow up wanting to play for Stanford and UCLA and not to have that option anymore is heartbreaking," says Belletto who cannot offer scholarships in Division 3. "Coaches want to win and they will do whatever they have to do."


Geoff MacDonald, women's tennis coach, Vanderbilt

For MacDonald the debate is mostly a fairness issue. He is not opposed to one or two international players but a whole team of international players doesn't feel right to him. He says Title IX law forced colleges to spend as much money on women's athletics and provide as many opportunities for them.

"I don't know if the intent of Title IX was for a European pro player to come here and take a scholarship away from an American kid who might not be as good."

It is not uncommon for MacDonald to encounter coaches who go strictly overseas and make friends at pro tournaments in Europe. "If we were handing out math scholarships we wouldn't go to Finland and get the best mathematicians. Because this is competitive people are willing to go all over the world."


Rodney Harmon, former USTA men's tennis director

Harmon sees a tremendous opportunity for young American players to play against top players from all over the world on a college level and it helps them in preparation for the game on a pro level.

He knows that there is a problem for Americans who are lower ranked and who don't get the scholarships that they used to.

"We have to prepare our American players earlier and work on the skill sets they need to get to college," says Harmon who now coaches at a club in Florida. "College tennis would not be nearly as good with just American players."

Every coach wants as many American players as they can get, he says. "But to keep your job you have to win."


Tony Minnis, men's tennis coach, Louisiana State

The phenomenon of internationals playing college tennis in the US has been going on for a while, but increased over the last few years, says Minnis, who has coached great international players over the years but tried to make it a point to recruit some American kids.

"I got an opportunity and a very solid career and I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have the chance to play collegiate tennis," says Minnis. "It has raised the level of college tennis but it has gotten to a point where schools say we are only going to recruit internationally."

Schools and coaches should at least attempt to get American players, he says, and keep the winning-now mentality in perspective.


Mike Lancaster, owner athleticscholarships.net

Lancaster, who runs a sports recruiting service, says tennis has the most international appeal out of all the NCAA sports. "There is a real move with European players in the last 10 years. When they go back home they tell their friends and the word spreads quickly."

Over 100 players contact his site every day for all sports. Only the athletes pay for the service, coaches receive the information for free.

"If you are a college tennis coach and you want to have a strong team, it's much easier to recruit international players than it is to just build a team with American players."

woodrow1029 05-03-2012 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis5 (Post 6505377)
I am starting a new thread here with the hopes THAT IT CAN BE CIVIL.

I give it 2 days for this one to be pulled off too.

tennis5 05-03-2012 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 6505381)
I give it 2 days for this one to be pulled off too.

We once had a thread on parents behaving badly on the courts, and that got pulled in a week.

Keysmickey 05-03-2012 04:48 PM

Of the highlighted excerpts I am most offended by Hultquist. She is clearly rationalizing her decisions and rather than do the hard work to recruit American talent is satisfied moving to foreign talent once the top 10 players surprisingly decide not to come to Washington.

Tennishacker 05-03-2012 05:37 PM

My personal views are similar to Craig Tilsey.

Several years ago at the winter nationals, there was a seminar by a recruiting agency, which it's keynote speaker was a former men's coach from a Big 10 school. Part of his speech was why he personally recruited foreigner players.
His reasons
-older, more mature
-didn't have to hold their hands
-didn't have to deal with the parents
-had professional experience
-worked harder

IMO, coaches have become lazy, not coaching but just managing their teams.

Alohajrtennis 05-03-2012 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keysmickey (Post 6505674)
Of the highlighted excerpts I am most offended by Hultquist. She is clearly rationalizing her decisions and rather than do the hard work to recruit American talent is satisfied moving to foreign talent once the top 10 players surprisingly decide not to come to Washington.

Yeah that one kind of jumped out a meet to. Only top 20 or 30 player are acceptable. But now its going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy - next year when she goes to recruit a top 10 US players she is going to have to answer question like - does anyone else on the team speak English ? Will I be the only freshman on the team not old enough to drink ? Joking aside, she is not creating an environment that is going to attract top 30 players.

JLyon 05-03-2012 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keysmickey (Post 6505674)
Of the highlighted excerpts I am most offended by Hultquist. She is clearly rationalizing her decisions and rather than do the hard work to recruit American talent is satisfied moving to foreign talent once the top 10 players surprisingly decide not to come to Washington.

Really so the coach should take players then that guarantee that the team finishes last every year in the Pac-12 or never have a chance to be competitive against Stanford, USC, UCLA, etc... I also guarantee you would careless if she got fired because her team could not compete year in and year out.
Coaches are paid to win so if she can not get a Top 50 or so girl to come play then she must look for the best talent out there regardless of nationality.

Alohajrtennis 05-03-2012 06:11 PM

I think Jeff Macdonalds comments are spot on. I think there is a real difference in this issue between the Men and the Women scholarships. I am from Hawaii an my daughter plays at Patsy Mink Regional Park. I think Patsy Mink would be rolling in her grave if she knew that at our public university in Hawaii the Womens team is 80% foreigners.

Alohajrtennis 05-03-2012 06:19 PM

[quote=J.
Coaches are paid to win so if she can not get a Top 50 or so girl to come play then she must look for the best talent out there regardless of nationality.[/QUOTE]

That's not the only thing they are paid to do. This is not the NFL, or even SEC football. They are paid to be coaches and all that entails - developing players, developing students. Tennis is not a money making sport, win or lose. If that the only thing her AD is judging her on than that's the real issue. The AD sets the direction, what is acceptable and how her success or failure is judged.

I don't have a problem with some foreign students per se, maybe a couple per team, but right now its completely out of hand.

rufus_smith 05-03-2012 06:23 PM

There is no debate. NCAA should ban this practice. It is simply unfair and stupid for American taxpayers to support foreign players over their own children. It also hurts the tennis development of American pre-teens and teens. With less chance for a college scholarship there are fewer US teens that can see the value in tennis training.

JLyon 05-03-2012 06:29 PM

ok so fine then ban all International players from "Public" Universities, allow the Privates to do what they want since there is no tax dollars being spent on their Athletic teams and education.
All fixed so everyone can get off Baylor, Vanderbilt, and other privates.

WARPWOODIE 05-03-2012 06:42 PM

Slightly bit off topic....when these coaches recruit overseas...are they actually the ones travelling? One could view these trips as junkets too tantlelizing to pass up?.....just sayin

Tennishacker 05-03-2012 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WARPWOODIE (Post 6505847)
Slightly bit off topic....when these coaches recruit overseas...are they actually the ones travelling? One could view these trips as junkets too tantlelizing to pass up?.....just sayin

Coaches are invited by recruiting firms in Europe...

ClarkC 05-03-2012 08:33 PM

Prediction: This thread will likely go on for 20 pages with nothing being said that was not already said in other threads on the subject. Even points that were painstakingly disproven in past threads (e.g. concerning the details of how sports are funded) will be confidently posted again, often by the same people who saw their points refuted previously.

Alohajrtennis 05-03-2012 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ClarkC (Post 6506004)
Prediction: This thread will likely go on for 20 pages with nothing being said that was not already said in other threads on the subject. Even points that were painstakingly disproven in past threads (e.g. concerning the details of how sports are funded) will be confidently posted again, often by the same people who saw their points refuted previously.

That could be said about 90% of the topics under discussion at any given time..may as well shut down the forum..everything's already been discussed..

treeman10 05-03-2012 09:08 PM

.......................

Keysmickey 05-04-2012 03:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JLyon (Post 6505792)
Really so the coach should take players then that guarantee that the team finishes last every year in the Pac-12 or never have a chance to be competitive against Stanford, USC, UCLA, etc... I also guarantee you would careless if she got fired because her team could not compete year in and year out.
Coaches are paid to win so if she can not get a Top 50 or so girl to come play then she must look for the best talent out there regardless of nationality.

Yikes. Did you respond to anything I actually said or just your inferences? I said she sounds like she is rationalizing and enabling her desire to not find and recruit great American players who may be able to help her program but don't reside in the five star strata. They are certainly out there but she obviously prefers to recruit a few Americans out of her league, get rejected and go international.

floridatennisdude 05-04-2012 04:15 AM

Sigh....just another thread about the obvious. We aren't good enough to provide schools with top level athletes. Rather than working hard, we'll just change the rules until we are good enough.

Sports is a business folks, and no school wants to throw money at a doormat program. They'd prefer to eliminate the sport than to habitually lose.

Misterbill 05-04-2012 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ClarkC (Post 6506004)
Prediction: This thread will likely go on for 20 pages with nothing being said that was not already said in other threads on the subject. Even points that were painstakingly disproven in past threads (e.g. concerning the details of how sports are funded) will be confidently posted again, often by the same people who saw their points refuted previously.

Spot on. And the fact that this was re-started in the Junior forum instead of in the College forum speaks volumes.

EDIT: Thanks to mods for moving this from the Junior forum to the College forum

OneTennisParent 05-04-2012 06:01 AM

No issue with foreign competition. Big issue with tax dollars going to foreigners. Why not welcome any foreign player who can help the team, but on their own dime, not the public dole. Or even limiting foreign scholarships to 50%? I understand that private colleges would have a big advantage, but that doesn't mean we should just accept it. Sometimes the right thing is detrimental, but you do it anyway.


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