Originally Posted by bluetrain4
I've never really cared much at all about foreign-born athletes playing for U.S. colleges. I still don't. It's fine with me.
But, I was just wondering, when and why did this start? Was there a particular rule that changed. Or was it just that some visionary coach saw this as a solution to be more competitive and other schools started to follow suit? I mean, it's not like it was needed. College tennis seemed to be fine. Even if the overall level was lower, it would have been lower across the board.
What was one of the first "good" (Top 30 maybe) teams to have a roster of at least half foreign athletes?
when was the turning point? I'm 39 and I remember following Big 10 tennis growing up in MN. Back then Michigan was the top team and Minnesota as often second or third. I do not remember seeing as many foreign athletes in the mid or late 80s, even early 90s. But, my memory could be failing me.
Of course there are student athletes who want to study at American universities, so it would never have surprised me that there would always be some. But, when did it become SO pervasive? And, while DI gets all the attention for this trend, isn't it just as pervasive, if not more so, in DII?
And, while we see foreign athletes in many college sports, did the trend ever catch fire in any other sport the way it did in tennis?
It exists in basically every sport other than football.
As for tennis, I'd put an approximate date of 1 year post Sampras losing the #1 ranking. Ultimately, US junior tennis tanked and foreigners passed us up in overall talent.