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Old 05-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #58
hound 109
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 382

Originally Posted by ClarkC View Post
Yes, but not everyone argues from the selfish perspective based on what he has at stake. Some of us just try to figure out what is true and right.

I have two sons. Older one played some college soccer, but tennis was just a second sport. Out of college now. Younger son has been recovering from injuries for 2.5 years, just starting to play again. He hopes to get on an upward path in terms of TRN rankings when he is able to play tournaments again, but he will be trying to sell college coaches on his potential, not on his ranking at the time that recruitment decisions are made, because he will likely not have enough time to get the ranking up to a really high level. That will be a tough sell. Back before the recruiting of foreign players, he might have fared better. Today's colleges that recruit 5-star players used to recruit the equivalent of 4-star players, and today's 4-star colleges used to recruit the equivalent of 3-stars, etc. He would have had a better chance back then.

So, why do I not oppose offering scholarships to foreign recruits? Because I think it strengthens college tennis, because I think that our kids need to learn to compete, because many kids report that developing a friendship on the college team with some guy from Holland or Germany was a great experience, and various other reasons. Most or all of these reasons might never affect my son in a positive way.

In the post-modern age, most people don't believe in truth any more, only self interest. They assume that everyone is just arguing out of self interest. My son has never played a national tournament and likely never will, yet I examine the threads about USTA changes to national tournaments with great interest, from the perspective of, "Will this be good or bad for American tennis?" Sometimes a comment will draw a response along the lines of, "So, your kid is probably one who will easily get into the new smaller draws, and you don't care about the rest of us, right?" Many people today cannot conceive of anyone simply seeking the good and the true. Then, when my honest opinion does coincide with my self interests (e.g. I think the legal interpretations of Title IX are a travesty, and I have two sons and no daughters), people think they have discovered your motivation. Aha! Of course you are arguing that way!

In an earlier era, people were encouraged to discuss and debate and try to get closer to the truth. Today, the schools don't have real classroom discussion of that sort very much. They have "bull sessions" where "every person's opinion is equally valuable." Just spout off your ignorance and emotion and the teacher is supposed to "validate you" with some positive feedback. As a result, no one can understand the kid who bothers to strenuously disagree with some statement that was made. The only motive they can think of is that he must be trying to make that other kid look bad in front of the teacher and the whole class. Hence, today, every disagreement is viewed as a sign of personal animosity. If you think that Nadal is the GOAT, then you are a "Federer hater," and if you think that Federer is the GOAT, you are a "Nadal hater." If you think that the second-team quarterback should be starting for your local pro football team, you are a "hater" of the starting quarterback. And so on.

While my son would likely be better off without so much foreign competition for dollars, I oppose trying to limit the foreign spots on each team. Yet, when fellow defenders of the same position claim that no tax dollars ever find their way into the athletic department, I point out that this is not true. Wait -- why did I do that? Which side am I on, anyway? Isn't that what these arguments are all about, taking sides and embracing every argument that favors your side even when it does not sound true, and rejecting every counter-argument instead of learning something from it?
We don't often agree on subjects here, (& i don't agree with all points in this post)... but this is a very nice post Clark.
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