Thank you for that insightful post drfrank, as well as Clark and andfor. Yes, the post I made yesterday was definitely in a moment where I was in a mood that gave me a chip on my shoulder...you see, for the second consecutive year we had a highly ranked d3 school not give what I felt was their best effort against us (last year was Chicago, who was around #10 at the time, who I am aware ended around #30).
Drfrank, let's continue this discussion. I see from your post history that your son attends an upper d3 school, and that may make your biased. I am clearly biased as well given that I could not be happier with the choice I made to go to UW-Green Bay in terms of college tennis, and feel that I had just about the best college tennis experience possible. (Well, I imagine Steve Johnson and Daniel Nguyen probably had a good time winning those 4 national titles.... but, it's all relative!)
Let's try to put our biases aside and talk about the positives and negatives of both sides. Here, in my mind, are the huge positives of playing for an upper level d3:
1. Compete for a national championship.
2. National recognition.
3. Better academic name.
4. Compete for individual titles as well (depending on how good you are).
Now let's say, for comparison's sake, someone who is a mid-level 4 star. They have a few different options. They can excel at one of these d3 schools, compete for national titles, and the other positives I mentioned above.
Another option they have is to play for "StateU" as you mentioned in your post on another thread. This is a fair point; a lot of players at this level are risking riding the bench all 4 years if they go to one of the big conference schools.
Being fresh off my college tennis experience, I can say that it goes by WAY too quickly, and if you had to sit on the bench even one year, that would seem like you're missing out on so much.
So here are some reasons why I think that same level 4 star player should look at a mid major like UW-Green Bay, for example.
1. Chance to get nationally ranked in d1. As a team, this is the goal this year, and it would be first time in school history. In individuals, I would not be surprised if Michael Tenzer pulled it off in tomorrow's rankings for the first time in school history.
2. Chance to compete against the best of the best in college tennis. You don't get to play ITA regionals against Ohio State's best players if you play at a d3 school. This gives you such a great opportunity to maximize your tennis abilities as well.
3. Play for your conference championship. This isn't quite as big as playing for the d3 national title since there is obviously less recognition, but it's still something you shoot for all year round. Lots of midmajor teams treat their conference championships as the Super Bowl (we sure do.)
And last, but certainly not least.....
4. Financially, it is such a sound decision. When upper d3 schools can cost upwards of $50k per year for tuition alone, this can pack a kid with so much debt that they better make a TON of money someday if they ever want to pay it off. Because of the scholarship I got to attend Green Bay, I am graduating in May with absolutely no debt, and my Business degree gives me the opportunity to do anything I want to do in the business world, as long as I perform well enough at my job. I think a lot of kids don't realize this at age 18, but I know at 22 I am incredibly thankful I made the decision I made. I know that I wanted to go Big Ten, but my parents leaned me much more toward Green Bay knowing what a great decision it would be for my future off the court. After having such an amazing experience on the court that culminated in the team's first ever NCAA experience, it is absolutely something I'd recommend to anyone.
Midmajor d1 schools do not get the respect they deserve on this board, imo...and that is why I am here. There is a lot to be said for getting an undergrad degree with no debt.