No, this is not an article about the new NCAA Rules. I may do one in the near future, as that is a hot topic. Unfortunately,almost all of the conversation has been one sided and I won’t do anything until people who like the new rules at least get a chance to air their views too. This article is about the loss of so many men’s college tennis programs.
On November 15th, the University of Maryland announced that it was cutting several sports, among them was Men’s Tennis. We are talking about an ACC team here, one of the premier college sports leagues in the country, dropping it’s Men’s Tennis program. The ACC has recently signed a deal with ESPN which pays each of it’s schools 17 million dollars a year so it’s hard to imagine there isn’t any money there for tennis. If a school that gets $17 million a year for TV rights can’t afford to keep Men’s Tennis going, how can we expect a school like Williams or Bates to keep Men’s Tennis (NOTE: I used these names randomly. Neither program seems to be in any danger of being dropped).
Locally, we experienced the same thing more than 15 years ago when the University at Albany (then SUNY Albany) dropped it’s Men’s Tennis team.
Earlier this year the College of Idaho dropped it’s Men’s Tennis program as did Jacksonville University.
University of California at Riverside is considering dropping it’s Men’s Tennis program in favor of Women’s Sand Volleyball. They decided, at the end of May, to keep the program for another year while they decide it’s ultimate fate.
On July 21, 2011 East Stroudsburg sent out the following press release:
ESU dropping men’s tennis
East Stroudsburg University has dropped varsity men’s tennis beginning immediately, the school announced Thursday.
One of the university’s longest-standing sports, the program debuted in 1929-30 and claimed a share of 10 Pennsylvania Conference championships from 1961 through 1977. The program won 425 matches over 78 seasons and had a winning percentage of .466.
The news is not just bad news. There were four new Men’s Tennis programs established this year: Arizona Christian University, Ottawa University, Southern Utah University and University of North Dakoda
If you are interested in preserving Men’s College tennis there is something you can do to help. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is setting up an Advocacy Network for college tennis. You can sign up to be part of the efforts by filling out and submitting the form – CLICK HERE