Pepperdine Bans Post-season Play for Men's Tennis, Two Other Sports; Bouchard Named to Canada's Fed Cup Team; Paige a Two-Sport Star
Pepperdine University today banned its men's tennis, volleyball and baseball teams from post-season play this year after the school discovered irregularities in its administration of financial aid. The school has reported its findings to the NCAA, and while that governing body investigates, Pepperdine has decided to keep the three teams out of post-season competition.
The men's tennis team, ranked eighth in the country this week, has two seniors on the roster, Stuart Keplar and Alejandro Moreno, who will not get another chance at the West Coast Conference or NCAA tournament. The conference also supplied the scenario for the conference championship coming up later next month, which will decide the automatic NCAA berth, now that Pepperdine has instituted this ban.
The conference explanation mentions the baseball team is not eligible for the NCAAs, but doesn't spell that out explicitly for tennis, but I believe that's just an oversight. A ban on post-season competition would certainly be expected to include the NCAAs.
The women's tennis team at Pepperdine is not affected. It goes without saying this is a huge loss for the sport, the athletes and the program. While this seems a drastic step, if it can help in averting NCAA sanctions, it may prove to be the most prudent approach.
The complete release can be found at Pepperdine's website.
In somewhat happier college tennis news, UCLA has announced that former Bruin Marcel Freeman has been selected for induction into the ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame. There are usually 8-12 inductees every spring, and the full list has not yet been released, but individual mentions pop up here and there. Quoting from the UCLA men's tennis newsletter:
Marcel was the 1982 ITA Player of the Year and the 1982 Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year. He was a four time All-American from 1979 to 1982. The ITA Hall of Fame Enshrinement Banquet will be May 25th held during the National Championships hosted by Stanford.
Recent Copa Gerdau champion Eugenie Bouchard has been named to the Canadian Fed Cup Team, which plays Slovenia in July. The 17-year-old from Quebec, on the team for the first time, will join Rebecca Marino, Stephanie Dubois and Sharon Fichman in trying keep Canada in World Group II after a loss to Serbia in February. See the complete article from the Ottawa Citizen here.
I had heard in Mobile that Nolan Paige was playing high school basketball and this article from the USTA New England website confirms it. Paige, a junior, also plays high school tennis at Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut, and this spring the team will be going for its second straight New England Preparatory School Athletic Council "B" title. Paige won the New England section's US Open National Playoff last summer.
Speaking of the US Open National Playoffs, two of the sectional qualifying tournament entries close next week: the Southwest on Monday, April 4th, and the Eastern, which had one of the biggest draw sizes last year, on Wednesday, April 6th. See the website for more information.