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Friday, May 13, 2011

My (Boring) Picks for NCAA Team Championships; First Round of Men's Tournament Complete; NJCAA Votes for Limits on Foreign Players


Part Two of the Tennis Recruiting Network's NCAA Division I roundtable was released today, and I give my very predictable prediction. Don't forget, you can win a copy of the TopSpin4 video game if you predict the finalists and winning score here on zootennis or on twitter. For instructions on the format and other rules, see last week's post.

I answered the first question about those outside of the top 16 seeds who might make it to Palo Alto, but it was left out, probably because I didn't provide any frame of reference. I picked the Minnesota men and the Arizona State women, and after one day of competition I'm already wrong. Minnesota, ranked 19th, lost 4-3 today to N0. 38 Fresno State, with the Golden Gophers one of three Big Ten teams upset in the men's first round today. I don't use the word upset with regularity, and I don't consider any of these results shocking, but there were five teams seeded third in their regions who toppled No. 2 seeds. Maryland, ranked 44th, beat Michigan, ranked 29th, 4-2, for their first win in their first NCAA tournament appearance. LSU, ranked 34th, beat No. 26 Indiana 4-3 and No. 37 Virginia Tech defeated No. 32 Vanderbilt. Ryan Lipman of Vanderbilt did not play, so I imagine his status for the individual tournament is doubtful.

The only home team to lose today was No. 20 Oklahoma, who dropped a very close decision to No. 36 Tulsa 4-2. Oklahoma was selected to host over No. 13 seed Texas, who now will not have an opportunity to avenge the shocking upset they suffered at the hands of the Sooners in last year's round of 16.

Baylor was the only top 16 seed to drop a point in the opening round; the other 15 won their matches 4-0.

There were only six matches played today in the women's first round, and all went according to seed, setting up three of the best second rounds of the tournament with Northwestern vs. Notre Dame, North Carolina vs. Washington and Texas vs. Miami. The other 26 first round matches are Saturday.

The complete bracket is available at ncaa.com.

I ran across this story in USA Today about the National Junior College Athletic Association's decision to tighten its restrictions on foreign athletes on its members' teams. Apparently scholarships to foreign players are already restricted, but that hasn't stemmed the tide, and now the organization has voted to restrict teams to 25% international. I agree with those in the article that are against this, for the reasons they give, although I will concede that the "community" part of the colleges does provide an argument. The article mentions the NCAA has opted for age restrictions to get at the problem of older, possibly professional players in their sports, but it should be noted that tennis has tightened those restrictions from the one year the article states to six months for the class of 2012.

6 comments:

5.0 Player said...

The fact that the National Junior College Athletic Association has limited the number of foreign players and foreign scholarships per team just proves the point that I and others have made on this board for the past several years which is that it is perfectly legal to do this.

The constitution prohibits discrimination against race, gender or national origin, but not residency or citizenship which is done all the time by, for example, state universities who charge out of state students higher tuition than in state students.

This also confirms that David Benjamin, the ITA President, has been flat out wrong in his repeated public statements that they can't limit the number foreign scholarships because it would be unlawful discrimination. How can someone in such an important position be so woefully misinformed?! Perhaps he wants to be misinformed so he has an excuse not to do anything.

wi tennis said...

I could be wrong, but David Benjamin was worrying about lawsuits after. Did he ever say directly that it cannot be done?

The NJCAA limits it to two internationals on scholarship, any type of aid! The rest are paying full. Do we want to limit people paying full tuition from junior colleges? Bottom line, that is revenue! Also, think of the diversity and exchange of ideas that internationals have brought to places like Tifton, Georgia or Liberal, Kansas or many other small towns across the u.s. I think their rule is good, as is. Maybe, the ncaa or naia need change, but not njcaa.

5.0 Player said...

Wi Tennis said: "I could be wrong, but David Benjamin was worrying about lawsuits after. Did he ever say directly that it cannot be done?

The NJCAA limits it to two internationals on scholarship, any type of aid! The rest are paying full. Do we want to limit people paying full tuition from junior colleges? Bottom line, that is revenue! Also, think of the diversity and exchange of ideas that internationals have brought to places like Tifton, Georgia or Liberal, Kansas or many other small towns across the u.s. I think their rule is good, as is. Maybe, the ncaa or naia need change, but not njcaa."

I agree with you that the NJCAA approach is a good one. I never had any problem with foreign players wanting to participate and paying full tuition. That is fine and there is no need to put any limits on the number of foreign players who want to participate. My only concern was all those scholarships going to foreign players which effectively takes them away from US players.

With regard to David Benjamin, the exact language in the recent BBC article is: "Limiting the amount of scholarships that are given to international players, as some coaches and officials demand, would conflict with the US constitution, says David Benjamin." So that is flatly incorrect and he should know better. He and Jon Vegosen, the USTA guy, have made similar comments in other publications or have at least implied that their "experts" tell them that this would be deemed "discriminatory" in court. Benjamin and Vegosen should know better and especially Vegosen who I understand is an attorney. They need to get competent "experts" instead of just using this "Trojan Horse" as an excuse.

If this sort of thing did violate the constitution then where are all those lawsuits against the NJCAA that they are concerned about? There have not been any and this policy was implemented a while ago. Moreover, just because someone could start a frivolous lawsuit is not something that they should be concerned about otherwise they would never be able to take any action on anything. The NCAA has tons of money and defends itself against lawsuits all the time so they should not be concerned about baseless challenges.

U.S. College Tennis is for U.S. Players said...

I ran across an article in the NCAA archives written by Blake Clifton of Davidson College that did some research on this subject of foreign tennis scholarships. He writes:

"David Benjamin, president of the Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association..., says a quota would be unconstitutional...."

In this same article Clifton later writes:

"However, in a USTA committee report entitled 'Problems and Solutions to College Tennis Scholarships and the Foreign Player,' Al Varoski claims, 'Restriction of foreign tennis players is not prohibited by the law, and this should not be an issue to keep' a quota policy from being implemented. His report is accompanied by an opinion from an attorney that quotas would be legal in such cases."

Since Clifton's article was published in 1998 this means that the USTA has apparently pretty much ignored their own USTA Committee report for at least 12 years.

Either the ITA and USTA are incompetent on this issue or they have some other unstated basis for their reluctance to limit the foreign scholarships other than legal reasons. Perhaps they are afraid that they will look "politically incorrect" if they limit the foreign scholarships but instead of admitting this they appear to continue to hide behind fake legal excuses.

Austin said...

I made my predictions, but couldnt upload them on Thursday or Friday, I will but they are at work. I've already missed a few teams heading to Stanford.

Colette Lewis said...

@Austin:
Looking forward to seeing them. Sorry about the blogger mess.