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Monday, November 21, 2011

Maryland President Agrees to Cut Sports Unless Eight Years of Expenses are Raised; Hodge Joins John Roddick's Staff at Oklahoma; More NLI Signings

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh announced today that he is supporting the recommendation of the President's Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to drop eight sports, including men's tennis. There is one small glimmer of hope in the announcement-- it gives the teams until June 30 of 2012 to raise the money to save themselves, but the requirement that they come up with eight years of funding makes it an extremely difficult task. According to the Washington Times, the men's tennis and women's water polo teams are paired for Title IX reasons, and the two teams together would need to raise over eight million dollars to survive. That seems unlikely, and it must be noted that in the last two major men's Division-I programs to face a similar challenge, neither Colorado nor Arizona State were able to raise the money. Arizona State's wrestling team, targeted for elimination at the same time as the men's tennis team, was reinstated, although I'm not sure the donation goal was quite as high.

For the complete President's letter, see the University of Maryland website.

Bo Hodge, the former Georgia All-American who was the assistant men's coach at the University of Alabama, has accepted a similar position at the University of Oklahoma under John Roddick. Hodge, who was a top junior, was a contemporary of John Roddick's younger brother Andy. Roddick's previous assistant, Silviu Tanasoiu, was named head coach at Cornell University this fall. For the full release, with details of Hodge's junior, college and professional career, see soonersports.com.

The National Letter of Intent signing announcements continue, and here are the ones I've come across in the past two days:

Alabama: Becker O'Shaughnessey, Filippos Tsangaridis and David Vieyra
Florida: Gordon Watson
Georgia Tech: Garrett Gordon
Louisville: Austin Siegel and Colton Buffington
Kentucky: Beck Pennington
Texas Tech: Felipe Soares
Utah: Rafael Davidian
Vanderbilt: Kristofer Yee
Washington: Michael Chamerski and Hudson Barnhart

North Carolina: Whitney Kay and Ashley Dai
Vanderbilt: Courtney Colton, Frances Altick and Georgina Sellyn
Northwestern: Alicia Barnett
Iowa: Annette Dohanics and Caitlin Hindmarsh