Today is the first day of 2014 that seniors can sign National Letters of Intent (August 1 ends the 2014 signing period), and the Tennis Recruiting Network will be providing signing announcements throughout this week. For those just getting started in the process of college recruiting, TRNet today published a helpful article from the NCAA Eligibility Center that contains links to guides, online courses, videos and Power Point presentations that address most situations a prospective student-athlete encounters. I can't stress enough how important it is that coaches, players and parents are familiar with the timing and language of college recruiting, and the academic requirements that are so important to every high school student, whether they are studying online or in a traditional school environment.
The NCAA has announced several rule changes that will take effect when expected approval comes from the board on April 24. Effective August 1, Division I student-athletes "can receive unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletics participation, the Legislative Council decided Tuesday. The rule, which applies to walk-ons as well as scholarship student-athletes, is an effort to meet the nutritional needs of all student-athletes."
For the NCAA release, click here.
Stefan Kozlov has been blogging for the ITF Junior website. In the three installments, the last of which was published today, the 16-year-old Floridian has written about his training (which is split between the USTA and his father Andrei), his performances in the finals of the Orange Bowl and Australian Open Juniors, his experience hitting with and competing against established pros, and his goals for 2014, which include a junior slam title.
Bencic, who won the girls title at Roland Garros last year, will be in the main draw this year. The French Open entry lists have been published, with seven US men and 11 US women receiving direct entry. The men are: John Isner, Bradley Klahn, Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Jack Sock and Michael Russell. The women are: Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Alison Riske, Varvara Lepchenko, Christina McHale, Vania King, Lauren Davis, CoCo Vandeweghe and Anna Tatishvili, who just changed her country affiliation from Georgia to the United States last week.
The men's complete entry list is here. The women's complete entry list is here.
Stephanie Myles of the Open Court blog has an update on former USTA National Coach Hugo Armando, whom you may have seen in the doubles draw of the Sarasota Challenger, even though the ATP lists him as inactive. Armando has an academy in Bradenton, just north of Sarasota, which is probably all the explanation needed for why he played for the first time since 2008.