Monday, November 16, 2020

Sarah Hamner is Tougher Than You; Dozens More D-I National Signings; Accusations Surface at LSU, Missouri

With the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl back-to-back, and with Carson and the Easter Bowl back-to-back, I've seen my share of impressive doubles, where players are required to go from one major final to another important tournament's first round, with little time to celebrate, reflect or relax.  But in my 15 years of covering junior tennis, I don't think I've ever seen anyone who played two finals one day, then was required to play two more qualifying matches the next. That describes what Sarah Hamner did during the two-week stretch of ITF Grade 4 tournaments in Florida. That she went on to win the singles title at the second of the two events is even more impressive, capping a stretch of 16 singles and six doubles matches in 14 days. I talked to Hamner, who signed with South Carolina last week, and her coach Michael Joyce, about how and why she undertook that challenge for this Tennis Recruiting Network article

Many of the major Division I programs have announced their signings since I posted my first review of them last Wednesday. As mentioned then, if a signee's country is not given, they are from the US.


Carl Emil Overbeck of Denmark and Alex Chang have signed with Cal-Berkeley 

JC Roddick has signed with Central Florida. Andy Roddick's nephew will play for his uncle John Roddick. 

Jake and Connor Krug have signed with Duke. The Krug twins are grandsons of ESPN's Dick Vitale.

Thomas Paulsell and Miguel Perez Pena of Spain have signed with Georgia.

Gabrielius Guzauskas has signed with Illinois.

Felix Nordby of Norway and Max Bengtsson have signed with Northwestern.

Linus Carlsson Halldin of Sweden has signed with Pepperdine.

Lui Maxted of Great Britain has signed with TCU.

Michael Ross and Siim Troost have signed with Vanderbilt. Troost, from Estonia, will transfer from the discontinued men's program at Minnesota.

Matt Harper of Australia and Frank Thompson have signed with Virginia Tech. Thompson is the son of head coach Jim Thompson. 

Jacob Sleight and Nedim Suko have signed with Washington.


Mary Grace Armistead and Kayla Meraz have signed with Arizona.

Giulia Morlet of France has signed with Arizona State.

Stephanie Sanchez of Venezuela and Muskan Mahajan have signed with Boston College. 

Betina Tokac of Turkey and Carline Pozo have signed with Colorado.

Lidia Gonzalez of Spain has signed with Kentucky.

Julia Fliegner and Sophia Fornaris have signed with Michigan. 

Carson Tanguilig has signed with North Carolina.

Yashna Yellayi, Carrie Beckman and Nibedita Ghosh have signed with Notre Dame. I wrote about Ghosh's commitment for Tennis Recruiting Network last month. 

Sydney Pratt and Kiley Rabjohns have signed with Northwestern. I wrote about Pratt's commitment for Tennis Recruiting Network back in March.

Savannah Broadus has signed with Pepperdine.

Allison Zipoli has signed with Rice.

Minchae Kim of the Netherlands has signed with Rutgers.

Allura and Bella Zamarripa have signed with Texas. 

Brooke Theis has signed with Tulane.

Elaine Chervinsky has signed with Virginia. 

Maxine Murphy has signed with Washington State.

USA Today published an investigative article today entitled "LSU mishandled sexual misconduct complaints against students, including top athletes" that relates to two women's tennis players and the program's head coaches Julia and Mike Sell.

The Missourian, the University of Missouri's student newspaper, published an investigative article yesterday entitled "MU tennis players say coaches told them to play through injuries, ignore NCAA rules." The article details multiple issues within the women's program(there is no men's program), which is now on its third coach since 2015. 


SeminoleG said...

Not Surprising and Honestly you gotta ask, "Is this all?"

1 - For all those that want "parents to sit on the side," I give you this and other examples that scream NCAA & Member institutions seem to falter at dealing with "out of sport" issues. Tell us again why parents shouldn't be a key component of their child's careers? Tells us again how the coaches "got this?"

2- Coaches - the players know. if you think "your" issues are staying in house, YOU ARE MISTAKEN! LSU (rumors) were all over the place.

3- Saw this as a Recruiter, where Parents acquiesced to the institutions. They have a prime objective and some are not looking after the best interest of your child.

We cannot ignore that these are allegations, but given Baylor earlier this year gotta ask where is the accountability.

BUT the NCAA tows a hard line against UMass... Go figure....

Lou Performance Coach said...

Very sad to see that Ms. Hamner had no one to keep her from herself. Many teen athletes will over do it if you allow them to. As a trainer of elite athletes for the past 32 years, it was painful to read how many matches she played. Its not that she could, its that she should not have. At age 17, the damage done could be lifelong. I have seen quite a bit of arthritis from one grueling 8 week season of a teen.

A 17 year old has no idea and her parents and coach should have stopped her. 16 matches over 14 days can do lasting damage to the back and joints. There were 2 sisters from Romania who did something similar at age 16 in several EU tournaments. One started having back issues a year later, then compensated causing knee issues, retired by age 22. The other is still playing but looks like a 75 year old man when she first gets up in the morning. Another case is basketball phenom Zion Williamson. His dad says he let him play 3-4 games per day when young and now his injuries are causing concern at age 20. This is not something to be celebrated.

Tolerant in California said...

I am not sure what having a parent part of the child's career has to do with player being raped or a player being forced to play with injury while away at college? The parent can relocate to where the child is playing, but you are not going to be there everyday to see what is really going on and most children want the separation. The other issue is the way kids communicate in teen years, hard to get anything out of them about what they really think (or that is how it is for me and parents I know), terrible stories though.

The other problem is most parents are a major pain to coaches, often just focused on their child and not the team, and see their player through rose colored glasses. Parents these days for most part micro manage their kids academics and athletics, and often the children are not prepared to keep going without parents taking care of everything for them. There is also a huge burnout factor for many kids by the time they get to college, many have played so much by the time they get to college and realize its just more grinding on the tennis court when they get there. They have reached goal of scholarship and it may not be what they thought it would be, just a lot more tennis.

All the stories on this site of players cheating and working the UTR system are tolerated if not planned out by the parents. Sorry but there are lots of great parents out there, but there are also a lot of parents who are huge problems and most kids who cheat and behave badly have parents that are issues.

If you have options as a recruit you need to interview former players who played for coach and get real scoop, many players and parents go for best possible school, but don't dig deep for best fit and make sure coach is good person who looks out for best interest of your child. One interesting thing about the Missouri story is that it seems the coach was well liked and something changed (maybe felt pressure for job after multiple losing seasons) and then added extra illegal practices and encouraged playing hurt

SeminoleG said...

@Tolerant in California I think you missed my point. No parent or Coach can PREVENT any bad act, BUT the parents are most times the best advocate when that bad act needs to be addressed. Good & Bad Parents and Coaches exists everywhere and I am not painting a broad brush on either, BUT the insistence that coaches hold the key and parents are an impediment is BS. Coaches inherently have to protect their interest and that usually leaves the kid out in the cold, and parents picking up the pieces. I’ll take an overbearing parent over any coach any day when dealing with young athletes. Of course some parents can be over the top, but if that was the LSU Coaches daughter or the Missouri coaches kid the issues would have been addressed.

As far as UTR, well it is flawed and some coaches are just a bit to captured by what it should be to take time and look at the complete picture. Not sure why winning 1st round in a few events, is given more weight than making a QF, or SF. Used to be how deep you went in a tournament meant something. So when you make it about this ONE MATCH, you end up with what we see in UTR Events.

YES - every player/parent/coach should make sure they speak to ex-players and alumni before you sign. Would you buy a car unseen?