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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Golding Writes About US Open Junior Title; Ivy League Athletic Admissions Explained

A few days ago, the Telegraph published a first-person account by British 18-year-old Oliver Golding, which is centered around his US Open boys championship in September. Golding did not play a junior event after winning the title in New York, concentrating instead on the Futures circuit, where he has had notable success in doubles, winning four titles in the past four months with four different partners. His ATP ranking is now 643 in singles and 477 in doubles.

Although I don't recall hearing about it at the time, Golding reveals that his coach, Gustavo Perino, was killed in an auto accident in Mexico during Wimbledon, which understandably cost him his concentration during the junior event there. He reveals he had food poisoning early in the tournament in New York--for the second time in three years--but because of the all the rain, had sufficient time to recover. And he had another close call with his orthodontic plate, needing to go to the hospital when his tongue got caught in it, making for a very dramatic couple of weeks for the former child actor.

He doesn't have anything good to say about the trip out to Sound Shore, where two rounds were played on Thursday, calling the organization "shambolic" (a popular British word for chaotic). Golding doesn't quite have all his facts straight however, saying that if he had won at the Grade 1 in Canada the week before the US Open Juniors, he would have had to play consecutive days. The finals are on Saturday there, and although the USO juniors do start on Sunday, the finalists are always given Monday first round matches.

Golding also interpreted the indoor move to his advantage, saying his third round opponent, Bjorn Fratangelo is from Miami and probably had never seen an indoor court before, while Fratangelo, who winters in Naples on the other side of Florida, grew up in Pittsburgh, playing indoors.

He's been playing in Turkey recently, and has little good to say about the conditions there, which probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who regularly attends ITF Men's Circuit tournaments, although I think the Pro Circuit Futures here in the United States are likely to be superior to those in less affluent and established tennis countries.

And speaking of affluence, the New York Times published an interesting piece today by Bill Pennington on intercollegiate athletics in the Ivy League (thanks to @ustacollege10s for the heads up on this article). I have heard about the mysterious "AI" before, but this is the first detailed explanation I have ever read, and I probably need to read it again to truly understand it. Because it is very specifically related to the admission standards for athletes, including tennis players of course, as all the Ivies field men's and women's teams, it doesn't delve into the cost. The Ivy League offers no athletic scholarships, but their financial aid packages are often superior to any athletic scholarship, and I've heard Division I men's college coaches say it is often more expensive for a player to go to a public university than to an Ivy League school if the parents are typically middle class.


ivysports said...

It is no secret that the Ivies from Harvard to Dartmouth drop the academic standards significantly to admit top athletic recruits, which too many of us with Ivy degrees is a sham. What happens in these highly selective schools with a less than 10% admit rate is truly excellent students with the potential to be top brain surgeons or engineers etc. with 4.0 averages, and a string of 5s on all their APs, nearly perfect SATs, get rejected in favor of admitting an athletic recruit who simply not the same academic caliber and takes easy courses to graduate. Coaches end up making the admissions decisions giving their spots to the most qualified top athlete who they can squeak through admissions. I can’t imagine how low the bar goes for football or for Duke’s basketball. These schools are not hot beds to produce great athletes, but noted institutional institutions of higher learning. Oxford and Cambridge and other world class institutions do not drop standard for athletics and just don’t get why my Alma Marta does. I am not being arrogant but feel very strongly these top academic intuition should not give up these coveted places to athletes who simply do not meet the academic standard, and in some cases dont even come close, which is typically 2250 to 2400 on the SAT not 1800.

Jerry said...

I suppose you can back up your comments with some sort of a proof or actual statistical data?
UK does not have college athletics on the US scale, therefore you citing Oxbridge is not really relevant.
You have to admire Ivy athletes as they do not get slack in their courses, still practice many hours a week, and do not get respect from other students.
BTW it is Alma Mater (Columbia grad then, I suppose), etc., but let's assume here these are 'typos'. And yes, you are being arrogant.