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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tiafoe, Opelka Join Murray and Djokovic at MSG Exhibition; Nefve Feature; Coaching at Poverty Level; Alternative DI Men's College Rankings; DIII Team Indoor Starts Friday

The seventh annual BNP Paribas Showdown at New York's Madison Square Garden is scheduled for Monday March 3, as a part of World Tennis Day. This year's participants are Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, the McEnroe brothers and the Bryan brothers, along with two US juniors just added to the exhibition--Francis Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka.

Tiafoe and Opelka will likely play each other prior to the start of the competition between the bigger names. The Showdown does not always include junior players, but Sloane Stephens, Denis Kudla and Nicole Gibbs have participated in the past. The complete release is here.

The Sun-Times' Hinsdale, Illinois section provided this feature on Axel Nefve, one of the four US boys who made the trip to Europe for the Nike Teen Tennis and Les Petits As tournaments in January. According to the article, Nefve was returning "home" for the latter, because he was born in France and lived near Roland Garros until he was six years old.

No one expects college coaches of non-revenue sports to earn what their football and basketball colleagues command, but this Santa Cruz Sentinel article, headlined "Poor Sports", shows just how dire the situation is for some of them at Division III UC-Santa Cruz.

Coaches made up three of California's five highest-paid employees in 2012. Each earned at least $1.9 million annually to lead nationally prominent NCAA Division I programs rich with boosters and sport history.

UC Santa Cruz men's tennis coach Bryce Parmelly, meanwhile, made $19,856 without benefits that year while living in a carpeted garage with two space heaters, a small couch and a mattress on the floor.

Parmelly resigned this fall after two years at the program's helm, citing the lack of a living wage. His salary is typical for most coaches at UCSC -- which features 14 teams that compete at the NCAA D-III level. Slugs coaches find themselves at the other end of the pay scale from their D-I brethren despite handling a workload they say is equal to, if not greater than, their higher-paid counterparts.

I would add that this is not just a D-III vs D-I problem, but one that extends to many non-revenue sports, including tennis, in all divisions.

Two alternatives to the ITA men's team rankings have been released. CollegeTennisOnline has Ohio State No. 1 and USC No. 2, as do the ITA and TexasCollegeTennis.com. Not content to ranking the Top 25 or the Top 75, Texas College Tennis ranks every Division I program.

The Division III Men's Team Indoor begins Friday at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, with Kenyon the defending champions and Washington University the top seed in the eight-team field. The draw, preview and live updates can be found at the ITA tournament page. Another detailed preview, with predictions, can be found at division3tennis.com.


College Fan said...

Colette, Do you know how many recent college players (past 3-5 years) have won a Challenger doubles title? It seems like it is a large number. In recent weeks, Kevin King, Jarmere Jenkins and Sanam Singh/Saketh Myenini have all won tournaments.