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Monday, August 11, 2014

Why I'll No Longer be Covering Division I College Tennis

                    UCLA celebrates after claiming men's NCAA team title in 2005

I fell in love with college tennis at the 2005 men's team championship match in at Texas A&M, when UCLA came from 3-1 down to defeat defending champion Baylor. It was thrilling stuff, and my first exposure to the drama and excitement of the college team game.  That was the last of the NCAA team championships played at separate sites for men and women; the following year at Stanford it was a combined event and has remained that way since, and I have covered those in person for nine straight years. The first two days of the NCAAs are the most grueling of any for me as a journalist, with eight matches each day from 9 am to often near midnight, but the chance to see the best 16 men's and women's college teams in the country over a two-day period makes up for the fatigue. I am regularly asked which is my favorite tournament and the NCAAs, team and individual, is always at or near the top.

That's why it's painful for me to say that I won't be covering Division I college tennis if it uses the current format announced last week by the NCAA, ITA and USTA.  I will not bore you with all the personal and philosophical reasons I don't like no-ad tennis, which I see regularly in doubles play at ITF Junior Circuit events. I will just say that the deuce-ad part of the game is the sport's essence to me, and remains so at all other levels of the game. (Even in third-set tiebreakers, a two-point advantage is required). The tense 19-minute game between Marin Cilic and Roger Federer last week in Toronto, in which Cilic saved six match points, does not exist in the no-ad format, nor will college tennis again produce a riveting final game like that of the women's team championship last year, when UCLA's Kyle McPhillips and North Carolina's Caroline Price played a 15-minute seven-deuce game, with Price saving three match points before McPhillips held to deliver the team title.

The drive to change the NCAA Division I Tennis format has been going on for more than two years, and the ITA's operating committee's decision to adopt no-ad is a result of pressure from the NCAA and several high-profile athletic directors to make college tennis "relevant." Seeing lacrosse and softball and even college bowling on ESPN, there is a fear that tennis, especially men's tennis, is threatened with extinction, so this is the committee's response to that threat.

I am not an expert on the governing structure of the ITA, but I do know, because I have spoken to them in person, that many coaches, both in Top 10 schools (some of whom are on the operating committee) and mid-majors, do not feel their concerns and voices were heard in this process. They believe the choices they were given when surveyed were not adequate to the gravity of the decision.  The women's coaches are particularly upset with the process, and I was told by the ITA's David Benjamin that the one women's operating committee vote against the format was by its chair, Shelia McInerney of Arizona State, who objected, he said, to the shortening of the doubles. More than 172 Division I schools (a majority of those offering women's tennis) have signed a petition asking to delay the implementation of the new no-ad format, the clinch-clinch, (which will leave many of the top players' matches unfinished), and the paring of doubles to one no-ad set, with a tiebreaker at 6-all.  Not all of those signing the petition are against all of these changes, but they do feel their voices were not heard and a membership vote should be required for such a major change.

It goes without saying that the student-athletes most affected by this change were not consulted, because they do not have a seat on the ITA's operating committees, nor on the NCAA's Division I Tennis Committee.  I was told that a survey of players at the ITA men's Indoor in February revealed 80 percent of the singles participants and 85 percent of the doubles participants were against no-ad scoring.  Ohio State's Ty Tucker, whose team won its first national team title at the Indoor with the format, is not a proponent of it, despite that success, and the obvious advantage it gives a team with a big-serving, indoor-type game.

My question on no-ad to the top amateur junior boys at Kalamazoo produced a range of responses, from vehemently against to mildly against, but I fear the format change will provide a reason for top juniors to avoid college, even when so many positives remain. I spoke to several parents of top juniors last week and they too are dismayed by the decision, sharing my position that the standard tennis advantage format is superior to what one parent referred to as "this watered-down thing."

Having heard the men's Indoor in Houston was well-received and therefore seeing this dual match format change coming, I had almost convinced myself to try covering no-ad for one year. But the decision to play that format at the individual NCAA tournament and the fall ITA majors, none of which have any relevance to the length and difficulty of televising or promoting a dual match, was the last straw for me.  I am relieved that the American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open September 4-6 will feature traditional scoring, which gives me a chance to see collegians use it one last time.

I spend my own money, earned from your donations, from advertising on my site, and from freelance work, to attend ITA and NCAA events. Unlike junior tournaments, where my husband is often provided a hotel room in exchange for working as a tournament site official, I have no way to economize at college events, with airfare, food and accommodations all out of my own pocket. I have subsidized my college expenses with other work because I loved it, but with no-ad, I will no longer be getting the product that made me willing to spend so much time and money to cover it. Division III has retained its traditional-scoring format for many years, with all three doubles matches played out, making their duals best of nine points, not seven, and yet somehow they have avoided these issues. So in addition to continuing, or even increasing, my coverage of junior tennis, I may add Division III coverage, most likely at the NCAA championships in May. I will still follow Division I tennis here on Zootennis, but will not travel to do so, similar to how I cover the ITF Futures circuit here.

This post should not be construed as a campaign against this change, although I am in full agreement with Paul(no relation), who left this comment on zootennis.com last week.  I am not privy to the pressures, both economic and political, that may have led some coaches to believe a change this drastic is necessary.  I hope against hope that it succeeds in drawing the casual fans without alienating the serious ones, in getting more TV or streaming exposure, and in keeping college tennis as an option for those with professional ambitions. Two of the best coaches in the country--Manny Diaz at Georgia and Peter Smith at Southern California--are proponents of the change. A letter they, along with men's operating committee chair Billy Pate of Princeton, wrote to their fellow coaches can be found here.  Here is the ITA's announcement and its FAQ.  Lisa Stone of Parenting Aces devoted her weekly call-in internet radio show to the topic today, and it featured comments from Chuck Kriese, Lin Loring, Gene Orlando, Rob Hubbard, Peter Smith and me. You can listen to the show here.  Lisa also has published the email she has written to NCAA president Mark Emmert, with his contact information on her post on the topic.

The one vote against the change on the ITA men's operating committee came from Virginia's Brian Boland.  I asked him for his comments.  I will close this post with his response:

"I have voted against these absurd changes every single time. It hurts our game, I am fine with the no-ad in doubles, but this hurts us. The college coaches want to skip the hard work to get people engaged. This is not the answer at all. I am beyond disappointed.  We need great leadership in the greatest game on earth.  If we locate great leadership, anything is possible, but changing the traditions of our great game is not the answer. 

Coaches need to get after putting people in the stands like some of us have through hard work and commitment. If coaches believe changing the way we play the game is going to put fans in the stands, they are dreaming. Hard work is going to put fans in the stands, not changing the great traditions of our game. 

To stop matches at 4 (the clinch-clinch change) is absolutely counterproductive to developing a player. I have never stopped any of our matches at 4 unless forced, because I do not believe in it. The more matches these young men play the more productive for their development; they need to finish their matches even if the team match is over. I am concerned a couple of my guys will only play 2 or 3 matches to completion next spring. How is that positive for their development?

I went to the College World Series (in Omaha) to support my good friend and neighbor and several of the games lasted over four hours, but I doubt they're looking to go to six innings. They respect their game and have tremendous leadership. The atmosphere was amazing. The solution is to find a final site that can accommodate the number of teams (at the NCAAs). We have a circus-like atmosphere now and this like swallowing a pill to fix our problems.

I am beyond disappointed and I appreciate your strong stance against it. I would have been much more vocal, but I have been overseas."


Joe said...

I'm sure you will get off your soapbox and cover D1 tennis, since it will continue with or without you Colette. Regardless what you may want to believe, it's still the most exciting venue in tennis.

College Tennis Fan said...

Have you ever watched D3 tennis? High school tennis in Rhode Island is higher caliber than that. Most of the kids, and over 40 adults on D3 teams, didn't start playing until after high school. They are 2.5 level players at best.

Colette Lewis said...

Yes, I live in Kalamazoo, so I have watched D-III tennis. I have no illusions that it will match the D-I level, but I think you are drastically underestimating it.

what's left? said...

What will you cover if junior tennis eventually moves to No Ad?

Colette Lewis said...

I guess I will just cross that bridge when I come to it. I haven't heard that's on the ITF's agenda, so I think I'm safe for a while.

Bazinga said...

Steve Moore of Texas A&M Corpus Christi sent in this letter.  It is worth reprinting...

Fellow coaches,
As we all know, it has become a top priority of our athletic directors that all sports maximize fan turn out. This is also vital to lifting college tennis to the high level we belong. We have all worked very hard at getting crowds at our matches. As we see crowd numbers increase, we have now reached the point where clear cut fan rules are needed that everyone can count on- players, fans, coaches, umpires. We cannot expect fans to come to matches if we legislate them into a box. We also do not want to continue hearing 27 different variations and versions of what the crowd can or cannot do. We need consistency we can count on, for everyone.  This way we know what to expect whether at home or on the road, with an experienced umpire or rookie. This also gives us the best opportunity to achieve three key objectives: please our athletic directors with large crowds, give our players a great student -athlete experience of a Davis Cup atmosphere with an engaged fan base, and make matches as fun as possible so fans keep coming. I have spoken with countless College coaches who agree strongly. The proposal is for three clear cut rules for fan behavior that we can all quote and count on:
1.      Fans can never be personally demeaning to a player.
2.      Fans can never use foul language or swear at a player.
3.      Fans can never interrupt play by cheering during the point.

   Outside these three rules, fans can do whatever they want, just like a volleyball game or basketball game- sports we compete with to attract fans. Fans are not allowed to swear at players or be demeaning or ugly at those events either. Sometimes those who cross those lines must be removed. We must, however, get rid of silly, unenforceable, fan detracting  rules such as no dialogue with a player, nothing can ever be said to a player or the crowd is bothering a player. This makes us more of a country club atmosphere than a college sports atmosphere. I also believe our players are mentally tough enough to handle a more engaged crowd so long as its never ugly or demeaning. The benefits of a large, engaged fan base far outweigh being occasionally annoyed by a rowdy crowd. Please consider this change to the current ITA College Tennis Match rules.

Steve Moore
Director of Tennis, Texas A&M- Corpus Christi
ITA Texas Region Chair
Posted by RM at Sunday, August 10, 2014 1 comment:

Shawn - TN said...


College tennis came alive reading your posts.
Thank you.

You serve tennis well said...

Did they ever consider only changing the format for the few matches that may be televised? The players may welcome that change up on an occasional basis. Why do they have to change the game for everyone, when only a few would ever be televised (if they ever do get televised - I think they are selling the soul of tennis without any real commitment to do so).

Understand your decision, and appreciate all you give of yourself to tennis and us fans. Frankly, I only read zootennis for the college reports, the junior stuff is the same each tournament just a new name each year....while I don't appreciate Joe's soapbox comment, I do agree that D1 is the most exciting aspect of tennis..once you have a kid on a team, you are lifelong loyal to that team and conference.

Brent said...

College Tennis Fan, you are completely detached from reality. At the low end of D3, like the low end of NAIA, and frankly the low end of D2, the quality is not great. But, at the high end, it is on par or better than many D2 programs, and D3 contains many D1 caliber players. If anything, Title IX has made D3 tennis stronger because kids realize they aren't going pro, put academics as a higher priority but still want to play tennis, and end up at D3 instead. Based on your comments, you have clearly never seen Emory or Williams or Emory or Wash U or Kenyon or countless others play. Actually, there isn't a single correct thing in your post.

College Fan said...

Colette, what about the multiple deuce game for Rubin-Mmoh at 5-5 in the 3rd of the semis? I thought you would include that as an example against no-ad. Both guys had multiple game points and Mmoh had several break point opportunities.

Do you remember who won the first deuce point? I want to say Mmoh, but I could be wrong. Imagine the different outcome in Kalamazoo if Mmoh served at 6-5, instead of cramping when serving down 5-6 in the 3rd and playing back to back multiple deuce games.

Colette Lewis said...

Yes, another example of so many. Mmoh won the 1st deuce point.

Bummer said...

That's a bummer. I'll be honest with you...if I had the time I would set up a college tennis site :). I think you should reconsider. Your site is loved and would be missed.

I know its contingent on the changes being implemented.

I have played both formats and don't particularly like no-Ad and as probably mentioned before..it makes it easier to break a dominant server. It does alter the game.

I think its delusional to expect fans to swarm and watch tennis because its not as long.

All that being said...I will still follow college tennis and hope Colette reconsiders. People can have the courage to change their minds.

agree said...

I agree with you 100%. Reducing the game of tennis to appeal to someone trying to squeeze it in a time slot is insane. The appeal of the sport is the fight and completion in matches. Part of that fight is loss when you compromise the scoring. Why not just reduce a game to the best out 3 points using that logic.

Irinmike said...

Thanks for your contribution to Division 1 college tennis. Change is always difficult, and these format changes in the collegiate game are toughest for those of us who have immersed ourselves in collegiate tennis for years. However I disagree with your premise that the ad and deuce points are the essence of tennis. EACH and every point is the essence of tennis in my mind. The shortening of the game is not going to cheapen tennis. However the idea of stopping play after a team match is clinched is a game changer as far as player development is concerned. The great game of collegiate tennis will prosper and grow, regardless of changes in format.

Joe said...

It will be interesting to see how the 'clinch' 'clinch' format skews rankings. Most of the team matches are clinched before the top two lines complete their matches. The ITA will struggle trying to figure out a new ranking system, unless players are given partial wins for leading their opponent at the time the clinch occurs.

Paul said...

The biggest concern I have with the decision of the Operating Committee is the way it was made. The specifics of the new rules were never tested, the coaches were never surveyed on the specifics of the new rules and the student athletes were never consulted.

In the Committee's press release they leave the impression that they were transparent: "ITA Executive Director David Benjamin noted that the format process undertaken by the Operating Committee was thorough, objective, and transparent. "One of the primary goals of the ITA as the governing body of college tennis is to enhance and promote the importance and visibility of the sport, and in doing so, serve the best interests of the student-athletes and coaches," Benjamin said.

They also talk about no-ad in the 1970s. They neglected to mention that we played 2 out of 3 sets of no-ad doubles in the 1970s.

I am not going to say that these statements are lies, but at the least, they are very misleading. Coaches were not consulted. Players were not consulted. The decision was just made by a select few who say "the change must be made for the good of tennis." The specifics of these rule changes were never tested. The coaches and players were never consulted.

Polling of men's and women's coaches indicates that anywhere from 70-85% of the coaches disagree with this decision. The select few on this committee think they have better vision for the game than the large majority. Time for college coaches to select a new committee and for new ITA leadership when decisions are made in this manner.

How long is a golf tournament? How does TV cover it? Did they change their game to be on TV? Get a clue. Please get someone on these committees who understands how to be a leader, knows how to communicate with their colleagues effectively and can think outside the box of "scoring" as a way to market their product.

I appreciate the comments of Brian Boland. College tennis is about development, not TV. These coaches don't want to do the hard work of marketing their product. They want TV to do it. If I was their boss, I would think they are trying to shorten their work day. Looks like they want to work less for the same amount of money.

It costs money to be on TV. You must have sponsors and ticket sales to pay for TV coverage. Filming of sports is expensive. Tennis is not there. These committees don't understand the economics of paying for television. A few programs may be able to afford it for a while, but it won't work in the long run. They must do the hard work of marketing to their fans. TV is not the way. Please get some better leaders for college tennis.

Pritz said...

Colette, thanks for your passion for college tennis. I would like to welcome that passion to the world of D3 tennis. I watched this year's championship between CMS and Amherst. It was riveting tennis, very high quality with that crazy circus like atmosphere which makes college tennis so appealing. The one singles match between Warren Wood and Joey Fritz was high level hitting. What makes D3 tennis so neat is that all the top D3 teams are among the top academic schools. The nationals is in Mason, Ohio this year...Hope to see you there, Colette

just saying said...

Joe, you make a good point. The singles/doubles ranking process will likely have to be changed.
The sample size is going to naturally decline. With the clinch rules, there will be noticeably fewer "results" for the computer to consider.

Also, using the "we played no-ad in the 70s etc. and look at the guys we produced . . ." argument is fallacious. That period was also a heyday for US tennis among other reasons that people have mentioned.

You don't hear the coaches telling you that McEnroe played no-ad at Stanford and ... 3 out of 5 sets to win the NCAA finals.

I continue to say that any system should require highly ranked (say anyone in the top 25) guys at #1 singles to play out their match to completion.

Not the same at all said...

No comparison between top D1 and D3 matches. Reminds me of people that think high school tennis juniors are the same level as USTA competing juniors. The atmosphere won't be anything like NCAAs. It may have some fun, but it won't be D1. We will miss your coverage and keeping up with who is doing what.

Too bad, the players seem to be the ones losing all around here, as usual these days. I do fear Zoo Tennis will lose fans as well but understand financially it doesn't make sense and wish you luck.

Full Support said...

I fully support your decision. The ad is so exciting and exciting to the player that works them self back to deuce and resets the game.
Stand your ground as you have.

Sure D1 will continue without Colette, she isn't so arrogant to think that it won't. That isn't the point at all. When we believe in something so strong we have to make a stand. Not making a stand for something we believe in is allowing someone else to take and keep control. Others will follow Colette in their own way and maybe this rule will be overturned. Many Many Many of us think that this is totally absurd!! #lovecollette

Kevin said...

Collette, first, thank you for all you do! As a former college tennis head coach and current teaching professional, your site is THE very first site I look at each day. I love all the work you do! Secondly, to the "boneheaded" statement about you "getting off your soapbox" does that commenter not understand what a BLOG is? I mean, come on! The shortening of the game will indeed cheapen our sport. This is not about being resistant to change, this is about keeping the tradition & integrity of our sport alive! How about we make college football play just one half and while we are at it, lets make touchdowns now only worth 4 points? How about golf just play 7 holes for a round at the NCAA tournament? The point is, tennis has a tradition and what is wrong with keeping it? If the NCAA wants to mess with the NCAA Tennis Championships for TV, then fine. But, for David Benjamin and the ITA to support this change that wasn't needed for 99% of matches, is ridiculous! He no longer represents the coaches & players in college tennis! If 80%+ of coaches and 80%+ of players do NOT agree with this drastic change, how is he representing college tennis? This action was a "backdoor", secretive decision that was made because they knew if they asked what coaches & players thought, they never would have had a majority in support! I think it is time for college tennis to put in a new ITA leader that truly represents the "constituents." Thirdly, I totally agree with what Paul wrote. There was no transparency in this process! Also, it is THE most ridiculous statement to make that "the US developed more players when college tennis was using no ad"! They were 2 of 3 sets, but more importantly, the professional game was not so international! There was no Eastern European players, the Spanish players, etc....playing then! So of course, we were turning out pros from college!

No clinch rule said...

What I don't understand is, what is the point of the clinch rule? If it's so that the televised matches fit a certain time frame, then why can't they end the broadcast when the match is clinched but still let the players finish their matches? Maybe they don't have to count towards the team score but can count towards individual singles and doubles results. Not letting potentially 3 singles matches finish hurts the development of the players, especially at schools that win most their matches 4-0 or 4-1. And ultimately this is what could drive 50/50 kids to turn pro instead of attend college. How are kids supposed to improve when they're not being allowed to finish probably their most competitive matches of the year because their team already won?

CharlestonSC said...

Coach Boland hit the nail on the head. This is pathetic and I can't believe coaches are this delusional.

If men and women can't play at the same site at the same time, then so be it. That's not necessary for a solid tennis product. It doesn't stop any other sport from having successful championships, so there's no reason it should stop tennis.

I don't think the Zoo Tennis boycott will mean much, but I understand the frustration.

Tim Seals said...

College tennis has been wretched since the changes in 1993. As a coach of high performance junior players, I can certainly no longer advise parents and students to aim to play college tennis, because this isn't tennis, it's a waste of time. The most excitement ever generated at a collegiate match was when the singles were complete and you had doubles teams competing for the win...that is what college fans relate to, TEAMWORK! College tennis is now an abomination to the sport....disgusting on all levels.

clinch rule? said...

On this 'clinch rule'...is that really being forced at all duals? Or is it just the NCAA tourney? For some reason, when I read the announcement, I thought it was just NCAA tourney.

If really clinch in all duals, that is a lot worse for the competitors than the no-ad. I get it at the NCAAs and really any bracket format; but other than that, I can't imagine fighting for my life for 2 hrs and then having the plug pulled at 4-4 in third. And to have that happen routinely?

I hope it just applies at NCAA tourney and not the duals.

22903 said...

First off, he's dominated the college fall in previous seasons and his recent futures success both indicate that he needs new "challengers." Sorry, had to. MF has nothing to gain by playing the fall college events.

Most importantly, when one plays Mitchell, his opponent needs to have he right mindset, because he will have grind all day long. MF presents both a mental and physical challenge for his opponents. Lengthy games pay off for Mitchell later on in the match. Knowing that you will now be guaranteed a shorter match benefits his opponents. Anyone who was in Athens will know that Ray Sarmiento would rather play Mitchell under the new rules. Ray was a deserving winner in two long sets. However, right as they shook hands, Ray cramped and could not even make it to the bench. He was down for 10 or 15 minutes. If you're MF, you know that if you hang in there, there is always the chance to outlast your opponent. And we all saw him comeback from an 0-6 first set to clinch the NCAAs vs UCLA. His opponents will be heartened, that a match with him now will not be nearly as taxing.

Additionally, Mitchell may not even earn a ranking next spring. He plays the longest matches of anyone on UVa's team and possibly all of college tennis. He can take a long time to win 6-2. 6-2. UVa will likely clinch 80-90% of it's matches with Mitchell registering a DNF. He may only finish a handful of matches all year. Instead of two guaranteed matches a week in the spring, he may play just two sets a week. How will that help his development?

Yes, someone will always be a casualty of any "new change" and you can't please everyone. Mitchell is certainly a unique player.

Just giving one of the reasons that Boland and UVa are against these changes.

Go Hoos!

22903 said...

Oops, I mean to lead the above post with the sentence that Mitchell Frank will likely be the top 10 player most negatively impacted by the proposed changes.

Colette Lewis said...

I will not be traveling to cover Division I tennis live. I still intend to cover it and its players, which I mention in the post.

Colette Lewis said...

@clinch rule?

My understanding is that these changes are for all duals, although it may be possible for individual conferences to decide not to do it.

get real said...

I am ambivalent about the rule change. As I stated before, unlike football, basketball or baseball, college tennis (with a few notable exceptions) has never been, and will never be a feeder for the pros. Tennis players at this critical period of development cannot develop their game or mental toughness playing two dual matches a weekend. Any top junior who has a “real” shot at becoming a top 75 ATP player needs the daily grind/demands/travel of professional play. College tennis is what is, and except for a die-hard following of parents and former college players D1 tennis will never generate the excitement to have a broad appeal or fill stands.

tony said...

I know it's been touched upon by a few who have left comments, but let's be real clear on why these real changes are taking place - The power 5 conferences now have autonomy when it comes to making rules, playing players, etc. Because of this landmark decision, schools in these conferences as well as those looking in (Big East, Atlantic 10, etc.) will be jockeying to see how they can "provide" better for their student-athletes than their biggest rival. Athletic budgets are going to really increase as a result of schools "taking care of" the "student-athletes" who participate in the revenue sports such as basketball and football. To help bridge this gap athletic directors will look to trim the fat and drop the sports that are the easiest targets (tennis, swimming and diving, cross-country, etc.). The ITA fully realizes the position they are currently in and are trying to do whatever they can to help keep the sport relevant by having it broadcast on tv as well trying to have more fans come to matches (hence the 2.5-3 hr total match time as well as the marketing ploy of the added excitement of no-ad points). While I don't agree with alot of the changes, I understand why they are taking place. We don't like change, especially when are we given no choice in the decision. In this case, change was inevitable and we must accept it for what it is.

Pritz said...

Tony's comments are right on the money. And that is exactly why Colette will not be " personally " covering D1 tennis. The changes and potential demise of D1 tennis may be inevitable which is exactly why I am drawn to top tier D3 tennis. Take in the Stag/ Hen classic at Claremont in March or the nationals at Mason, Ohio in May...Those who do may be surprised at the quality of the tennis and the passion of the participants.

Paul said...

1. TV doesn't have to cover all of a tennis match. It can start in the middle of doubles and quit when the match is clinched. The ITA didn't have to screw up doubles and make every player stop when the match is clinched.

2. There is no good reason to make such drastic changes in scoring. Tennis coaches are listening to administrators to make this decision. Neither one has a clue about how TV will cover tennis.

3. Don't make fundamental changes in your sport in the hope of a pipe dream.

4. Increase the fan base of tennis first, then consider television, and get a contract in place before you make fundamental changes in scoring.

5. Personally, I don't have a problem with no-ad. I have a huge problem with the shortening of doubles and clinch, clinch. Div. I's emphasis is no longer on developing young tennis players.

6. Parents should look harder at DIII and DII schools before sending their children to Div. I schools. Large schools with large bureaucracies can't be trusted.

7. Those of you who think that these rule changes will benefit tennis because of potential TV coverage -- have you seen or heard of any kind of agreement with TV which show any benefit to tennis? Please don't assume that administrators and coaches on these committees know what they are doing when it comes to TV contracts and coverage.

Unknown said...

I'm confused, if people will only watch tennis on tv if it is no ad, why are regular scoring grandslams plus Indian Wells and Miami making so much money for ESPN ect? Why do millions of tennis fans eagerly set aside thier entire weekends to watch regular scoring tennis at these professional events? Maybe professional tennis has missed the boat and no one has told them that the only way tennis fans will watch tennis matches is if they are no ad! Someone better hurry up and let them know!

Shawn - TN said...

I truly don't get it either. It's like saying we will get more football fans if we have 3 quarters instead of 4 quarters as the game will be shorter. I don't think any new tennis fan knows the difference between ad and no ad, and I think you will just piss off the actual tennis fans. Plus, this will discourage anyone with pro potential to actually go to college.