Now that the U.S. Open has come and gone, do you feel a void? Would you like to watch some live outstanding tennis and not even have it cost you a dime? How about bringing your children and having them watch great tennis close up?
There are a number of colleges and universities on Long Island with great players and great facilities. You can benefit yourself, your children and believe it or not, the college teams, and it won’t cost even a penny.
I am sure that many of you are unaware of the fact that many college tennis teams throughout our country have been eliminated.
“Between 1970 and 1980 there were only a half dozen college tennis programs eliminated in the United States. In 2008, there was double that number dropped in the one year and this year—with half of 2009 remaining—that number looks to get larger. The alarming fact is that it's the NCAA Division I programs—the ones that should be the most popular with the most supporters—which are beginning to be consistently hit by the cuts. Last year, a number of Division I schools lost college tennis teams, including highly-touted Arizona State. And this year, programs were cut at Indiana State and the University of Tennessee-Martin.”
Rutgers in New Jersey lost their men’s tennis team. Part of the reason, I am sure is that tennis does not bring in any revenue to a school, so it becomes expendable. The women’s teams often survive because of Title IX (Equity for Men’s and Women’s Sports). Another reason for the demise of collegiate tennis (especially on the men’s side) is that there seems to be little community interest. Parents of players, who live in close proximity, usually show up, but if a Long Island student from California or Norway plays, their family likely won’t be there to support the players or the team.
So, let’s all get behind collegiate tennis and reap the benefits of watching some truly great matches.
Go to the Web sites of some of our local Long Island schools and find their schedules. Then, pack a lunch and go out and enjoy watching some really great tennis.
Adelphi University www.adelphi.edu
Dowling College www.dowling.edu
Hofstra University www.hofstra.edu
Long Island University www.liuathletics.com
<p>Sunny Fishkind is assistant coach of Hofstra University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams, and College Representative on the USTA/Long Island Board. She may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org ?subject=Re%3A%20Long%20Island%20Tennis%20Magazine">email@example.com. </a></p>