UC Riverside Considering Cutting Men’s Tennis


Brian WickstromI would like to start off this rant by thanking UC Riverside, Director of Athletics Brian Wickstrom.  He should be my arch enemy as he is on the verge of getting rid of the men’s tennis team at UC Riverside.   I thank him because as opposed to cutting the program, he put it out for broader comment first before he started cutting.  Read his letter here.  So Thank You Brian!

At my house…we are college tennis fans.  We have a Mom who won an NCAA singles and team title and 4 boys who all excited to take their tennis skills to a great team in years to come.  Speaking only on behalf of my personal opinion, I value the education gotten from a tennis team and the comradery with the teammates more than the education gotten in the classroom.  Right now every computer in the house is on a live stat site that is giving the point-by-point UCLA versus USC scores from Georgia in the NCAA semi-finals.  We have a bunch of kids at our house and the place is going NUTZ!  One of the kids parents works at UCLA.  My wife went to both schools.  And anyone who knows about the last few matches these guys played…it was about as good of entertainment as you can find in sports!

Southern California has probably been the single biggest incubator of talent in the history of the game of tennis.  Grand Slam winners like Pete Sampras, Lindsey Davenport, Jack Kramer, Venus and Serena, Tracy Austin, Bob & Mike Bryan, Rick Leach…the list goes on and on.  I would venture to say there are probably not a lot of other better incubators for any sport!  Has one small geographical region produced more basketball players?  Football, Baseball, Golf?  Doubt it.

UC Riverside is in the Big West Conference along with schools like UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Davis to name a few.  Of the 9 schools in the Conference, only 6 of them field teams on the men’s side whereas all 9 schools field teams on the women’s side.  Thank you Title IX!!!  If Riverside drops its team, that would be a conference of 5 men’s teams.  That seems barely enough to make critical mass?  More importantly, we’re not talking some snow-belt school.  Riverside is dead center in So Cal.

Last year, Riverside was 0-5 in their conference…dead last place.  They were 6 and 18 overall.  Not exactly stellar results, but like in all sports…someone has to win and someone has to lose.

I fancy myself as somewhat of a savvy debater and this seems like the perfect situation to find some holes in Mr. Wickstrom’s thinking, tear him apart by the seams and watch him wade through the mire of his own freakish misery that I bestowed upon him.  Problem is…there aren’t any holes in his story.  Brian isn’t the problem.  He seems to be reasonable.  The school isn’t the problem.  We as promoters of the sport have failed this school, failed our sport and failed these kids.

Mr. Wickstrom says that he is looking to get rid of men’s tennis because:

  • BW:  They don’t have the money to fund it at a level to be competitive
  • SB:  Budgets are tight everywhere, I can’t argue that.  But I would add that being competitive is important.  But it is not the only value that comes from the team.  And value against long term competitiveness happens all the time in ways you don’t realize at the time.
  • BW:  Community interest in tennis and the team is low
  • SB:  I don’t know enough about the situation, but my guess is that not enough was done to promote.  Note to others…PROMOTE or find yourself in the same position as Riverside
  • BW:  They want to add women’s sand volleyball
  • SB:  Great sport – can’t argue that
  • BW:  Women’s sand volleyball costs them $150K less than men’s tennis
  • SB:  Don’t know enough to argue, but I wouldn’t doubt that a new sport costs less than I legacy based one
  • BW:  That money can be used to make other sports programs more competitive
  • SB:  Of course every sport could use more money
  • BW:  They can put more money against men’s soccer and baseball
  • SB:  Of course

If you were not emotionally attached to tennis, would you think much differently?  Probably not…But if you are reading this then you have likely drank the kool aid.

UC Riverside Men's teamSo I would add that allowing this program to be cut is NOT an option!  From the research that I have gathered, the coach is now gone on to another job and the school has been looking for a new coach.  They recruited 5 incoming freshman who are all from So Cal and who all trained for a decade to play college tennis.  They all committed to play college tennis for Riverside and Riverside committed to them that they would have a place to play.   To our knowledge no child was told that the program might be cut when they passed on their other opportunities and signed their letters of intent.

So here are my thoughts to Brian:

Open Letter to Brian Wickstrom:

Please don’t cut men’s tennis!  Make that PLEASE DON”T CUT YOUR MEN’S TENNIS PROGRAM!!!  On behalf of tennis, we commend you for putting the concept out there before implementing it, but make this one the shot across the bow and give this great sport a chance.   This is basically the most gender equivalent, diverse sport that gives fitness for life.  Brian, you have 5 incoming So Cal freshman who all committed to the school to play tennis.  The school committed to these kids a college team to play for.  Granted things change, but a public university needs to be held to a ridicules high standard. A commitment is a commitment.  I know a couple of these kids personally and can attest that they are program makers.  Julian Ruffin is one of those kids and he is an absolutely gold mine of a human being.  I have been watching him at tournaments since he was 10 and there is hardly a more good-natured, popular, talented kid going.  Again, he is a program maker!  He is a kid that the next 4 years of talent in So Cal would like to follow.

So Cal is practically the tennis capital of the world.  But still we as a sport have failed you. And failed you miserably.  We should have had those matches packed.  Quoting another So Cal tennisphile and the father of the #1 doubles team in the world, Wayne Bryan….”

“Attending one exciting college tennis match is like 30 days of practice!  Round up all the juniors and adults at your club and get in vans or a big bus and go as often as you can. Your players will return to your club more pumped than ever. They’ll be so much better the next day. They absorb so much by watching tennis played at the highest level!”
 
Or the great Dick Gould…
“Nothing beats the atmosphere of a great college team competition – the momentum ebbs and flows, the participant/coach/crowd enthusiasm, the fact that an individual sports comes alive as a true team sport – all this makes the spectacle of college tennis unparalleled!!!”

Brian, this is what you should be experiencing at Riverside.  if you will stay this team and give them a few more years, then we as a So Cal tennis community will do our best to help you fill those stands, get better recruits and start a dynasty that will continue to get kids like Julian Ruffin to come to your school!  I will personally rally So Cal troops like Wayne Bryan, Greg Hickey, Franklin Johnson et al to help give this program some traction.

Here is a closing thought by your new recruite Julian Ruffin.

“I shifted through different scholarship opportunities, considered my future, and then decided to join the Highlanders, I said “no” to other programs because I wanted to become a part of your team, your school, and your community. I spent years and years developing my discipline, hoping to attend a university someday. I understand that money is obviously a concern, but it always is.  We made a commitment to Riverside and we are all practicing daily to honor that commitment.  Please honor the commitment that was made to us and keep the program going!  This is not like cancelling a class.  We are tennis players and tennis is our life.  We chose Riverside to play tennis.   Don’t bury my fellow recruits, teammates, and dreams of playing Division 1 Tennis at Riverside.”

I welcome thoughts from the tennis community and please be respectful of Brian.  Lets rally together and get this team clicking.

Thx

Steve Bellamy

282 Responses to “UC Riverside Considering Cutting Men’s Tennis”

  1. Dallas Oliver says:

    I work with TennisRecruiting.net (TRN), a company that helps high school players connect with college tennis programs.

    I understand that UC Riverside is considering dropping its men’s tennis program to recover money for Sand Volleyball and to fund other coaching positions. I understand that you are in a period where you are soliciting comments from the public – we would like to comment.

    One of the reasons put forward is that there is little interest in the tennis program at UC-R. The data that we collect at our website contradicts that position. Here is some data about tennis in general and about the UC-R program in particular that we have from our website that we would like to share with you.

    - TRN maintains team pages for all tennis programs, including the UC-R men (http://tennisrecruiting.net/team.asp?id=86). We track visits to each team page. The UC-R is popular with junior tennis players and their families. Over the past year, there have been more than 8,000 visits to the UC-R page – and more than 4,000 visits from tennis players. Those figures are larger than we see for two other Big West programs – and they are much larger than average nationwide. The number of visitors to the UC-R men’s page is more than double the number of visitors to the UC-R women’s page. Indeed, the number of visitors to the UC-R men’s page is more than 70% of the number of visitors to the Southern California women’s page.

    - The popularity of tennis on the TRN website is an indicator that tennis is of interest to potential students – tennis exposes UC-R to many potential students.

    - Tennis is a growth sport – while other sports are losing participation, tennis is growing nationwide.

    - Tennis is a huge sport in the state of California. As an example, 15 of the top 100 seniors on our rankings are from the state of California (http://tennisrecruiting.net/list.asp?id=1125).

    - The UC-R program had 5 young men from California on their 7-man roster this past year. That is a much higher percentage of American kids – and in-state kids – than we see for most other tennis teams.

    - The tennis facilities can be shared between the men’s and women’s teams. I cannot imagine that real savings can be gained by eliminating just the men’s program.

    I would hope that UC-R would reconsider its position on eliminating men’s tennis. The sport is inexpensive compared to most others provided the University has tennis courts, and it serves as a great advertisement to kids around California and the country – attracting kids to UC-R.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Best regards,
    Dallas

  2. Yo So Cal says:

    Great response Dallas and I love your website.

    Yo Brian, the first vanload of kids will be mine with me driving the van!

  3. Dick Gould says:

    Incredibly put opinions above. I am on the College Tennis advocacy program (which frankly is necessitated by the results of Title IX. However, I NEVER advocate for a school, no matter how strong its program, which has a roster composed of mostly foreign players. Riverside – a STATE University – has done this right, but maybe at the sacrifice of better results. This speaks so sadly about the sorry state of college athletics. Any coach who thinks he/she does not have to engage boosters/former players and raise money has his/her head in the sand. Maybe the AD has given Riverside just enough of a chance that “The Troops can be Rallied” – suely worth a try, especially when things have evidently been done the “right” way. Good luck, and if I can help in some small way, let me know . . . Dick Gould, Director of Tennis, Stanford University

  4. sdSusan says:

    Although I am a huge fan of women’s college sports, it’s sad to see the impact that title IX has had on men’s tennis. Reducing the scholarships and eliminating programs such as this. I think a women’s tennis program really benefits from playing alongside a men’s team, sharing practice facilities and cheering for each other at matches. Not only would this be a big loss for Men’s Tennis, but the Women’s team as well.

  5. Heavy Top says:

    Brian: as someone who played college tennis, I would attest that I learned more about life from the team than I did from the classroom. Four of my teammates are still my best friends in life and I can’t really think of any teacher of classmate from the rest of school that is someone that I am still close with. College tennis is an amazing gift to these kids. Don’t take it away from them. Fight to get more money from your alumni and fund your other coaches with that money. But don’t take tennis away from the kids.

  6. Meredith Fish says:

    You need to keep the tennis program. Every college needs a tennis program!!!

  7. T Trabert says:

    There are so many tangible benefits from college tennis. It would be a shame to lose this program.

  8. Perhaps consider offering Beach Tennis on the sand volleyball courts for students and players – perhaps charge a nominal fee and raise the couple of dollars needed to keep the men’s team going. What are the team expenses? New balls and travelling? Figure out ways to minimize and side-step these costs. A good coach doesn’t need to be expensive. Make it fan friendly – have matches on Saturdays or after people get off work. Use just a little ingenuity and keep the men’s team going for all the reasons others here have already mentioned – there’s just no reasonable explanation for cutting men’s team tennis at UCR.

  9. Greg Mason says:

    As the father of three daughters it is impossible to argue the merits of the concept of Title IX, however the unintended consequences clearly have a significant impact as evidenced here. The potential death of a program that does things the right way is the wrong message to send to alumni, friends of the school and all those even remotely involved. Howevr the message of supporting a team who has a positive imapct and lives up to the ideals promised by the institution is a “greater good” that I would hope the administration would take into account. Greg Mason, HEAD Penn Racquet Sports

  10. Steve Bellamy says:

    I just spoke with the Athletic Director. He is new to the position, very nice and listening to a lot of other voices within the school. Here is the super terrible part. They have 10 tennis courts now. Those courts are going to be torn down shortly and they are planning on putting six courts back to replace them.

    But it is not guaranteed and if there is no tennis team, the likelihood is much slimmer.

    Please share this info everyone!

  11. I play tennis for UC Riverside presently, I have been through hell to get where I am today. I am a fourth year transfer and have another year of eligibility next year. I transfered from an outstanding program at Sacramento State and gave up a partial scholarship to come to Riverside to play for the team. At this moment we have three juniors with one year of eligibility left, two freshman, and 5 incoming freshman who are about to get their scholarships taken from them if this program is cut. That’s not right. They give us a 10 day heads up, “Hey, you’re program is about to get cut” and expect us to take it? I have worked too hard and gave up too much to just be an average student for my senior year. The least they could do for us is extend the program one more yea,r which wouldn’t kill them, this would graduate the seniors and give the freshman now and incoming freshman a whole year to find another school and stay competitive during that time. We do not need a coach, maybe just a supervisor, there are enough leaders on the team that we could get things done and possibly have one of the best years in school history next year.

    Please do not cut the program at UCR, give us a year to prove ourselves. Not 10 days.

    Thank you,
    Jimmy Roberts

  12. UCR Student Athlete says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis at Riverside!!!!!!!

  13. Christopher Olvera says:

    Keep men’s tennis at UC Irvine

  14. Kevin Griffin says:

    As a UCR mens tennis member, I am here to give you guys the first hand experience. I myself experienced a program cut at Cal Poly Pomona in 2010, so I transfered to UC Riverside to continue my college tennis career. After speaking with Wickstrom personall, he does make a point about the financial costs. But I did not see a large effort from him to keep the program by means of cutting costs rather than cutting the entire funding. This team has talent and potential and is on the verge of a turn around.

    I was selected for Big West Academic All-Conference and for me, UC Riverside is a great institution that I would not have the opportunity to attend if it were not for tennis. My tennis abiities got me to the Division 1 level and also earned me an opportunity to pursue a valuable degree in Business Administration for a University of California school which is only unique to UCR and UC Berkeley. Although the community in Riverside may not show interest, our past teams have not made the effort to reach out. Give us a chance to reach out and we will come through.

  15. Jessica Olafsen says:

    Brian: As a fellow athlete to the men’s tennis team at UCR, please don’t cut the program. The guys on this team (and I’m sure those to come) have a huge impact on the school and the athletics program specifically. They are our friends, colleagues, and great student athlete leaders. Cutting this program would be a detrimental loss. I know that if the match times were when my schedule allowed I would attend more matches. Like stated before, maybe moving the match times would allow for more people to show support for this great team that is a tradition to UC Riverside.

  16. Katy Curnyn says:

    DON’T CUT MEN’S TENNIS! I totally get the whole money is tight situation but just cutting a team because of that is bull. Hold fundraisers, promote, there are tons of things you can do to get the money for your new sand volleyball team. Don’t take the opportunity to play away from the players. That’s not fair, especially if you’re recruiting players and not telling them that the team could be cut. A commitment is a commitment and you don’t quit when things get tough, playing tennis taught me that. You find a way to make it work, and I hope that’s what you do.

  17. Mike Conroy says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis alive at UCR!

  18. Di Cardenas says:

    Brian: I am also a fellow athlete and I’m strongly against cutting the men’s tennis program. Your arguments are indeed valid however, many teams experience their own share of adversity. Rather than just completely getting rid of many committed student athletes who contribute greatly to our athletics program, try other solutions such as promoting tennis events more or getting the team more involved with the community so they can build relationships which can lead to a greater support outcome. I believe we still have other options to consider before taking such a great leap.

  19. Calvin Ngo says:

    After countless hours of training and dedication, I was finally able to achieve my goal. When I got recruited by UCR to play in the 2012-13 season, I was ecstatic. This article has implemented everything that us athletes have worked our entire life for, college tennis. I truly believe that the Tennis Program should not be taken down because we deserve a chance. A chance to make a change in the community, a chance to make tennis not only one of the most entertaining programs but one of the most successful programs. If we are just given at least one year to prove ourselves, that would mean the world to me.

    As a result, I would just like to thank Mr. Bellamy for taking time out of his day to make this tremendous article in support of the UCR Men’s Tennis program.

  20. lizzy says:

    keep mens tennis at ucr!

  21. Caty Kim says:

    What’s going to happen to those students who have been signed onto the UCR tennis team this year? This is their college career. He can’t simply rid of this program abruptly right now.

  22. Richard Andrews says:

    KEEP MENS TENNIS AT UCR!!!

  23. Katy says:

    Keep the tennis program. Kids put soooo much effort into this program. I know this because I am a fellow athlete. There is a sign that says, “those who work the hardest, surrender last.” as an athletic program I know all the athletes will rally around them and work hard to fight for their future

  24. Aaron says:

    Keep men’s tennis at UCR

  25. kate says:

    PPLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE keep mens tennis! These athletes are all extremely talented and contribute to our school by representing themselves as elite, intelligent, athletic individuals. we need them!

  26. Mia Enciso says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis!!!!

  27. Sara Slaughter says:

    Brian: Please don’t cut the men’s tennis program. They are one of the successful program’s at UCR. We have several men’s tennis players who could go on to be something great, to help make a name for UCR athletics. I’ve been to several matches, I enjoy watching them, I’ve brought out several friends to games and we all enjoy it. Cutting this program would be detrimental to UCR athletics. No athletic team is promoted enough on campus, the “average student” doesn’t know the times or places or schedule of most athletics except men’s basketball, is that the athletes fault? No. There are many other things that can be done besides cutting one of our beloved teams. Please don’t take the easy way out of a financially troubling time, team up with other sources on campus, get a name for athletics, and yourself, around the community that’s a positive one.

  28. Jake says:

    Please keep the tennis program as so much effort has been put into it and it would be a shame to get rid of it. Keep men’s tennis at UCR!

  29. matthew says:

    keep men’s tennis at ucr!!!!!

  30. J-Weezy says:

    Hey, ya’ll should keep the game there. My homie crushes balls there, and I would love to see him continue to what he loves there.

    Love is what keeps the game alive, so if you can, keep it there and understand that people love playing.

  31. Blake Emery says:

    Keep Mens tennis at UC Riverside!

    It is a shame to even consider cutting the Men’s Tennis program. Men’s Tennis is horribly unrepresented in most schools, while the majority of these student athletes exemplify an extraordinary level of self-discipline, commitment, and effort as a team and as individuals.

  32. Sarah says:

    Don’t break dreams, continue men’s tennis at UCR

  33. Nick Yoon says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR

  34. Maurisa Jones says:

    As an athlete,
    I spend most of my days with these guys. It’s now May and anyone who has had to go through the NCAA to be an athlete knows that by now even if they wanted to transfer there will be very few places to be and even lesser opportunity for scholarship. Basically leaving them high and dry, with no options. I find that completely unfair

  35. austin says:

    keep men’s tennis at ucr

  36. Erin says:

    two of my closest guy friends got recruited to play tennis at UCR and they are super excited! so, KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!

  37. Jordan Gisch says:

    Dont cancell men’s tennis at UCR! Everyone loves tennis!

  38. Neha says:

    Keep UCR men’s tennis, you wont regret having Calvin on the team!!

  39. Nathan says:

    PLEASE KEEP THE TENNIS PROGRAM AT UCR!!!!!

  40. austin says:

    Two of my teammates have chosen to play at UCR this year and they were very excited to play. They have been training really hard to play for UCR. Please keep tennis at UCR!

  41. Moises Guiza says:

    To whom It may concern,

    My name is Moises Guiza ,and I am an incoming freshman to the school. It has been speculated that due to a lack of interest, the men’s tennis team at UCR will be disbanded. This act however, would not only devastate many individuals but the Highlander community as a whole. As tennis is a sport that is widely played at most high schools, many students look forward to participating in it at a college level. Furthermore, sports encourage socialization among students otherwise not available in other activities. It promotes school spirit and as UCR already has so few athletic teams, it would be a detriment to our student body to eliminate our men’s tennis team.

    As a Highlander, I believe it is important to extend my education beyond the classroom setting. I would like to attend as many extracurricular events that will not only enhance my college experience but also help me feel what it is like to be in the R’Side family. I hope it is in your best interest, as well as ours, to keep this program going.

    Sincerely,
    Moises Guiza

  42. Steven Le says:

    I have nothing against men’s volleyball, but there are other means to fund the program. As a tennis player almost all my life, I have grown fond of the game and the people who play the game- honest, genuinely kind, and respectful players seeking to play the sport. It is not only a sport, but a hobby, an interest, and a way of living. To end the program would mean to end one’s passion, one’s dedication, and one’s college experience. Add the scholarships given to high school students being signed into the school being taken away, and one’s future is at stake as well.

    I understand that money is obviously a concern, but it always is. That is what we as people have to cope with- as a community. As a community we can find the leverage and support to keep this program going. I am hardly an incoming student and yet I am very moved to act, to petition, and to fight for this cause. Because it is not a lost cause and it will not be. If need be, we can and will fund-raise. As a student body, we can make this happen.

    I ask you, no i plead you to keep this program going. I want to see the outstanding players continue on their paths. I want to see the movement and the coordination of the players, the precision of their strokes, the dexterity of their body. I want to watch their talents come alive. To see tennis with my own eyes at my own college. To take that away is not only unfair to those within the program, but also to those who will be joining the program and those who are eager to be apart of its community.

    I hope you’ve taken careful thought and consideration into making your decision. I ask that you remember that this decision is more than a matter of money. Its effect can impact everyone who has to do with the program. If you find that there is no other way, I recommend finding the means to keep the program going for one more year. One year to see how things work out and to ask for the support- to really look for a solution. If this does not work out, then by whatever means do what you have to do.

  43. Nathan says:

    Please keep the tennis program running at UCR. Two of my teammates have chosen to bring their game to UCR and are excited to play. They both have trained and prepared for this. It would be unfair to cut the tennis program.

  44. lindsey says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR

  45. Jennifer says:

    Please keep men’s tennis at UCR!!!

  46. Beth Webb says:

    Please keep the tennis program at UCR! Above comments say it all!!!!

  47. dan mcnamara says:

    Keep mens tennis at ic riverside

  48. Jon says:

    Don’t cut the tennis team at UCR

  49. Kimberly le says:

    I seriously DO NOT any College to cut NEITHER MEN or WOMEN TENNIS TEAM regardless of Title IX. What all the College should not allow to have more than 20/30 % of foreigners to allow scholarship using
    our taxes $$ it should be giving to US Student only and yes if they want to play for our College they can pay for by themselves not by US tax payer $$$.

    As far as UCR gave commitment and letter of intend signed UCR
    have to honor it. People have been trained all their lives since they
    are 4 years old or younger to dream to play for College and it should be
    honor. Now there are no top 10 in the World pro from US and the USTA
    heavy promoting 10′s under tennis to produce more top players and several top pro who also came from College players for example Steve Johnson Jr. or his previous team mate who is playing on pro tour for other Country… What UCR and many other Colleges cut the men tea
    and reducing scholarship for new recruiter to have the honor to play for
    their dream school is killing the future of healthy tennis .

    Whoever this guy from UCR wanting to cut men tennis team he
    obviously only have a very narrow mind toward tennis.

    I am one of the mother who have dedicate all my life and my familyife
    life with several children and nephew cousin who have been dedicate in College tennis since these kids were only 2 years old.

    Perhaps this man from UCR does not care for anything or anyone
    but himself. He should going to live with the Communist Country
    or move to China to be a dictator.

  50. Aron Lilland says:

    Please keep tennis running at UCR, it is a very much valued sport.

  51. Anton says:

    It would be a crime to take tennis away from these hardworking guys. Coaches’ salaries are ridiculously low anyway, and the boys are receiving 4.5 full scholarships. How much money can UCR save as a school by cutting this small program? I say keep men’s tennis at UCR

  52. Sue says:

    save UCR tennis!

  53. Cameron Yong says:

    Keep Tennis strong at UCR!

  54. Mel says:

    Save men’s tennis at UCR!!

  55. Barry Swan says:

    Brian,

    It seems based on your analysis that beach volleyball is cheap. Fine, but why cut men’s tennis? The last time I checked, when a program was failing the remedy was to fire the coach. Why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

    I was on the Board of Governors for Canyon Crest Country Club for the better part of the last decade (our club is only two miles from UCR), and I have been and continue to be an active tennis member there. Your former coach was doing virtually nothing to promote the program. I think one time in ten years he came by our club seeking member support, and that was back in 2004. The newspaper said he resigned? Come on, we know that the program has been operating sub-par for years and the coach had to go — he was putting little to no effort into it. It’s time to admit it and move forward.

    Locally, the USTA has never been more active and there is plenty of local talent to recruit from but the program has to be corrected, not be killed. As the Athletic Director, you must be aware that fixing the program is harder to do but the good things in life usually are. The University of Redlands has a fine program with plenty of local support and yet UCR does not. Why? Because it has not been run correctly. There can be no other reason. To suggest that UCR students uniquely are not interested in Men’s Tennis is a proposition that cannot be supported. The student body is diverse is it not? A dislike for Men’s tennis cannot be a commonly shared trait amongst the student population. I urge you: If you build it, they will come…

    I hope the foregoing resonates with you. I see the coaching vacancy as an opportunity to create a better program, not to save a few bucks.

    Sincerely,
    Barry Swan

  56. Dylan says:

    Keep men’s tennis at UCR!

  57. Burgos says:

    I haven’t personally seen the entire atheltic budget. But being a former college coach, I know that most tennis programs are already on a shoe string budget and tend to be the least expensive program to run. There usually is more fat to trim off of the larger sports. What is really sad is that the majority of the players are from their home state of California (a rarity in college tennis). They are from families who have supported public education through their taxes. There has to be a way to save this program.

  58. erica says:

    KEEP MENS TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!we already have a volleyball team.

  59. Tiffany says:

    I think cutting the men’s tennis team is unnecessary for this matter. Keep men’s tennis!!

  60. Connor says:

    please keep men’s tennis at UCR. The members of the program have worked their whole lives for the opportunity to play at such a high level, and taking that away from them is unjust.

  61. anna says:

    keep men’s tennis!

  62. Camila says:

    As a student-athlete at UCR I know how important my sport has been to my undergraduate experience. I have grown so much as a person because of my participation in a sport at UCR. Depriving the Men’s Tennis players that are at UCR now, and should be at UCR in the future, of their opportunity to compete for our athletics department is a mistake. Keep UCR Men’s Tennis!

  63. Sarah says:

    I support the men’s tennis team at UCR and it is unfortunate that they are on the verge of being cut- but people also have to realize that if men’s tennis is not cut another sport most likely will be. I think beach volleyball will be an exciting addition to the UCR athletic department-it has just been newly approved by the NCAA and not many school are doing it yet- I think that this could be a positive change for UCR and it’s surrounding community.

  64. UCR Women's Tennis Team says:

    KEEP UCR MEN’S TENNIS! I play on the UCR women’s tennis team & know these guys personally. They are an amazing group of hard workers on the court & in the classroom. They love tennis & represent UCR well & are devastated of getting cut. I know budgets are tight but there has been 0 effort from the school, coaches, etc. to ever have fundraisers or get money/help of any type to aid the tennis teams. There can be more done before cutting the team. Lets get community sponsers, reach out & save the team.

    Not to mention, I feel so bad for the 5 new recruits that are about to come to an empty promising school. This makes UCR’s reputation look so bad. Does a letter of intent mean nothing? I urge everyone to reach out and comment about this matter. I know keeping the men’s tennis team can be done if the athletics department thinks hard & finds a way to make it happen. Please don’t give up on men’s tennis. This is not just a tennis team, it is student athletes who specifically chose UCR over all other schools. This is not fair!

  65. Local Tennis Coach says:

    Keep Boys Tennis! Its good for the community, students, and upcoming high schoolers.

  66. Jimmy Roberts says:

    Hello,

    I am a member of the UCR Mens Tennis team, and will also be a Senior next season. I have been through it all to get where I am at today. From being told I would not play tennis in college to walking on a team that won the conference both years I was on the team at Sacramento State. I had wrist surgery after my Sophomore season which kept me out a year from competitive college play. I was lucky enough to find a school where I would fit in and be able to contribute to the team at a high level, both academically and athletically I knew it would be difficult. I was able to maintain a solid GPA throughout the season and I believe I finished with one of the better records at my position that this school has seen in years, which only left me more excited to work hard over the summer to be even more ready for next years season. Then, with a 10 day notice Mr. Wickstrom informs our team that they will be cutting our program for women’s volleyball. Leaving three Juniors with one eligibility year left, two freshman, and five incoming freshman hanging high and dry – too late to transfer or find another school for next year. I beg to ask the question, “What have you done to save the program?”, “What measures have been taken to avoid cutting out an entire sport from the University?”, I find it unreal that an Athletic Director with so little experience would come in and make changes such as these. I could understand coaching changes, but drop an entire sport with 10 days notice is out of control. I would like to ask the Athletic Director how many Mens Tennis event he attended throughout the single year he has been here? Zero. If his son were to develop cancer would he abandon him as well? Or give him a chance to get better before he took the life away from him. I suggest the following: Give us one year to prove ourselves, this would matriculate out the three juniors that are here now and give the two Freshman and five incoming Freshman a chance to play a year and find a school that will treat them with the respect they deserve to be shown. I am truly disgusted at this University’s way of solving problems, if they decide to cut Mens Tennis it will be hard for me to be proud of a degree I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into just so I could be treated with the utmost disrespect and lack of understanding.

    Good luck with your decision,
    Jimmy Roberts

  67. UCR student says:

    Why is budget even being discussed here as a matter. I think its just an excuse. UCR is wasteful on their budget. They are tearing up 10 perfectly, newly resurfaced, beautiful tennis courts just to build 6 more a couple yards away due to a new recreation center? So they have all this money to tear up & build new courts(big enough for a men & womens team) yet are whining about not having a budget to keep mens tennis? This is mind blowing. The Athletics department needs to learn how to effectively manage their budget while also reaching out to the community for financial support. They would rather make 0 effort & just cut the team? Absurd! Keep mens tennis!

  68. Connor says:

    please keep men’s tennis at UCR. the men involved in this program have worked their entire lives for the opportunity to play at such a high level. taking this away from them is completely unjust.

  69. Parag says:

    I think UCR should keep tennis because it gives chances to men who strive to achieve and I believe that they have the right to reach their goal. KEEP MEN’S TENNIS!!!!

  70. Tanya says:

    UC, Riverside….what is this school famous for? How is this school stand with other UC? UCR is lost in all the famous UC like UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCI, UCDavis, UCSB, UCSF. I remember when I attended UCI back in the 80′s most people have not heard of it but with keeping all their program solid UCI is now staying competitive with other UC. Cutting program to save money will only set UC Riveside farther behind other schools. The Men’s Tennis program may be another attraction for students to consider attending here but soon it may not be an option. Sand volleyball attract kids from beach area which Riverside is quite a distant from the beach area….it just doesn’t make sense. UC Riverside is in Southern California that is sunny 10 months out of the year and will attract kids all over the world to this school. I strongly agree that the coach need to do more for the program instead cutting the program. Please keep the dream for many young men whom have work hard all their lives for one opportunity…..playing tennis for a UNIVERSITY…possibly, UCR.

  71. Sean R says:

    Save UCR Men’s Tennis! As a new recruit, I can tell you men’s tennis is what brought me to UCR. A player works hard to obtain a certain level of skill just as students work hard to achieve their academic success. Both UCR students and the Riverside community appreciate the dedication it takes to achieve those skills. Riverside has been well known as a tennis community supported by USTA tournaments, tennis clubs, and public facilities. UCR Men’s Tennis is an important part of the community in Riverside.

  72. M says:

    I agree with all the above comments; men’s tennis shouldn’t be cut. As a fellow student athlete I know that we all work hard and are dedicated to our sports and it would be devastating not only to the current and incoming members of the team, but also to the athletic program as a whole if we were to lose men’s tennis.

  73. Brandon says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis!!!!!

  74. Aashray says:

    Cutting men’s tennis in UCR is losing a valuable part of the sports program. The people who are doing this need to realize that doing this will not result in any major improvement to the school.

  75. Candace says:

    Don’t cut UCR’s men’s tennis! Keep this program that promotes teamwork, hard work, and passion.

  76. Supphanida says:

    PLEASE KEEP THE MENS TENNIS AT UCR!!!!!!!!!!

  77. Lisa McMains says:

    It’s heartbreaking to hear of the potential loss of the Men’s Tennis team at UCR. I implore you, along with the rest of the community not to cut this program. I am aware of several young men who received scholarships to attend UCR, and specifically two exceptional young men from my daughter’s high school, Northwood High in Irvine, who committed to UCR. Their commitment should be honored, just as you would expect them to honor theirs to UCR. Julian Ruffin and Calvin Ngo have worked tirelessly and dedicated their lives to the sport, and now are on the brink of being eliminated just as they make their plans to continue their dreams of playing tennis – at college? Rarely will you see such young men as these, and I echo Mr. Bellamy’s comments on Julian – please don’t dash their hopes and dreams. Save the tennis program at all costs, and you have saved more than just a sport.

  78. Austin S. Cruz says:

    DO NOT CUT MENS TENNIS!?
    SO everybody has there ups and downs. You cannot give up on the school!?
    The new recruits for next year will definitely change the outcome of there record. Sean Robles an outstanding doubles player (I’ve seen him play at a few tournaments) also he is an amazing singles player. Julian Ruffin may also come a top recruit singles player. UCR please keep mens tennis. If not then at least give the upcoming freshmen a try to change the team.

  79. Cody says:

    Cutting the Men’s Tennis Team will not help UCR as a whole. Tennis is a much more popular sport when looking at college athletic diversity and nothing against beach volleyball, but it will not bring as much recognition to the school as Men’s Tennis does.
    Not only that, but cutting Tennis to save $150,000 will devalue the athletics program by much more than that, and in turn devalue the school’s overall ranking.
    While there is nothing wrong with adding a new sport, it is clearly not the time. This would be a bad investment. Not only will it harm all of the Men’s tennis players (who may only be able to come to this college due to athletics scholarships) but it will harm the future Women’s beach volleyball players when the new program ends up inevitably failing.

  80. Angela Monteilh says:

    Please save the Men’s tennis team!!School’s have lost enough team sports! Let’s all support the team!

  81. A says:

    Please don’t cut the men’s tennis at UCR! These guys sacrificed a lot to make it there…They worked their butts off.

  82. Desiree says:

    As a current intercollegiate tennis athlete, the mens tennis team definetely helps support the womens tennis team. Not having a mens team would be hard because who would support us? I know one of the players that would be an incoming freshman on the mens team, and his dreams of playing intercollegiate tennis dreams should not be crushed. These players have earned there spot on the team just as I did. Yes I kniw funds are tight, but there is always a loophole. UCR should KEEP the mens tennis team!!

  83. Damin Borooah says:

    Keep Mens Tennis at UCR! But change the program to make it more responsive to all potential tennis players.

  84. Christine says:

    Please keep Men’s tennis!!
    Every year, there are always a few dedicated players from my school who have their heart set on playing at UCR and it would be very disappointing if they lost this chance!

  85. Keep mens tennis! They are a vital asset to the UCR community!

  86. Yeunhee says:

    Please keep the Tennis Program at UCR!

  87. Rebecca says:

    Keep men’s tennis at ucr!!!

  88. barrybuss1964@yahoo.com says:

    Ok..all the pleases, pretty pleases, sugars on top aint gonna get this done…UCR tennis has been struggling for some time…I’ll be frank, I went out there to see a match three years ago against UC davis and the whole scene was grim…Times are tough, cost cutting is in, the athletic director likely doesn’t know where the courts are, all he sees is the top line data…losing record, bleeding red, in a conference where mens tennis is in decline…(UC Davis is a short hair away from going down also)
    The goal is to present some form of comprehensive package to the AD that will re-invigorate the program…booster programs, alumni interaction, community outreach etc…marketing promoting management all need overhauls..
    Is there a hiring committee?
    Who they bring in now to coach if they bring in anyone is likely a life/death situation for the program, for he is going to have to have these skills in abundance…It would be great if they could hire a local person w contacts in the area for fund raising, for this isn’t brain surgery..a 500 record and a balanced budget and the athletic department will rubber stamp anything you want..pass your classes, stay out of the newspaper and you are free to do as you please, tennis program..
    I used to coach and played there very briefly 20 years ago..i have contacted alumni and local pros from the area to get a better read on their connection to the program and the community’s take on getting more involved and will reporrt back with the 411 asap..prayers and pleading can’t hurt, but methinks you’re going to need a concrete short, mid and long term plan to present to the powers that be and you need the right guy to do it..what they are considering is a permanent solution to a temporary problem…let’s find a better solution

  89. Nora says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR!!!!!!!!!!

  90. Corey Green says:

    I was not a big fan of tennis before I came to UC riverside my sport being football and all. Then I met a student/ UCR tennis player named Jimmy Roberts who turned my whole world around on tennis. This schools tennis program was the first tennis program match I have ever been to and I am ashamed that I was not into it before! I am now in progress of learning how to play tennis myself just because UC Riversides tennis program inspired me. If you cut the tennis team you will be destroying more than tennis at you UCR you will be destroying these mens dreams. Tennis is what they live for and to take it away from them with a “10 day notice” is ridiculous. Then to make it worse you plan to trade tennis for womens sand volleyball? I am a man and who would not love seeing women in bikinis but I honestly believe that is an insult to the program and should not be continued in that way. As Fellow UCR tennis player Jimmy Roberts stated before the least you could do out of common courtesy is to give the men a year to get their self together, to transfer and let the up coming seniors graduate with some since of pride.

    PLEASE KEEP UCR TENNIS IT IS VITAL TO THIS SCHOOLS PRIDE AND TO THESE MENS DREAMS.

  91. Brandon W says:

    Don’t cut men’s tennis at UCR! There are 2 talented and committed incoming freshmen from Northwood HS that would help revitalize your men’s tennis team!

  92. Sun Young Song says:

    Please don’t cut men’s tennis.
    Please think about men players’ future.
    They worked really hard for it and UCR is one of greatest college and future for them.

  93. Karen Williams says:

    Are you kidding me? Keep the men’s tennis intact!!

  94. Paul says:

    Please keep men’s tennis.
    I hope it is only consideration , not reality. When I think of UCR, tennis is always no.1 thing.
    I know some students who tried really hard for tennis and they are very good in many field. I bet they can shine UCR.

  95. Cynthia Atterberry says:

    “PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR “

  96. Sun Young Song says:

    Please don’t cut the men’s tennis at UCR! They worked really hard for tennis.
    Please think of their future. I think tennis is the one of greatest of UCR.

  97. Ann Diaz says:

    As a tennis parent of a high school junior, I can attest to the long hours, travel and money spent, and sacrifices made by kids and their families for years as junior-level players…all for the goal of playing college tennis. These kids know they’re competing against international students for these spots…and in recent years the boys are also finding they have fewer and fewer schools to choose from. Tennis is an amazing sport. Please find a way to keep the program. How about working with the business school on creating an internship position with the purpose of keep this a viable program? Allow several students to use their critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in this situation. It doesn’t get more real-world than this. Thank you for listening! God bless.

  98. Sidney says:

    When you consider the Mecca that is So Cal tennis past and present. It seems that more consideration should be given to the student athletes that are competing on high levels both in the class and on their respective fields / courts of play. Please don’t underestimate the impact of canceling tennis at UCR!

  99. paul says:

    Please keep men’s tennis.

    I hope it is only consideration , not reality. When I think of UCR, tennis is always no.1 thing.

    I know some students who tried really hard for tennis and they are very good in many field. I bet they can shine UCR.

  100. Tara Ismaili says:

    Keep mens tennis at UCR!

  101. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t get rid of mens tennis! There are many young players who are looking forward to grasp the opportunity to play for this wonderful school. If it was to suddenly disappear, where would those students turn to? Also the current players of the team are probably devastated too. Even though it is costing a lot of money, getting rid of it would cost the joy and happiness of several mens tennis players :( .

  102. Allen says:

    Tennis is the only UCR sport I watch. PLEASE keep Mens Tennis at UCR!

  103. Manisha says:

    UCR…. Please keep Men’s tennis. Kids work so hard to reach up to college level tennis program. My urgent request is … please keep Tennis program for Men…

  104. UCR athlete says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis! At least give the program more time for the athletes so they can figure things out for themselves and not be stuck at UCR not playing the sport they love!

  105. Jared says:

    This is crazy.
    I am convinced tennis is one of the greatest aspects of life for some, and that tennis has been the ultimate factor in choosing where to attend college.

    Keep UCR tennis, or else it’s stripping away a student’s main passion

  106. angela terrell says:

    “PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR “

  107. Dylan says:

    Keep Tennis at UCR!!

  108. Trevdog says:

    Please don’t cut the program!!!!!!!! Tennis is the best sport in the world. You can’t cut it for sand volleyball :(

  109. Tiffanyti says:

    of course they would cut tennis and put in more money into like soccer or other sports. You guys NEED to keep men’s tennis. That’s just ridiculous, my guy friend plays for UCR tennis, I feel bad because he’s an amazing player too. Tennis matters just as MUCH as all the other sports do too.

  110. Ayana Simmons says:

    I do believe that Brian presents valid arguments, but in cutting Men’s Tennis I think the school is being incredibly unfair. UCR is being unfair to both the incoming freshman players, and the current players. I don’t think the school should be able to cut Men’s tennis after signing new players and also without giving the team a chance to do better next season. If UCR wants to see more community interest or even school interest they should give the team a chance to foster more of both next year. And lets be honest about another thing, how well promoted are men’s tennis matches? Most students don’t even know there is a tennis team at UCR, while almost everyone knows about other bigger, and BETTER PROMOTED teams. That doesn’t just come down to the team, that comes down to the athletic department as well. So don’t penalize the guys on the team for actions they’re not completely responsible for, and without giving them a chance to improve. KEEP MENS TENNIS AT UCR.

  111. Sarah says:

    Please keep tennis at UCR!

  112. Matt says:

    Don’t cut a lifetime sport like tennis. In an era where childhood obesity is on the rise we need lifetime sports like tennis.

  113. SolSchwartz says:

    This situation is just the next one of the many that will continue to happen across the country. The University of Maryland College Park is cutting their men’s tennis program as of now. This is an ACC school that wants to compare themselves with schools like Duke, Miami, North Carolina, etc. Even NC State just built a brand new tennis complex for their teams. Mismanagement of funds by athletic departments is always the excuse, and tennis is always an easy target. The fact is, that in the greater scheme of things, who outside of those of us in a forum like this, the players past and present at said schools really cares? This is not new. Since title 9 was implemented, men’s tennis has been a big target at universities across the country. There has ultimately been little to no backlash at all resulting from that other than Alumni cutting of donations to the school in protest. So here we are with another program eliminated. The statement is being made that the sport has failed the schools. I guess that can be true. This is not a community issue, it is a national issue involving our sport. To this date, and maybe I have missed something, but our sport’s governing body, the USTA has not come out with statements or taken any actions to help deal with the issues. Where is their voice? I am not talking about the local USTA chapter in whatever town the school is. I am talking about the national people. Where are their voices! Do they only care about who the next Agassi or Sampras is, or do they care about the health of the sport at all levels?

  114. Hoops says:

    Clearly Agassi and Sampras!

  115. minhchau pham says:

    As a mother to 2 junior tennis players, I echo Mr. Bellamy’s sentiments that the lessons learned from the game of tennis is priceless. It is a game that provides life long skills and fitness. No other sport can do this. UCR is a reputable university located in beautiful southern California. It would be a dream come true for any junior tennis player to have an opportunity to play for UCR. Rather than cutting the men’s tennis team, UCR should focus on balancing their budget, promoting, rebuilding, and recruiting for the team. Be innovative and open minded. Engage alumni, parents, students, and players to get involve to help solve the problem at hand. You have to give it a good fight before throwing in the towel. By cutting the team in such short notice, you will be sending a negative message about UCR to the community. I have 3 children and will definitely consider this strongly when it comes to choosing a college. Please give your students and the tennis community a chance to show you that it WILL work.

  116. Laura says:

    I am asking you to keep the Men’ tennis team. Hopefully you can see from the public outcry in such a short time, that there is more than a interest in this sport. It is more of a life line for many of the young people involved. Let it not be said that UCR acted heartlessly against these students and the tennis community. UCRmust have a higher standard of integrity than this!

  117. Malia says:

    Please DON’T cut tennis!!

  118. tennismom says:

    Please don’t cut Men’s tennis! Not only is it unfair for the incoming freshman (there are 2 stellar players coming from my daughter’s high school), but I think it sends yet another bad message about our California schools. UCR is going to find themselves losing more good students if they decide to make this cut. Tennis players are typically high-achieving students. They will choose other schools. And in terms of the community, we need to show more support for tennis. It is one of the few sports you can play for a lifetime!

  119. Ken E. says:

    AD Wickstrom, I commend you on your efforts to make a request for public comment. The problem is that it seems more like a smoke screen because it seems that you have already made up your mind. I understand that this is your first year as AD and you are trying to make your mark on UCR. You have already eliminated 5 coaches this year. I agree that coach Strother needed to go. You need a young coach with a lot of drive, there are plenty of them in Southern California to choose from. There are plenty of DI seniors who graduated last year that know they are not quite good enough to go pro and would jump at a chance to help build a young team. The easy part is that they have no place to go except up.

    In regards to the 5 incoming Freshman, 3 of whom have publicly announced that they signed letters of intent(LOI). AD Wickstrom, you were the AD at the time that all 3 of those letters were signed. I would find it hard to believe that UCR would not have to honor those 3 scholarships. Even if the courts would decide in favor of UCR, any decent lawyer would drag you and the school through the mud with the media. Your wife is a reporter/anchor, she should be able to help you understand the power of the media, both good and bad. Only giving 10 days to decide the fate of a team is unreasonable at any level. Do you honestly think that any parent in their right mind would let their child sign a LOI, in ANY sport, once they hear about this? Do the right thing and give them all one year like the AD at the University of Maryland did this past year.

    It is extremely obvious that your eventual plan is to compete with the other NCAA sand volleyball teams. You even mentioned the NCAA approved the addition of sand volleyball to its list of emerging sports for women. This means that you are going to have to give out scholarships like Pepperdine & USC if you are going to compete. You are going to have to hire a coach, unless you go the route that Pepperdine has and use the women’s volleyball coach. I am sure not too many coaches are going to do more work for the same pay. This means that everything is a wash. Grant-In-Aid will just go from one sport to the other, so that is a wash. Pepperdine, which has a much larger budget, didn’t spend money on building sand courts, they used existing courts. Here is a link that shows the estimated expenditures of sand volleyball. http://www.athleticmanagement.com/2011/12/01/sand_volleyball_set_to_debut/index.php The NCAA estimates annual operating expenses at $35,000 to $50,000, with start-up costs in the range of $100,000 to $150,000. That means sand volleyball would cost more every year than men’s tennis.

    In your “savings” plan, it states that you will save $39,432 on tennis operations expenses. How much of that is for court maintenance? That will still be there because UCR has a women’s team.

    This isn’t a Title IX issue, because UCR already has more women’s scholarships than men’s scholarships.

  120. Kent says:

    Mr Wickstrom
    as a lifetime tennis player (high school and college and beyond) and fan of the game, especially college tennis, i would urge you to re think your position and KEEP the mens tennis team at UCR.
    Tennis teaches young men invaluable lessons of life. because it is an individual sport, young men learn to work for what they want, deal with adversity and become responsible for their results. however, mens college tennis is also a team sport and teaches lessons on working togehter, supporting others through adversity and realizing how goals are met through teamwork.
    It sounds as if the program needs a boost from the student body as well, and that comes from the Coaches and the Athletic Dept. Keep UCR Tennis and give these talented and hard working student athletes the chance to achieve their goals and learn important life lessons!
    thank you,
    Kent

  121. Michael Munoz says:

    According to T.I.A. tennis is the fastest growing traditional sport in the United States and the one sport that one can play well into their 90s. As a high school coach I know firsthand that kids need something to aim for a place to continue to play and develop as players and people. I believe that it would be a black eye on our community if the men’s program at UCR was cut. I hope you reconsider your stance.

  122. John says:

    Please allow Men`s tennis to continue at UCR. I have had the blessing of working with a few players attending or about to attend your school. Please keep the program alive!It would be very sad if you don`t!

  123. Eric Keith says:

    As a high school tennis coach, I am surprised and disappointed at the potential decision by UC Riverside to shut down it’s men’s tennis program. The dream of most high school tennis players is to someday play at the collegiate level and while this has become increasingly more difficult over the past years, UC Riverside has served as the model of a program that looked to Southern California players to fill its ranks. To send this kind of message to young local tennis players would be tragic. We are headed down a path where only a small number of schools will have tennis teams remaining and student-athletes are going to take their interests elsewhere, realizing that their chances to play beyond high school are dwindling. I hope UC Riveside reconsiders this decision and works to find a more creative way to deal with the finacial difficulties. Of course times are tough, but why punish the athletes that have worked so hard to acheieve their dream of becoming collegiate athletes.

  124. As the coordinator for the Orange County USTA Adult and Jr. Team Tennis Leagues I have seen tremendous growth in Youth Tennis over the past several years. UCR is an excellent school and many of our OC residents attend. In my opinion, canceling the tennis program would be a real disservice to the community of Riverside, all of Southern California and to youth tennis players from all over the nation who would consider attending UCR.

    I am in favor of including as many team and club sports as possible at all colleges. However, if you are having to make a choice between women’s sand volleyball and men’s tennis, the choice seems as if it would be clearly in favor of men’s tennis. I work with juniors who play Jr. Team Tennis from ages 5 – 18. In our current Spring Season we have 191 teams participating and 1,670 team registrations. Orange County represents only one of our 14 areas in Southern California. Tennis is a sport represented at almost all high schools and many of our middle schools. I know we’ve had many of our Jr. Team Tennis players matriculate to UCR and have at least one player planning to attend next year. What are the comparable youth participation numbers for women’s sand volleyball? How many high school sand volleyball programs exist? I have doubts as to whether many high schools, and or middle schools will be adding them to their athletic programs anytime soon. I do see where USC has a sand volleyball team “emerging” this year. That’s great, as I am pretty certain they will not be dropping their men’s tennis program to accommodate this addition. I also understand the appeal of wanting to jump into this women’s sand volleyball. It’s a marketing dream. We’ve all seen it played on the beach and it’s very exciting and fun to watch. That said, I think Athletic Directors should place more weight on how a sport supports its community of players rather than its potential to attract a large base of spectator interest. Men’s college tennis supports a huge base of junior players. Collegiate sand volleyball, falls proportionately short.

    Again, I am all in favor of offering every sport possible, but if you have to eliminate one in order to add another, then I don’t see how you can possibly make the choice to eliminate men’s tennis in order to be able to add women’s sand volleyball.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Heidi K. Stryker
    Orange County USTA League Coordinator
    Adult League, FLEX League, Jr. Team Tennis
    and OC 10 and Under Tennis Series Play Days
    http://www.orangecountyusta.com
    http://www.OC10andUnderTennis.com
    heidi.stryker3@gmail.com

  125. Jack Sheehy says:

    Please do not cut your men’s tennis program. The tennis program at your college, or any college, provides your student/athlete with a real and exciting opportunity to excel for your university that will carry with them the rest of his life.
    I am a member of an ex-tennis program. I am not happy that my university decided, after I left, to retire the program. It made no sense. Our team had the #1 & #2 players in NCAA Div. II that year, only to fold the program and displace the entire team due to Title IX. My records for the university went away, and I really enjoyed my experience there.
    These current and past players become pawns in a numbers game, instead of students who want to represent your university in a real and tangible way. Tennis is a tough and rewarding sport, and it looks like you have a new crop of players committed to improving the team standings in the future.
    Release the coach, not the program/players. Do not punish the players for the lack of attention the Athletic Dept. has given to the program.

  126. Arlene Ruffin says:

    When my son, Julian received a call from UCR late afternoon on Friday May 18th he was shocked when he was told they may discontinue the Men’s Tennis team due to the economy and lack of funds. While Julian was still on the phone, a current UCR Men’s Tennis Player was calling him and another incoming Player was texting him. What Mr. Wickstrom forgot or does not know is that Tennis players know how to RALLY. They understand you have to STRATEGIZE, CHANGE, FIND your opponents WEAKNESSES and MAXIMIZE your STRENGTHS when SEEKING SUCCESS. Mr. Wickstrom stated there was low interest in Tennis and was seeking public comment. So in the midst of feelings of fear, hurt, and anger not to mention attending classes, practicing and studying, because Tennis Players are student athletes they began to ENCOURAGE many others to comment “KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR” They had only been given 10 days to try and SAVE THEIR SPORT. Even though they have been abandoned by their Coach and feel they have been disrespected and disregarded by the Athletic Staff these current and incoming Tennis Players are asking for a DELAY! Work with them to Save UCR’s MEN’S TENNIS FROM BEING CUT. Tennis Players work hard!
    They are more than willing to work hard on the courts, in the classroom, in the community to seek ways to FUNDRAISE. Sometimes it just starts with asking for a donantion. Mr. Wickstrom is the Athletic Director for all the Sports AT UCR, but it seems he forgot the Current and Incoming Athletes that are Tennis Players. He can and should prevent this proposal from taking place.The Athletic and Academic Staff,Coaches, Athletes, Students and the surrounding Comminity need to work together to Promote Athletics as well as any Program at UC Riverside that is WORTH having.
    I want to thank Steve Bellamy for his support and each of you for taking the time to comment and rallying for UCR’s Men’s Tennis Players Current and Incoming. These young men are AMAZING and not just because they play tennis.
    A Dedicated Parent of a Student-Athlete

  127. fel macherez says:

    the program gotta stay (for at least a year) to give the team members time to consider a transfer or to finish their time at UCR in good conditions. Let’s do it ethically by not rushing a change two weeks before summer.
    I’m sure we’ll find a favorable compromise.
    Let’s keep the men’s tennis team alive !

  128. Sho Kashima says:

    As a fellow athlete, I can’t believe how this is being handled. There is no respect towards the athlete! You are giving about a week of notice that their athletic career is being threatened of being cut from your program? Very unethical.
    How about you save some face and don’t cut the program. Budget cuts are inevitable, but seems like you would use the money you save on tennis to fund other programs. Doesn’t sound fair at all.
    You are sending a terrible message and you have already shown much disrespect. Shame on you for even threatening and adding stress to your student athletes.

  129. Brianne says:

    “PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR “

  130. yancy114 says:

    I sent an email if this AD gets 2000 people flooding his inbox with support he wont drop it. Also I committed to donate 50 dollars a year to the program. (I have no connection to it aside from the fact I love college tennis) I hope they keep it. It is a shame they drop men’s tennis and it is rampant all over the country

  131. UC Riverside Athlete says:

    As an athlete here at UC Riverside, I have built close relationships with the great men on the men’s tennis team. As you could imagine, the news of cutting the men’s tennis team was a complete shock to me and the rest of the student-athlete body. It seems that there could be so many other alternatives before going to such extreme measures. I see the largest issue was that Men’s tennis was not promoted well. Also, their games were in the middle of the day when most students have classes, or when athletes have their own practices. This is not the men’s tennis team’s fault and it would be terribly unjust to punish them for this. Not only are there 5 incoming freshmen that committed to play for this team, there are still seniors that have been working their whole lives to play college tennis as a senior. I do not understand how cutting a team after 5 freshmen have committed, and UCR committed to them, is fair. This leaves the entire team, other than the current seniors, scrambling for a place to go play the sport they have been working their whole lives for. I understand the budget is slim, but the team should at least get one more year to figure out where to transfer, since it is too late now to do so. This is simply not fair and I believe UCR Athletics should have more understanding and sympathy for this great group of men that are dedicated to their team. Please do not punish these players for the inattentiveness of the Athletic Department. Instead, have faith in the 5 freshmen that you have committed to.

  132. Priscilla says:

    Please do not cut the men’s tennis team at UCR!!!

  133. Elisa Yen says:

    Do not cut the men’s tennis team at UCR!!

  134. Noelle Espero says:

    Don’t cut the men’s tennis team !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  135. Anjuli Figueira says:

    please do not cut the men’s tennis team!!

  136. Anette Padilla says:

    SAVE THE UC RIVERSIDE TENNIS TEAM! Tennis is a growing sport and UC Riverside has students who love and play it. Keep the courts and give your students the opportunity to play.

  137. Sergey says:

    I went to a nearby Liveral Arts Private School University of Redlands. We were one of the better D3 schools in the nation. Budget was always tough to meet, we heavely relied on te alumni network to help us travel, buy gear, rackets etc. In any case Keep Men’s Tennis, what a sport of a lifetime

  138. kurt kamperman says:

    Unlike many other sports the term “student athlete” still applys when it comes to college varsity tennis.It’s very disturbing when any college would drop a sport that actually develops student athletes and is also a lifetime sport. I hope that sound minds will prevail and they will make the right decision to keep Men’s Tennis.

  139. Edgar says:

    Keep the Tennis team!

  140. Phillip Nguyen says:

    I recommend keeping UCR men’s tennis.

  141. the dude says:

    please keep the tennis program at UCR. tennis is one of the few popular sports that requires acute individual internal strength. although the team dynamic is an extremely important aspect of competition and life itself, individuality and the confidence built by relying on oneself is unparalleled in its ability to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Athletics in general offer lessons and values that no other activity can, and tennis is no exception.

  142. Kelly says:

    Please keep Men’s Tennis at UCR!

  143. Don Ruffin says:

    Wow!…..thanks to all for their heartfelt support and comments on keeping Men’s Tennis at UCR.  Let’s keep those comments coming!  As a retired Air Force Officer, I am acutely aware to the value of teamwork and utilizing the talents and expertise of those around you to be successful at solving difficult challenges.  Yes, the economy has taken a toll but it has also challenged all of us to seek creative ways to do more with less.  Over the years I have always told my son Julian, “There is a solution to every problem but you must be willing to look for it.”  As I shift through the numerous comments coming in on this website from the Tennis Community at large, I see a lot of great ideas coming forth….I hope the UCR Athletic Administration is taking note.   

    The University of California, Riverside proposal to discontinue Men’s Tennis and start Women’s Sand Volleyball is a step in the “Wrong Direction.” Instead of discontinuing Men’s Tennis, UCR’s athletic administration should be exploring opportunities to market and promote Men’s Tennis to help close the gap in funding shortfalls to keep the team competitive in the Big West Conference. With that said, I strongly believe the UCR Men’s Tennis program can be supported with existing funds if UCR’s leadership is “willing” to aggressively seek opportunities to support the Men’s Tennis program…..remember….”Where There is a Will….There is a Way”.

    The proposed realignment of Intercollegiate Athletics Programs by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics does not promote opportunities for all student athletes. Instead it takes them away and sacrifices a mainstay Men’s Tennis Program and adversely impacts the current UCR tennis team, five incoming tennis recruits, and severs tennis opportunities for prospective UCR tennis recruits. Tennis is a complex sport which takes a number of years to learn (some players start as early as 3 yrs old) and it comes with lots of personal sacrifice to be a competitive college tennis recruit. All these players have paid their dues in hard-work, dedication, and money to reach this point in their athletic development.

    The proposal to discontinue Men’s Division I Tennis will having a crippling effect on UCR Athletic Department’s ability to move toward becoming a “recognized athletic department of choice” instead it will be known as “an athletic department that has a reputation of not keeping their commitments to current and incoming students”. The University of Riverside is among the top 100 universities across the nation.  Decisions to take away athletic opportunities for student athletes in any sport, will not bode well for the future reputation of this prestigious university if the leadership at UCR elects to discontinue the Men’s Tennis Program.

    Alright….the score is now 40 – 30…..It’s time to do a Djokovic(bounce the ball twenty times), a Roddick(fix our shirt), and a Nadal(get that wedgie out our shorts) and pull out an Ace down the “T” to “Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR”.  It’s the right thing to do.

  144. Katy Curnyn says:

    Realistically what is the interest in sand volleyball? How many players do you already have that would be able to be competitive? I don’t know about you but I don’t know of any high schools that have that as a sport offered to them. If anything it would just be a hobby kids go to the beach to play. That doesn’t seem very competitive to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a girl and love girl’s sports, but would people actually go and watch? And for reasons other than seeing girls in bikinis(which I find offensive given the amount of work put in only to be watched because of what I’m wearing). Then there’s the money issue that everyone is dealing with. Cutting one program to create another doesn’t save you money. It’s not fair to the men’s tennis team or any other sport you could potentially cut to keep the new sport going. Have you made a realistic budget plan? From the other comments I’d say not. How about you get on that and think about every aspect of this issue before completely crushing the dreams of your athletes. Don’t have money? Fund raise, which would also promote by the way. Also, how can you say there’s no interest in tennis when you live in a highly active tennis community?! Seriously?! Look at where your players are coming from! Read all these comments. Here’s your interest! Don’t cut the team before looking at all your options. That 10 days crap reflects SO bad on the university! Get your act together. Just because the NCAA made sand volleyball a sport doesn’t mean you have to jump right on it. Give it a few years to see how the sport is received and evaluate the interest in your area. Wait until you can rightfully fund a new sport without having to eliminate another, be it men’s tennis or something else.

  145. Matheus says:

    As an international student at UCR and a resident of International Village with a frequent contact with Extension students, I am sure that the student’s interest in Tennis is much greater than in Sand Volleyball, which I am sure most of them probably don’t even know that exists. It is notable that all the Basketball games promoted at the Extension had a huge attendance of international students. On the other hand, due to the lack of information, many of them don’t even know that UCR has a Tennis team, and when I tell them that there is, their first reaction is: “When is the next game?” Therefore, I am sure that the right thing to do now is invest in activities that promote the Tennis team and don’t demand much money instead of cutting it.

  146. chase grant says:

    As a close friend of a member of the UC Riverside Tennis team, i know how much not only his athletic ability but his character has grown since joining the team. PLEASE keep mens tennis a UC Riverside!

  147. Miriam says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR

  148. Janet Waites says:

    Tennis is a lifelong sport that should be encouraged at every level and age. It is a staple in Southern California and UCR has an obligation to promote such a legacy sport in California. Think about the injustice created for the current players on the team and what type of message this action sends. It would reflect poorly on UCR. Where is your moral compass?

  149. To whom it may concern,
    I’m Stephen Vorhees the Director of Tennis at Canyon Crest CC in Riverside, also the president of the USPTA for district 5 in Southern California. I read your article about cancelling the Tennis Team for men, and I have to say it was very disturbing new’s. UCR has a rich tradition in tennis, from the Division 2 day’s, where we went to the playoffs on a regular basis, I know ever since we went to Division 1 there has been very little success there, but it’s not from a lack of interest but maybe a lack of coaching and recruiting. Now I know York Strothers very well he used to work for me here at the club back in the 80′s and I competed with him in the 70′s. But he didn’t do a good job of fund-raising and recruiting. If you get the right person in the job there is no reason that UCR can’t compete within your conference. UCR just recruited one of my players David Stanko and I have another student that would be able to play for UCR Jordan Gobatie, if UCR would recruit locally they would get more support than all the foreigners that are there. California has the biggest player pool in the nation, we don’t need to get players from other countries. I just think it’s a huge lose to cancel UCR tennis. Also open up the courts to more players it’s all locked up and the community has no access to play there, make it a club where you charge membership and that would fund your programs with a membership and activities there. I bring in over $300,00 a year for our club not counting membership just in activity and lesson’s something to think about.
    Stephen Vorhees,
    Director of Tennis,
    Canyon Crest CC,
    951-274-7907

  150. Gemma Alcantara says:

    Keep men’s tennis at UCR!

  151. Maddy says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!!

  152. Andrea O. says:

    Please keep men’s tennis at UCR!

  153. Rachel says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!!!

  154. Lee harvey says:

    Please do not remove Men’s Tennis from UCR, this sport is by far a good character building sport that enhances the quality of life to those who play. It would be a huge loss to lose Men’s Tennis at UCR!!!

  155. anonymous says:

    Dont remove Men’s Tennis from UCR, they deserve better respect than that and greater attention for their effort and hardwork they put day in and day out. Cutting this program would be a horrible loss.

  156. Vic Braden says:

    As a licensed psychologist and member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Tennis Association, any decision to cut the tennis program would prove disastrous. In the 1980′s, I surveyed tennis players around the country and 90% of the thousands interviewed, over 50% went to a four year college. But a more amazing figure was that 95% of the tennis players who attended a found year college also graduated. We are now running a program to teach science, math and physics to young tennis players. Tennis has longevity like no other sport. There’s now a highly competitive division in the US for players 90 and over. Tennis is more than just a sport.

  157. Kayla says:

    Keep UCR Men’s Tennis ALIVE!

  158. Kayla says:

    KEEP UCR MEN’S TENNIS ALIVE!!!

  159. Gwen Van Brunt says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR…TENNIS IS UNIVERSAL SPORT!

  160. Janine says:

    Please keep tennis at UCR. When young children dream and begin to realize their true gifts and talents, it is our job as a community to support the next generation of college atheletes. Consider the money, time, sacrfices and countless hours of practices and matches that were made to keep these young competetive tennis players on the tennis courts. They were recruited for their skills and talents and deserve their chance to have their dreams come true. Their scholarships and committments to UCR need to be honored, that’s the right thing to do. We need to remember these freshmen had many options to play tennis at other universities,but they chose UCR. Let them play tennis. Give them a chance. Remember these young people have been playing tennis since their childhood years, just like basketball, football, soccer and football players. Every college athelete deserves their chance to share their talents and to have their scholarships valued and honored.

  161. Ellie says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!!

  162. Willie says:

    Keep Men’s tennis at UCR. It is the right thing to do.

  163. Chris says:

    When student athletes committ to the school, the school needs to committ to the student athletes. If UCR had any intentions to get rid of the Men’s Tennis Program, UCR should have never recruited them. At this point,it is not fair to the incoming freshmen, because they have already committed to UCR. Keep the dreams alive. Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR.

  164. jack says:

    yo my main dudes are playing there and you seriously need to keep it.. they worked hard in getting there scholarships and you’re taking that opportunity away from that they can’t play anymore. please re consider your opinion please. KEEP MENS TENNIS.

  165. Cameron Ruland says:

    Men need their tennis. Keep it!

  166. James Lafond says:

    KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UC RIVERSIDE! MY BOYS AT NW DESERVE THIS! DON’T LET THEIR TALENT GO TO WASTE! #SHOUTOUTTOMYBOYCALVIN

  167. Alex D says:

    Keep UCR Men’s tennis!!!

  168. Dlinsanity says:

    Keep mens tennis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jruff and C Ngo will be attending next year and that will greatly boost the competitive-ness of the UCR tennis team! Dont let such a great sport go to waste!

  169. Eric Lee says:

    Please do not suspend the tennis program! It is so dear and close to the hearts of many. We stand united against this idea!! Thanking you in advance for your consideration!

  170. Alex K says:

    Please keep men’s tennis at ucr!

  171. Kelsey says:

    A copy of what I sent to the Athletic Department:

    To whom it may concern,

    I have recently heard of the plan to cut the men’s tennis program at UC Riverside. As a member of the UC Riverside Tennis Club on Campus, I would be very disappointed if the program here were to be cut. It would be unfair to both current and prospective players of the area. Southern California is one of the most competitive locations for tennis in the world. Many junior players aspire to play at the collegiate level. The tennis programs on campus provide these players with an opportunity to both realize their athletic potential and gain a quality education. Cutting the program would send a very negative message to these up and coming junior players.

    I am also alarmed at the perceived unpopularity of the sport on campus and the possibility of removing the courts. The UCR tennis club on campus is a successful organization that gives players of all levels the opportunity to form friendships and compete at other schools. We have tight-knit community of about 25-30 members who use the courts on a daily basis. Our program is still a young program and has been growing rapidly. It provides players, like me, who were unable to play for the school team, an opportunity to continue playing tennis. I am very passionate about this club and have developed a strong bond with my teammates. I would be extremely disappointed if this program were to be discontinued.

    We are not the only organization who’s organization depends on the courts. The women’s tennis team calls these courts their home. There is an intermural team and tennis instructor who also use the courts. The ARC courts are also popular with unaffiliated recreational players. I see these organizations and athletes fill the courts every night.

    There would be a lot of people who would be very disappointed if UC Riverside’s tennis tradition were to be discontinued. It would be discouraging to both current and potential students alike. I sincerely hope that a solution can be reached in order to keep these programs alive.

  172. Kelsey says:

    *SRC courts my mistake

  173. Mike Hamer says:

    Please dont cut mens tennis at UCR!

  174. Westin Babyak says:

    Give it another shot!!! don’t cut things just to save money

  175. Mark says:

    KEEP UCR MEN’S TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  176. Jake says:

    Keep UCR men’s tennis!

  177. Nico Ramos says:

    Keep UCR Men’s Tennis!!! they deserve to play!! don’t take away a man’s dream of playing at college level!!!

  178. Mika De Coster says:

    Keep UCR Tennis!

  179. jmuir says:

    Would like to extend appreciation to Brian Wickstrom for being open to broader feedback and discussion before final decisions are made for UCR tennis. Also special Thanks to Steve Bellamy for both establishing this site as an open and positive discussion platform… along with his incredible passion and drive that for our sport.

    Mr. Wickstrom,
    The position of UCR – facing current financial considerations which is impacting the UCR Tennis program(mens) is understood and thank you for the detailed summary, however, I would add my voice to the many others to urge for longer term consideration to maintain support for UCR Tennis and utilize this situation as a call to action to elevate your opportunities not just with the Mens tennis program but for UCR overall. Nothing against other sports but a few key points to consider for Tennis:
    - One of very few sports that is gender equal in participation and opportunity at every level across socio-economic segments
    - Tennis is the fastest growing traditional sport in America over the last 10 years (+43%)
    - One of the only sports that allows our youth to both aspire to Collegiate / Varsity level competition AND provides an established lifetime competition / participation pathway (post-college) for the the post student-athelete’s life
    - One of the only sports that allows outreach / engagement (for the broader UCR community) to both watch / follow and the resulting opportunity to participate in the sport both on campus (as provided at your facilities) and in the surrounding community in different programs – at every level, age and gender.

    While other sports have positive aspects and interest, Tennis is unique when looking across the landscape of student-athlete impact potential and the broader community.

    These simple points alone, represent a unique position for the tennis program that should directly align with UCR values in promoting student-athlete participation, diversification, and your commitment to bridging the college athlete experience to the broader UCR / surrounding community.
    The challenge it seems is how to elevate this impact across the broader UCR community and activate further engagement and support. But without Mens Varsity tennis, without the commitment to varsity tennis overall and your facilities to support, the broader opportunity (that is unqiue to tennis vs other sports) will be permanently lost for UCR.

    I would add with the many other voices the urgent concern based on these points and the many others key points that have been made.

    I’m currently in the unique role as serving as both the (volunteer) President of the Tennis Industry Association and in my full-time position as the General Manager for Wilson Tennis worldwide. I would look foward (with many others) to discussing by phone next steps to broaden tennis across the UCR community and activate stronger engagment to align to UCR goals as well.

    Thank you for the consideration and longer term support of Varsity/mens tennis at UCR,
    Jon Muir

  180. pimpinainteasy says:

    SAVE MENS TENNIS AT UCR!!!!! ju ju and calv are too legit to quit

  181. theo haboucha says:

    please keep UCR tennis!!! These guys have worked all their lives for this!

  182. Mina E says:

    Keep UCR men’s tennis. Don’t be silly.

  183. Helen says:

    SAVE MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!!!!!!!

  184. Dominic Nguyen says:

    I used to play Tennis. I understand how amazing it feels to be out there and destroying people in Tennis. Keep the Tennis team. I’ll personally come with my friends and watch the matches and drive others to watch the matches too. I’ll keep my commitment if you keep yours.

  185. Garrett says:

    I vote to keep the tennis team! If they really want sand volleyball, then have both! By their own admission, starting a sand volleyball team isn’t that expensive! And it’s not fair to the students who were planning on playing tennis next year! UC Riverside made a commitment to them, and should keep their promise!

  186. Watcher says:

    You all seem like good people who care, so it hurts me to tell you this: It’s a done deal. Men’s tennis is gone at UCR. The “request for comment” is a ruse – a way of Wickstrom pretending that he cares about the feelings of fans of the program. Truth is that he has already made the decision and gotten the necessary blessing.

    So, write, comment, beg, plead…. unless you have a million bucks, it doesn’t make a difference.

    And if you are a fan of UCR, it also should give you pause about the way Brian Wickstrom does business.

  187. C Malik says:

    Keep men’s tennis at UCR!

  188. Don Ruffin says:

    When Brian Wickstrom became Athletic Director of UCR He told Press Entprise….My first year is going to be 90 percent listening to people and finding out what it takes. We’re going to take baby steps to start making progress.
    I would like to see him keep his word. Listen to what the people are saying…and by the way Discontinuing Men’s Tennis at UCR is not a baby step.

  189. Amy says:

    keep men’s tennis at UCR!!

  190. I have had the opportunity to work with Jullian Ruffin for the past 9 months, and I am planning on working with him till he is off to college. I know how hard he worked and how excited he was and still is to compete for UCR. I mean imagine you dedicate 10 hours of tennis 4.5 hours of fitness a week and weekends to train and compete hard just to get closer to your goal in competing hard at a school that has promised you a scholership. I know that Jullians hard work and dedication will result him a division 1 scholarship at UCR or somewhere else. I have also worked with David Stanko and plan to work with him over the summer. David is also a dedicated athlete that is a hard worker and would qualify to compete at a division 1 school. I have just recently met Calvin Ngo and I can tell he is ready to work hard and compete at a high level.

    I Suggest the following solutions

    1. Keep the team for 1 year then cut the program if you need to, give the athletes time to find another school.

    2. Get a budget for the team to compete for 1 year make it public, and I am sure within the tennis community and the USTA you will get the funds you need to keep the team attlleast for 1 year. I am sure companies will step up and support like Head Bobolat etc.. it would be good publicity for them.

    3. Reach out to other schools that are ranked close to UCR and offer them the scholarship money you were going to grant for the Athletes and have the athletes compete for one year with an option to transfer. Not all athletes need to go to the same school distribute them out to 4 or 5 different schools. I am sure the NCAA will have to step in and make something like this happen but it would be a great option.

    I hope you make a smart decision!!

    Kareem Gobran

  191. Steven says:

    Keep men’s tennis!

  192. Coach GC says:

    As a former member of the UCR Men’s Tennis Team, I was very upset to learn of the program’s impending doom. After reading the thoughtful comments from some very influential people in the tennis world, and current players on staff, I could not agree more with all of the comments. Thank you Mr. Bellamy for your concerted effort to bring about awareness of this travesty. It’s true the whole state of California is struggling, but that is not the fault of the players who have committed to the University, a change has already been made and perhaps instead of axing the program from existence, AD Wickstrom would give another coach a chance to steer this thing back in the right direction. Last I checked Cal Poly Slo lost a great coach to UCI and now they’re number 1 in the conference. The current roster of players deserve a shot to finish what they started, incoming freshmen deserve a shot, and the future of the program deserves more commitment from its new AD. I echo the sentiments of all current and former student athletes at UCR, the experience that Division 1 Athletics provides for an individual is incomparable to any other experience I’ve had in my life thus far. My teammates were my brothers, my fellow athletes were part of my family, we all understood what a privelege it was to represent UCR every day we were there. My teammates are incensed and we all are pleading that the tennis program be given another chance. It would be a grave mistake to cut the program, the sport continues to grow internationally. SoCal tennis produces some of the best juniors in the nation, local talent need in-state options! Had it not been for UCR I would have never had the opportunity to play Division 1 tennis, nor would I have met my amazing teammates who I still keep in contact with to this day! Check the records, UCR’s best season at the Division 1 level had 4 top ranked Southern California Juniors playing in their top 6: Justin Montgomery, Mark Contreras, Norman Tam, and Bobby Tam. You would deny the present crop of top juniors an in state option as amazing as UCR? It’s every competitive junior tennis player’s dream to play at the next level, whether it be college or pro, this move would kill future dreams and past memories of those that battled on those UCR Rec Center courts. Coach used to tell us all the time “do the right thing”, those words have echoed throughout every aspect of my life after college tennis, so I would plead AD Wickstrom to do the same, “do the right thing”, keep tennis alive at UCR!

  193. Eric says:

    A friend of mine has recently committed to UCR because he had been recruited to play tennis there. He is by far the best young tennis player I have ever watched and I know he has worked his entire life to play at the collegiate level. It would be a shame to cut the tennis program and end his dreams as well as the dreams of others. Please UCR do not cut the Men’s Tennis Program!

  194. Mindy says:

    Keep men’s tennis at UCR! It’s not fair to the boys…!! Please and thank you

  195. Keep men’s tennis. The cutting of men’s sports needs to stop. SAVE THE TENNIS PROGRAMS.

  196. Camille says:

    Please save the Men’s Tennis Team of UCR…. WE NEED THEM!!!!!!!!

  197. kristin schum says:

    Save men’s tennis. It’s a sport you can continue to play for life and teaches you strategy, sportsmanship and strength both mental and physical.

  198. Jessica says:

    SAVE MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!!

  199. Aaronmichaelcox says:

    DO NOT!!! I REPEAT, DO NOT CUT THE MEN’S TENNIS PROGRAM!!

  200. tennisforlife says:

    As someone who played competitive juniors, college tennis (DI and DIII), and is now coaching and managing tennis facilities I can honestly say that the most rewarding/inspiring/fun/professional networking/social networking/personal development element of tennis occurs during college tennis.

    In juniors tennis is highly individualized (which is great. it teaches self-reliance and competitiveness). In college, tennis becomes a team sport. You cheer, travel, and bond with your team. You develop ties that will last a lifetime (I graduated 7 years ago and my best friends are still from my tennis team). Post college (if you continue playing… and I hope you do/did!) you are able to play tournaments (very individual) or league tennis (which is also being part of a team… but NOTHING like college tennis).

    Once or twice a year I travel (less than 2 hours) back to my alma mater and watch the current team compete. We have an alumni match where 20+ alumni travel back to campus, re-connect, and play a match against the current team. We also use this opportunity to financially give back to our program. Then we go out and drink a beer (or seven).

    It would be an athletic felony to take away college tennis from the young gentleman at UCR. I understand budget issues are brutal and there is not a lot of money floating around. Try reaching out to the alumni and see if they can help? Can you contact Adidas or Nike, tell them your plight, and see if they can help with uniforms? Can you get the current team to commit to doing a massive fundraiser? UCR already has the tennis courts (I’ve played on them, they are stellar!) and it would be such a shame to not have a UC school have a varsity team play on them!

  201. California taxpayer says:

    In response to the above comment(#186,watcher),who stated …….the Request for Public Comment made by Brian Wickstrom is a ruse, ………you comment as if you have inside inside info. If this athletic department is intentionally and falsely misleading the public and the decision has already been made and the Request for Public commemt is a formality then we have a serious
    problem!……..please share more if you have it…..their actions need to be exposed if indeed there is an attempt to mislead the public and the Men Tennis team.

  202. Lesly M says:

    KEEP MENS TENNIS!!!

  203. Arlene says:

    The Men’s Tennis Team is a Diamond in the Rough. Some may say there league record was 0-5 but I encourage you to truly look at the Match scores…and while you are looking remember that 5 players will be returning and they have recruited 5 more players who are so very eager to be major contributors to the UCR Men’s Tennis. Just think what they could do with support from the Athletic Department and Student body at UC Riverside. Give these young men a chance….Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR.
    #58 Cal Poly 5, UC Riverside 2

    Doubles
    1. Andres/Macherez (UCR) def. McPhee/Bridge (CP) 4-1, ret.
    2. Comuzzo/De Jager (CP) def. Gastao/Griffin (UCR) 8-5
    3. Dome/Bell (CP) def. Peters/Roberts (UCR) 8-0

    Singles
    1. #34 Andre Dome (CP) def. Felix Macherez (UCR) 6-4, 6-4
    2. Jimmy Roberts (UCR) def. Brian McPhee (CP)  5-0, ret.
    3. Austin Andres (UCR) def. Jordan Bridge (CP) 7-5, ret.
    4. Jurgen De Jager (CP) def. Luis Gastao (UCR) 6-1, 6-2
    5. Marco Comuzzo (CP) def. Simon Peters (UCR) 6-0, 6-0
    6. Sebastian Bell (CP) def. Kelly Dickson (UCR) 6-1, 6-2

    #57 UC Santa Barbara 6, UC Riverside 1

    Doubles
    1. Forget/Recknagel (UCSB) def. Andres/Macherez (UCR) 9-7
    2. Ndimande/Johnson (UCSB) def. Gastao/Griffin (UCR) 8-0
    3. Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Peters/Roberts (UCR) 8-3

    Singles
    1. #118 Mathieu Forget (UCSB) def. Felix Macherez (UCR) 6-1, 6-2
    2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Jimmy Roberts (UCR) 6-2, 6-4
    3. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Austin Andres (UCR) 6-3, 6-2
    4. Luis Gastao (UCR) def. Alexander Gryaznov (UCSB) 6-4, 4-6 (10-8)
    5. Max Glenn (UCSB) def. Simon Peters (UCR) 6-1, 6-2
    6. Mons Knudtzon (UCSB) def. Kelly Dickson (UCR) 6-1, 6-3

    Pacific 5, UC Riverside 2

    Doubles
    1. Castro/Goncalves Jr. (PAC) def. Andres/Macherez (UCR) 9-7
    2. Stolyarov/Hamilton (PAC) def. Gastao/Griffin (UCR) 8-3
    3. Peters/Roberts (UCR) def. Grewal/Mirkin (PAC) 8-5

    Singles
    1. Ivan Castro (PAC) def. Felix Macherez (UCR) 6-3, 6-0
    2. Ben Mirkin (PAC) def. Jimmy Roberts (UCR) 7-6, 2-6 (10-3)
    3. Erik Cederwall (PAC) def. Austin Andres (UCR) 6-3, 6-3
    4. Luis Gastao (UCR) def. Valentim Goncalves Jr. (PAC) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
    5. Alex Hamilton (PAC) def. Simon Peters (UCR) 6-1, 6-4
    6. Kelly Dickson (UCR) def. Jainendra Grewal (PAC) 6-4, 6-4

    UC Irvine 5, UC Riverside 2

    Doubles
    No. 1 – Gould/Jung (UCI) def. Anders/Macherez (UCR) – 8-3
    No. 2 – DeCoster/Kazarian (UCI) def. Gastao/Griffin (UCR) – 8-1
    No. 3 – Matthews/Shibahara (UCI) def. Peters/Roberts (UCR) – 8-7
     
    Singles
    No. 1 – #70 Fabian Matthews (UCI) def. Felix Macherez (UCR) – 6-4, 6-4
    No. 2 – Sam Gould (UCI) def. Jimmy Roberts (UCR) – 6-2, 6-0
    No. 3 – Jacob Jung (UCI) def. Austin Andres (UCR) – 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3)
    No. 4 – Luis Gastao (UCR) def. Jon Kazarian (UCI) – 2-6, 6-4, 6-0
    No. 5 – Shuhei Shibahara (UCI) def. Simon Peters (UCR) – 6-1, 6-1
    No. 6 – Kelly Dickson (UCR) def. Eric Gast (UCI) – 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (1)

    UC Davis 5, UC Riverside 2

    Doubles
    1. Andres/Macherez (UCR) def. Miller/Sherbakov (UCD) 8-0
    2. Albert/Verdi-Fortin (UCD) def. Gastao/Griffin (UCR) 8-1
    3. Haley/Aria (UCD) def. Peters/Roberts (UCR) 8-6

    Singles
    1. Toki Sherbakov (UCD) def. Felix Macherez (UCR) 7-5, 6-2
    2. Kyle Miller (UCD) def. Jimmy Roberts (UCR) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
    3. Austin Andres (UCR) def. Chris Aria (UCD) 6-3, 6-4
    4. Luis Gastao (UCR)  def. Hugo Verdi-Fortin (UCD) 4-6, 6-4, 3-2 ret.
    5. Josh Albert (UCD) def. Simon Peters (UCR) 6-3, 6-3
    6. Alec Haley (UCD) def. Kelly Dickson (UCR) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

  204. Kim Raney says:

    UCR has such a great group of young men! It is difficult to measure the entire value of having men & womens tennis teams for UCR. As a Division 1 school UCR should definitely keep Mens Tennis! UCR made a committment to 5 incoming Freshmen as well and it is too late for them to go elsewhere. The UC system as a whole should cut some administrators instead if what I heard is true…..which is that there are more administrators than professors? Why is that when students can’t get the classes they need? It did not start out that way.

  205. Marc says:

    The problem with mens college tennis is that our American universities and colleges have more foreigners on their rosters than American boys. This is sad, that our own boys do not get the chance to represent American universities. Good ole USA..let everyone in and forget about our own people who pay taxes and contribute to American society. Forget about the boys who were born and raised here…we would rather have some 23 old foreigner who couldn’t make the pro’s and give him a full ride scholarship. Then we wonder why we are behind everyone else in the world. There are some colleges that have 8 out of 10 foreigners on their rosters. What a disgusting display of not giving our boys the chance to get an education and the benefit of being on a college sports team. Cutting the mens tennis program at UCR is just one more example of not providing our American boys with the opportunity to succeed. What a shame. There are plenty of teams who don’t have winning records. Should we cut every program that does not win? There should be a limit to how many foreigners play on American college teams. This would level out the playing field and give our own boys more opportunities for scholarships.

  206. Jody Robles says:

    Thank you Mr. Bellamy for having this avenue to comment on why UCR needs to keep the Men’s Tennis Team. As I read through the comments of over 200 people on just this site alone, the Athletic Director would be hard pressed to get rid of Men’s Tennis. Please carefully consider these positive remarks about keeping Men’s Tennis at UCR.If the troops can rally to get this kind of response, it is pretty hard to say there is not much interest in Men’s Tennis at UCR. Hopefully these comments show the importance of tennis to individuals and the community. Achieving tennis at this level shows everyone the hard work required to excel at your sport as well as your academics. It is motivating to tennis players in the community, the state, and the nation, as well as students to excel at something you need to work hard to make it happen. Tennis is a life skill, not just a sport.

  207. Dayra Rodriguez says:

    KEEP TENNIS AT UCR!

  208. Mac Cerceo says:

    With my best friend being a member of the UCR Men’s tennis team, I feel the impact of the possible cutting of the Men’s Tennis program. As a fellow intercollegiate athlete, I know the time commitment that athletes have to go through with just training, not to mention the school work they have to focus on. The sacrifices made by athletes is something that cannot be quantified by an monetary amount. That reason alone should warrant at the very least a more prolonged discussion of this issue, allowing for a case to be made for both sides.

    On a second issue, I’ve heard that the facility that hosts Men’s Tennis has been torn down. Now an issue is that the building of a new facility is not a financial endeavor that is willing to be made by the athletic department. A solution to this problem could be in a court that can be used by the UCR student body as a whole. At UCSB, the tennis courts used by Women’s tennis is open to the student body to use when the tennis team is not using the courts. This solution could allow for money to be drawn from other areas of the UCR budget aside from just the Intercollegiate Athletic Department. While UCR does have courts, I believe, for the student body as a whole, new courts as such open to all can be paid for by even moderate tuition increases, and funded through team clinics if the necessity becomes of it.

    To cut a program on such sort notice is absurd, and ultimately unnecessary. While it could be the easy solution for a temporary problem, keeping UCR Men’s Tennis is a long-term necessity that will ultimately render a great benefit to UCR if given the proper attention.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  209. Tracy Austin says:

    Tennis is such a gift to the kids, the school and to society. I hope the school decides to keep this team!!!

  210. David Gardner says:

    Steve: Thank you so much for stimulating this discussion. The following is a paraphrase of comments I made to the athletic department via their website.

    The Men’s Tennis team has been part of the athletic program at UCR since the inception of the campus. I was a member of the team 1964-1968. I still play competitively, largely as a result of my positive experiences as a member of the team and the UCR athletic community. My fellow alumni are contributing, vital members of their communities.

    I would like to see the quantitative analysis by the athletic department of the lack of campus and community interest. I would admit that interest may have been low in recent years, but I believe some of that is attributable to lack of leadership and support at the administrative level. Steve, I think you are probably right to suspect that not enough has been done to promote the sport. I have donated money to the program for many years, but I found out by chance that there was a group of alumni that were generating financial support. With further support and leadership from the administration, such support can only grow.

    There is no question that there is tremendous interest in tennis in the community; the “fifth grand slam” at nearby Indian Wells is a prime example. The administration needs to take advantage of this untapped support and interest.

    Steve, you say you don’t know enough to argue the point about sand volleyball costing less, but if you look at the information they posted, either there is important information missing or their argument is not supported by their own figures. The alleged savings is based upon elimination of grants-in-aid and elimination of salary and benefits (presumably, coaches salaries and benefits). Are they saying that the women’s volleyball coaches will also coach volleyball for no more compensation and without having to give up other responsibilities (that would have to be filled by other paid coaches)? Are they saying that the existing volleyball players will play both sports.

    Regarding community and campus support, accompanying Jim Alexander’s article in the Press Enterprise there is a photo of the spectators at a sand volleyball competition at CSULB — a grand total of five spectators! When I played at UCR we always had more spectators than that and the student body and surrounding community were much smaller then.

    I think the proposal is short-sighted and not well thought out. If the problem is lack of support, find out why and do something about it. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Keep up the good work.

    David Gardner UCR ’68

  211. UCR athlete says:

    Keep men’s tennis please! Consider all options before pulling the plug on this amazing team of guys. Being on a D1 team, working hard & playing a sport teaches us student athletes so much more than in the classroom. Most schools host tournaments, summer camps etc. to earn funds for the school. Why has UCR not been open to any of these? I guess its just easier to complain about not having money than to actually hustle & do something to change that?

  212. Judd for the Defense says:

    Mr. Wickerson it appears there is a disconnect with your public statements and the posters of this site in many areas. We were not told of mismangagement of the program, nor the real costs to operate tennis or an alternative sand volleyball team in your public statements. Is your data erroneous or your analytics flawed? Or worse is this intentional? I would welcome the opportunity to dicuss these matters with the UC Board of Regents.

  213. Steve Bellamy says:

    Thanks everyone for their comments and David…I certainly have not looked at any P&L’s to A/B the expense of the two programs. I would assume that a tennis team in a legacy based sport playing matches for basically the entire year is going to cost more than a new sport where they probably don’t even have more than a handful of teams to compete against. I believe that sand volleyball just became an NCAA sport this year.

    But again, I know very little. I have a call into the Chancellor of the University and I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Brian yesterday. To his credit, Brian seemed naive and wanting to measure twice before cutting.

  214. prokop710 says:

    I am a big fan of UCR tennis and I would hate to see the program go. It would not be fair to the players and the incoming freshman, who have worked so hard to fulfill their dreams of D1 college tennis. And C’mon really women’s Sand Volleyball UCR already has regular women’s Volleyball!!!

  215. Mark Littrell says:

    Cut mens tennis? How long has Mens tennis been played at UCR? 50 years? Maybe more…It has a great tradition. How many fine young men have gone through the program and became great Americans? Look at graduation rates for mens and womens tennis. I bet they’re at or near the top for all sports at UCR. How many times have you heard of a tennis player getting in trouble or embarrassing the school? Tennis players are terrific role models, honest, hard working and usually very humble.

    I know many of the current and former members of the UCR tennis teams. Not one jerk among them. If a university is looking to make their reputation better, attract quality people and make campus life more enjoyable, you can’t go wrong with tennis players.

  216. David Gardner says:

    Steve, I took me a while to figure out how they calculated the tax savings, but it’s there. The alleged annual savings of $152,142 is the difference between the 2011-12 men’s tennis budget ($174,419) and the sand volleyball annual operations ($22,277). But look at the items under “annual operations” — there is no amount for salary benefits (i.e., coaches) and no amount for grants-in-aid. I may be missing something but I see this as an indequate analysis for a decision of this nature.

    Regarding your comment about the problem of the courts being removed because of new construction, maybe this is a way to make lemons out of lemonade. There are two very telling comments by people close to the program who are at Canyon Crest CC (comments #55 and #149) about the lack of leadership and promotion I alluded to. Why not use this as an promotional opportunity and hold matches at that club and other locations and involve the local tennis community — a win-win situation.

    Keep up the good work.

    David Gardner UCR ’68

  217. Will P. says:

    UCR Men’s Tennis should not be cancelled. As a huge fan of college tennis, I’m very disappointed to hear this possibility. College Tennis players are some of the best student athlete role models and tennis should not be cut in a Southern California school as we are a region that produces some of the best young tennis talent out there.

  218. Arlene Ruffin says:

    When my son Julian took his official visit to UCR In October. He was told that they were going to put in brand new courts with a main center court and seating. He was told these funds were ear marked and could not be used for something else. The courts would be finished by Julian’s Junior year. In the mean time UCR had contracted with the nearby Andulka Park Tennis Center where the Men’s and Women’s team would have their practices. Of course one can understand why we were so shocked when told they might discontinue Men’s Tennis at UCR.

  219. Steve Bellamy says:

    David:

    Having college matches at tennis clubs is amazing!!! I have seen it done before. The club is pumped…the kids have a lot of eyeballs on their matches…it is a great local integration.

  220. MrTennis says:

    I LOVE the fact that TennisInsiders.com proves to be THE forum ready to post comments for people to fight for tennis. And this, my friends, is not a fight for a tennis program at a College. It’s the fight for tennis. I have seen too many of those court closings and program cuts in Southern Cal in recent years.

    Tennis players are like Catholics. When you hit them they quietly turn the other cheek. We’ve GOT to change that. We’re losing out to soccer moms, baseball dads, and College officials unwilling to put in the work needed to make that sport successful at their school.

    Come on, people. We have 20+ million tennis players in this country. We have a governing organization with more than half a million members. There is power behind those numbers. All we need is someone to unite us in a large concerted advocacy effort. Steve Bellamy and Wayne Bryan come to mind. No?

  221. Jon Moody says:

    Tennis is a lifetime sport. Tennis is making a comeback with kids and there should be another tennis revival like they had in the 1970′s-80s. Keep the college tennis program at UCR – there will be more interest in tennis and it’s important the UCR have a Men’s tennis program (especially in Southern California where there are so many good tennis players).

    Thanks,
    Jon Wayne Moody

  222. Marcia Frost says:

    I consider college tennis to be the base of the sport. We have watched so many players come out of these programs become great professionals — in and out of tennis. The UCR program has been around since the beginning and should not be cut.

    Marcia Frost

  223. JJ says:

    Brian:

    I am a UC Riverside Alumni who has been very fortunate in business and has donated significant funds to the school over the years. I have also rallied numerous others to do so every time the school has called. I mean literally EVERY time the school has called! Millions of dollars have gone to the school solely because I wanted to give back to the institution that helped me succeed in life. There is hardly a day that goes by that I am not telling some parent about what a great education and experience you can get at Riverside. I have talked countless numbers of kids out of going to other schools who ended up at Riverside. But over the last few years, there have been a few things that have really made me upset and question my allegiance.

    Brian, I understand that you are new to the school, but I want to make it really clear to you that this will be the final straw for me. And if this goes down I will certainly be meeting with Chancellor White to let him know the repercussions. The best part of my education at Riverside had nothing to do with any of the classrooms. It was solely my involvement of 4 years on the tennis team. Those bonds that formed working, playing, fighting, winning, losing and being together gave me the education to succeed. My doubles partner was the best man at my wedding. Most of my success in business was steered by another player on the team and I have since returned the favor to a few other players from the team.

    I have been on a significant number of email chains the last few days with players from my era. It is the same story from everyone. No one has even been contacted by anyone at the team or school for tennis for as long as any of us can remember. I believe that the previous administration has really let the team, the school, the alumni and the sport of tennis down by putting in a non-existent effort. You have tennis alumni with hundreds of millions of dollars in resources who have never even been contacted for support. I saw on this forum that Dick Gould from Stanford posted something. You guys should call him and ask a few questions about fundraising. What he did for Stanford was incredible and had UC Riverside followed his playbook, we wouldn’t be discussing whether or not the team would exist going forward, we would be discussing whether the new stadium would have 3000 or 4000 seats.

    Speaking on behalf of numerous alumni, we do not appreciate the way this has been handled. The school is obviously yours to run, but when you take substantial donations from people like us, I think that you owe them a heads up before you make major changes such as getting rid of a tennis team that hundreds of us played for. I only found about this because another teammate forwarded me this website link. UC Riverside made a commitment to these kids that they would have a team to play for. If you break your commitment to them, then I am going to break my commitment to UC Riverside. Going for I will remove the sizable amount of monies earmarked towards the school in my will. I will do the same for various trusts and other family members who have the same. I will immediately cease all giving to the school going forward and will let all of my friends who give to the school know the reasons I am doing so. FYI: they are bigger than just this situation. Along those lines, as I stated before there have been a few things of late that are upsetting to me. My lawyers will call for an immediate forensic accounting of all the projects that I have supported over the years.

    I have chosen not to put this note under my signature as to not have a contentious relationship in the event the team is preserved, but believe me you will hear from me if the program is cancelled.

    I hope this matter is resolved positively.

  224. Bob Shafer says:

    Brian, I commend you for at least vetting this issue and not making a unilateral decision based on economics, Title 9, support, popularity or other internal influences…thank you for that!

    I had the privilege of playing Div. 1 football and basketball, earning my degree on a “full scholarship”. I went to work for a major sporting goods company in 1971, Tennis was my first job and now 41 years later Tennis still is my job!

    There is a reason that tennis is the “sport of life”…it is something you can do for life! I gave up my football and basketball 40 years ago, but I still play tennis! I noticed on the UCR website your “mission statement” is “A Place to Teach, a Place to Learn, a Place to Grow” …I focus on the word “grow”, how can cutting a program with so much tradition, so many former athletes in our communities that are leaders and role models, support growth? If indeed the mission is to educate and to put forth responsible citizens and not just winning on the athletic field support your mission? Tennis has over 27,000,000 (TIA/USTA fact) in the US playing today! All ages, sex & race, 4,800,000 are what is referred to as frequent players, playing at over 13,666 facilities. The sport is in the “fabric” of US sports (International as well), Southern California is the leader.

    I truly hope this is not a closed issue and that the decision has not been made Brian! The good thing about this, is, it is a “wake up call” for our sport in Southern California. I understand your concerns and problems, please let us help? I am a Board Member of SCTA/USTA, if you click on the link
    http://www.scta.usta.com/ you will see the UCR Men’s Tennis story, it is viewed by our 46,000 members and the public. I am the Chair of the SCTA Communications Committee, I would pledge that our committee would do its best to promote the UCR tennis program (Men’s, Women’s & Tennis on Campus) as we would any other viable tennis program. In addition we would get our tennis partners in Southern California to do the same!

    I also work for the Active Network http://www.activesports.com we are the IT partner for the USTA http://tennislink.usta.com/TOURNAMENTS/Common/Default.aspx and for the ITA http://www.itatennis.com/ we may also be in a position to help promote the UCR tennis program.

    In closing please do the right thing, I realize you have a tough job! It is easy to cut….the real tough job is building! Really consider the great tradition and the impact of dropping this program will have on the community and many young students striving to play varsity tennis in the UC arena! I (we) look forward to your response and ideas to save this program!

    Regards,

    Bob Shafer
    USTA Executive Comittee
    USTA Nominating Committee
    SCTA/USTA Delegate
    Chairman SCTA Communictions Committee

    Active Network
    Senior Business Development Advisor

  225. Arlene Ruffin says:

    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for your comments.
    When my son Julian, an incoming freshmen recruit emailed the Alumni Office asking for contact names of Alumni Tennis Players this was the response….

    I have spoken to the athletics department regarding this and they have said that the announcement was made broadly and in several public forums that includes former players.

    Bill Cole | Assistant Executive Director
    Office of Alumni & Constituent Relations | University of California, Riverside

    We proceeded to look up UCR Tennis Rosters archived on google and sent out messages and links through Facebook. Encouraging them to make contact and spread the word Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR.

  226. David Gardner says:

    Arlene,

    Although I have been a financial contributor to the program for many years, participant in alumni matches, etc., I found out about this only by chance when I was looking at the websites of the PE and Athletic Depts. To his credit, I had a voice mail from Brian Wickstrom which I intend to return (I was on vacation until yesterday). If you are looing for addresses, you may be able to find them in the alumni directory (I have one from about 5 years ago). One player who in the past was very active in communicating with former players is Greg Skaggs.

    Thanks to Steve, Bob Shafer and all the others for getting the word out.

    David Gardner ’68

  227. Arlene Ruffin says:

    David,
    Julian’s email went to the Alumni office on May 20th because we were quite aware that MANY were not aware of what was happening.
    We then emailed John Maxwell UC Riverside Associate Athletics Director Media Relations asking for a list of where and dates of when this announcement had been so broadly made. We received no response to that email. And to our knowledge where you found that announcement was the only place it was posted. The evening of May 18th.
    Julian, the UCR current tennis team members and the other incoming recruits knew they had to begin making contacts because they only were given 10 days to get others to send comments to Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR. They all thank everyone who has helped spread the word.

  228. Steve Bellamy says:

    I spent a long time today with Brian and other UC Riverside administers. As I have stated earlier, they are not demons and are looking for solutions. They are really looking for ongoing, sustainable funding as they are being pinched in their own funding.

    It would be great if some of the tennis alumni from the school got together and started a committee to be a regular source of boost to the program.

  229. Thank you to Steve Bellamy for providing this forum – it has allowed coverage of this topic way beyond what we could have hoped for! The positive benefits of a college tennis program have been eloquently voiced by many in this forum. I would like to address the community support issue. While most people are aware of the depth of tennis in Southern California generally, they may not know of the strong support the sport has in the Inland Empire. There is an excellent pathway for juniors as well as a myriad of opportunities for adults – a few statistics:

    Juniors:

    • CIF competition
    o 112 high school Boy’s team (say 25 per roster = 2800)
    o 107 high school Girl’s teams (2675)
    o many No-cut coaches carry far more players than 25
    • Inland Empire USTA Jr. Team Tennis
    o participation (18/14/12/10) is at 50 teams/approx. 500 players per season and growing
    o most of these teams play out of local high schools through good working relationships with high school ADs & tennis coaches
    • Inland Empire Jr. sanctioned tournaments are at 28 (Open, Jr. Satellite & Novice), participation numbers at 3000+
    College:
    • students at UCR formed a Tennis On Campus club back in 2009 – averages 25-30 members who meet 5 nights a week at the UCR Recreation Center courts; they have participated in the SCTA Sectionals tournament at CMS the past two years. http://www.facebook.com/ucrtennisclub#!/ucrtennisclub?sk=info
    • Riverside Community College Tennis program, under the leadership of Coaches Jim Elton & Nikki Bonzoumet, have sponsored/hosted many tennis community events over the past 6 years, including, but not limited to, Community Tennis Association Tennis Block Parties, Welcome Back to Tennis events, Recreation Coach Workshops, QuickStart Tennis workshops, TAUT league play and Play Days, and Jr. sanctioned tournaments. Some of these activities have been fundraisers for their tennis program, as have the clinics & socials the RCC teams have participated in that are hosted by local tennis clubs.
    Adult:
    • Sanctioned tournaments are at 26, participation numbers at 3100+
    • the Riverside Open Tennis tournament has been a community staple and regional draw for the past 58 years
    • Variety of adult leagues fielding 3500+ players
    Community Tennis Associations:
    • seven regional CTAs – High Desert Tennis Association, Riverside Jr. Tennis League, Redlands Racquet Club, San Bernardino Tennis Patrons, Temecula Team Tennis, ACES Foundation, and the Morongo Valley Tennis Association offer programming for many different segments of the population – school tennis, juniors, adults, military outreach, NJTL, etc
    Tennis Clubs:
    • management from several area clubs (both public & private) serve on the boards of the local CTAs and support local initiatives, from volunteering to run PE Tennis and afer-school tennis for elementary schools, to hosting PE field days for elementary schools and high school league playoffs, to Adopt-A-Unit and Wounded Warrior Family event as part of the Military Outreach project.
    • Andulka Park Tennis Center – a 10 court public facility built by the City of Riverside in 2009 and located one mile from UCR, has hosted several DI (UCR/UCI, UCR/Univ. of Oregon) and DIII (Skidmore/Bowdoin) college matches, and had confirmed the availability of the facility to host both the UCR Men’s & Women’s teams during the Student Rec, Center construction project
    Coverage of these activities is found in the SCTA News in Inside Tennis, on the SCTA website and Facebook page, the CTA websites where available as well as on the Inland Empire Tennis Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Inland-Empire-Tennis/199731412428
    I have no doubt that Inland Empire CTAs, clubs, players, parents, alumni, relatives and friends would be more than happy to support the Highlander Tennis program if a community outreach was attempted.
    Sincerely
    Alison C. Roell
    Founder, Riverside Jr. Tennis League
    Member, Canyon Crest Country Club
    USTA – Southern California Tennis Service Representative

  230. Otis Allmon says:

    As a UCR tennis alumnus, I was appalled by this news and the seeming dismissive attitude toward men’s tennis by some current administrators. During my tenure there, we regularly had representation, individuals and team, at NCAA Div II Nationals and fended-off Div I opponents successfully. In addition, match attendance was vibrant, from students and community members alike. No, it’s not the program that needs to be disbanded, but rather the shortsighted, dispirited attitudes of trying to save a quick buck at the expense of tradition, honor, and a very revivable institution. O.Allmon ’85-’88

  231. MeMa says:

    Maybe there would be more interest in college tennis if the teams were not flush with players from foreign countries. More homegrown talent would be more fun to watch. Do the local kids even have a shot at getting on these college teams? It’s no wonder interest in tennis has fallen off.

  232. Brett Bacharach says:

    PLEASE KEEP MEN’S TENNIS AT UCR!

  233. Anonomous says:

    I am a Southern California lawyer (litigator) who happens to have played college tennis in California and professional tennis worldwide. I would be interested in handling this case to make sure the legal rights were protected and any damages were awarded to the children harmed by the actions of the University.

  234. Allison@Riverside says:

    I am a junior, a very connected student and someone who didn’t even know we had a tennis team. I have no interest in tennis whatsoever. I have never played and I have never watched. But I am a person that believes in fairness. I don’t understand how the Administration can justify promising these incoming students a 4-year tennis team and then decide to change sports after they made that commitment.

    I probably wont go to match in the future, but I will do everything in my power as a student at the school to make sure that these kids to not get this fraudulent treatment. And I will rally every student I know to the defense of these future students.

  235. Bernadette says:

    In response to #228
    I am glad to hear they are looking for solutions, but in regards to this matter there are issues that need to be address concerning conduct, character, integrity, and trustworthiness pertaining to the AD and members of the Athletic Department. Are they the right people for the University of California Riverside. And can we trust them to look out for the Best interests of our Athletes?

  236. Dawn Stanko says:

    Mr. Wickerson, my name is Dawn Stanko. My son David Stanko is one of your incoming freshman players on a tennis scholarship to UCR. His goals are to represent UCR on and off court as a member of the team and 2016 grad with a Business Degree.
    Like all the players on the team, he signed his NLI in good faith in November and passed on offers from other schools since he was so impressed with the academic and athletic atmosphere at UCR.

    Allow the Men’s Tennis Team to promote and represent UCR on and off the court.
    Please honor the committment UCR made to these incoming students including my son. Let the team show UCR they can do.

    Sincerely, Dawn Stanko

  237. Whistle Blower says:

    It’s time to Blow the Whistle on the UCR Athletic Department!

    The University of California wants you to report improper activities……for more information on the University’s Whistleblower and Whistleblower Protection policies, and additional information, go online to: http://ucwhistleblower.ucop.edu

    How to Blow the Whistle on suspected improper activities

    1. Here’s what you can report: Any activity by UC or a UC employee that violates a state or federal law or regulation (e.g., corruption, malfeasance, bribery, conflict of commitment, theft or misuse of government property, fraud, coercion, or conversion); or wastes money, or involves gross misconduct, gross incompetence, or gross inefficiency.

    2. How to report: In writing or orally, with as much specific factual information possible (Report what you know, but don’t investigate—leave that to the experts!

    3. Where to report: University-wide Whistleblower Hotline: 1-800-403-4744 or http://universityofcalifornia.edu/hotline.

    4. Also report improper activities to: State Auditor whistleblower hotline at 1-800-952-5665

    5. Or you can report to the: California Attorney General hotline at 1-800-952-5225.

  238. Daniel Hughes says:

    These athletes do not deserve to have all their dreams and hard work become futile. Keep the tennis team alive; in the long run it can only be productive.

  239. Tennis Fan says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR!

  240. angry student says:

    Maybe if the chancellor spent less time worrying about his TV appearances and the AD spent less time trying to make his mark, then the fraud against these students that they are supposed to be fighting for would not have taken place.

    And thanks for the town hall meeting!

  241. Sabrina says:

    These guys have dreams, and you simply cannot take them away just like that! They work so hard to become a part of such a wonderful team, and to take it from them would leave with nothing left. Please keep the boys tennis team!

  242. brennan abbott says:

    i know tennis isnt my favorite sport. but it means alot to many people and i would be extremely sad if someone cut my favorite sport. keep the ucr tennis program!

  243. Arlene says:

    Thanks to all for their comments. Keep them coming! Here is an opportunity for us all to let Brian Wickstrom know that cutting Athletic programs to fund others is not the way to operate programs at the University of California Riverside and we want all to know that UC Riverside is a school that can be known for Keeping their Committments! Keep Men’s Tennis At UCR!

  244. Jordan says:

    Having a tennis team adds some class to a college. I dont play the sport competitively but I have played a little. When you think of all the D1 powerhouse schools. They all have solid athletic teams including tennis. And if your team doesn’t have a winning record just hire a new coach. New coaches bring in more talent from places around the world. Work on improving the team in a conference point of view. If the program still fails to win….THEN consider dropping the program.

  245. Pinoe Chu says:

    Hi, I’m planning on going to this school with a scholarship for tennis…so please do not cut out the team! The tennis team was all I wanted to join when I was going to apply to college, and now to take that away is like taking a baby’s candy away. Please keep men’s tennis team and you truly will not regret the decision. Men’s tennis is a very class yet traditional sport. It’s graceful, exciting, thrilling, etc. Seeing this sport to go away will upset many people. So, with all my heart, please keep men’s tennis team at UCR. You have beautiful courts, nice atmosphere, and most importantly young talented athletes that have the desire to win. Thank you.

  246. Gilbert Vasquez says:

    Very disappointing. We need to keep Men’s Tennis at UCR.

  247. Kray says:

    We don’t have a football team. Now they want to get rid of another prestigious sport and trade it out for sand volleyball? There basically isn’t even professional sand volleyball anymore. It has gone bankrupt 2 times in 10 years and now they are scraping around trying to make it work. I know because my best friend played on the AVP Tour. If tennis wasn’t successful in the past, then get a better coach and market the program to the students. That has never been done in my 3 years at this school. Tennis has Wimbledon, the US, French and Australian Opens. The sport has substance. Sand Volleyball would be like adding lawn bowling. They are not equivalent. Please do not get rid of our tennis team.

  248. Dawn Stanko says:

    Mr. Wickstrom, my name is Dawn Stanko. My son David Stanko is one of your
    incoming freshman players on a tennis scholarship to UCR. His goals are to
    represent UCR on and off court as a member of the team and 2016 grad with a
    Business Degree.
    Like all the players on the team, he signed his NLI in good faith in November
    and passed on offers from other schools since he was so impressed with the
    academic and athletic atmosphere at UCR.

    Please allow the Men’s Tennis Team to promote and represent UCR on and off the
    court. Give them at least another year to engage UCR students and communty
    support to retain the team. Please honor the committment UCR made to these
    incoming students including my son. Let the team show UCR what they can do.

    Sincerely, Dawn Stanko

  249. Ted Tran says:

    This comes as very disappointing and sad for those students that might have received a scholarship for the tennis program. Please do not stop the Men’s Tennis program at UC, Riverside.

  250. Don Petrine says:

    It is very disheartening to see Cal Riverside drop their mens tennis program, especially considering its location in the cradle of tennis talent. Mens tennis can be a strong legacy and source of financial support for Cal Riverside. Tennis alumni are a very successful group and provide great visibility in the community at large.Tennis players usually lead the way academically and are the finest students of all the athletic teams.Dropping tennis hurts a school’s academic performance by student athletes overall.

  251. suyeno says:

    Please keep UCR men’s tennis. It would be disheartening to see the lost opportunity to continue playing tennis on the at a Div. I college level.

  252. Bob Bryan says:

    Brian:

    It will be a crime if UC Riverside kills its men’s tennis team. Mike and I played countless junior tournaments in the Riverside area and like all of So Cal, Riverside has produced incredibly talented tennis players.

    Tennis has allowed us to travel all over the world and play in the biggest stadiums in tennis. But, it was college tennis that really provided us the framework for success and there were moments in college tennis that were just as if not more important than winning any Grand Slam.

    I have sat in classrooms at Stanford and spent a lot of time on a tennis court. I can attest that the education a kid gets on a tennis court is like no other. When one of your Riverside players is the 3rd set serving at 2-5 15-40 and it is the deciding match, he is going to get lessons that you can’t teach him in a classroom. When he finds a way out of that jam and wins, he is going to get confidence that all your professors combined could not instill.

    If Mike and I are in town when you have a fundraiser, then you got us. So Cal has Pete Sampras, Lindsey Davenport, Venus and Serena, Tracy Austin, Rick Leach and countless other famous pro’s who would likely help you get this program back on its feet.

    So Brian please don’t kill this team. I can’t imagine if our coach would have called us after we committed to Stanford and said that they were going to get rid of the team. When a player picks a team it is one of the most profound judgements they will make in life. Riverside committed to 4 years of college tennis to these kids. A commitment is a commitment.

    I am going to volunteer my time. Either to the school to help the program get back on its feet or to the kids for their legal fund.

  253. Here is the letter that I sent:
    Dear Athletic Director,
    It is with great disdain that I read about the recent proposal to eliminate tennis from the UCR campus. So, they’ve had a underperforming team, and the coach in charge of that program has left? Why not give another coach a chance instead of eliminating the ENTIRE program? If the majority of the agricultural students failed to pass their finals, would they then eliminate the agricultural program, or, replace the department head?

    I have been reporting on all aspects of tennis for the past four years. My site features coverage of junior tennis, USTA League tennis, USTA Pro Circuit, on up to the ATP and WTA tours. In talking with the juniors, their goals are based on the opportunities available at the college level. A lot of them are aware that they may not be good enough for the international circuit, but, they know that they could be valuable assets the college level. Why should there be one less opportunity for them, based on the performance of one coach’s program?

    I am not familiar with the former coach’s program, however, not only do we have some significant junior tournaments right here in the Inland Empire, but, recruiting opportunities also abound with the national junior competition, known as the Easter Bowl, held annually in our local desert community.

    The local community at large could also benefit from properly maintained, and accessible courts. Each season in the local USTA market, there are people who are not able to get on a team. Sometimes it is because of excessive club membership fees; sometimes it is because there are already too many people schedule for a team. With the proper guidance, there could be a local USTA Adult League team, using the UCR courts as their “home club”. Not only would this benefit the community, but, because of the rotation of visiting teams, it could also recruit boosters for the UCR tennis program.

    As the USTA Pro Circuit has proven, tennis is an international sport, with international exposure. With a better tennis program, UCR current students and alumni would be ambassadors to the school, as well as the city, by competing in these events, many of which are held locally in Southern California.

    Tennis is indeed a “sport for life”. In one of my current reports, I covered the USTA Women’s Senior National Hard Court Championships, including divisions of 50′s, 60′s 70′s, 80′s, and yes, 90′s! That’s right, . . . playing in the 90′s singles AND doubles was tennis legend Dodo Cheney, who is 95 years young and won her 391st career USTA Gold Ball. I have not heard of any competitive senior leagues of beach volleyball, save for the relatively inactive chair/sitting volleyball.

    As an academic institution that is bent on giving its students a chance to learn diverse skills that they can use throughout their lifetime, the sport of tennis appears to outlast all other athletic programs. Riverside is my home town, and in my opinion, it is truly misguided to exchange a legitimate sport, recruiting tool, and potential lifetime fitness regimen, for recreational/club activity. Thank you for your consideration.

    - Marcus Tennis

  254. Uppili Srinivasan says:

    Please do not cut the Mens Tennis program. Tennis is a sport that build character for a person as they grow up. There are couple of kids I know of got admitted into the program and it would be really sad for them to not get to play at collegiate level, a dream for many kids.

  255. David Stanko says:

    Mr. Wickstrom,

    I am David Stanko and I am one of the incoming freshman that made a commitment to represent UCR not only on the tennis court but in the classroom. As we have made this commitent we ask that you honor yours and keep the mens tennis team at UCR. From the articles written about this topic the program has come under fire for not being competitive in the division. With a new coach and a fresh recruitment class I ask that you give us the opportunity to bring the program back. We believe that we can do it, all you have to do is give us the opportunity.
    Regards,
    David

  256. Jen from Riverside says:

    Hmmm, let me see. The athletic director makes numerous quotes about how program is failing and how it would be great to add sand volleyball. Then the tennis coach leaves after he commits to the kids. Then the school wants to get rid of the team. I guess that’s why we have courts of law!

    Good luck explaining that one to the judge UC Riv!

  257. Arlene says:

     The University needs to Think Long Term…..
    Tennis is one of your least expensive sports to operate yet yields some of the greatest returns for the University :
    -College Tennis Teams are a great recruiting tool as an intercollegiate sport as well as a club sport.
    -Tennis players usually lead the way academically boosting the schools overall academic performance.
    -Tennis is a strong legacy and source of financial support for Cal Riverside. -Tennis alumni are a very successful group providing support financially as well as great visibility in the community and on campus.
    -The local community at large could benefit from properly maintained, and accessible courts. 
    -  Local USTA Adult and Junior league teams, using the UCR courts as their “home club”. Would not only benefit the community, but, because of the rotation of visiting teams, it could also recruit potential players as well as boosters for the UCR tennis programs.
    -Providing a site for or hosting tournaments means additional finances for the University.
    - The USTA Pro Circuit has proven, tennis is an international sport, with international exposure. By having Men and Women Tennis Programs the UC Riversides current student-athletes and alumni would be ambassadors to the school, as well as the city, by competing in these events, many of which are held locally in Southern California.
    -As an academic institution that is bent on giving its students a chance to learn diverse skills that they can use throughout their lifetime, the sport of tennis appears to outlast all other athletic programs.

    Why would the University of California Riverside throw away all of this?
    .
    These are just some great ideas from some of these postings. I am sure there are many more.
    Keep the Tennis Programs and the Tennis Courts At UCR.

    Arlene Ruffin

  258. Julian Ruffin says:

    When I was told UC Riverside was proposing to cut the Men’s Tennis Team, I was completely blown away. I thought about all the past decisions I had made leading up to choosing UC Riverside, and all the calls to coaches I had made saying, “I appreciated their interest, and I am grateful of them wanting me to play for their school, but my future was at UC Riverside.”
    I knew the decision I made was going to be life changing, and that it set the course for my future. This was where I would start my college life, and I would be representing the UCR Highlanders.
    For 7 months I would be able to tell people that I was going to be attending the University of California Riverside on a tennis scholarship. Every time I stepped on the tennis court I knew I would soon be wearing the blue and gold colors of the Highlanders. I had sweatshirts, socks, and hats to show that I was taken by UCR when I practiced and played matches and tournaments throughout these past 7 months. I felt like all the hard work and training I endured leading up to committing paid off because now I was secure at a great school, playing a great sport, and I would be competing along with my UCR teammates when we walked out to play our collegiate matches in the future.
    But on May 18th I got a call, telling me that all of these things would not be possible, everything I imaged happening was all just an idea, because the University could decide to cut the Men’s Tennis Team, due to “funding and a lack of interest in tennis and the team.”
    Immediately I began to think about all the hundreds of thousands of people that play tennis across the United States, and thought that this statement couldn’t be possible. I began to think that if there wasn’t an interest, why when I made an official visit I saw people playing on the courts, and that there are multiple Tennis Clubs located in the city of Riverside.
    All of this didn’t make any sense to me because all the signs of interest in the sport were present.
    I didn’t understand why the University recruited me to play for their school if they were just going to cut the program.
    I didn’t understand why they had to cut the Men’s Tennis team because they were in jeopardy of losing funding the next year.
    I couldn’t understand why it was TENNIS that was picked to go to the chopping block. The sport I spent all my life learning, and playing almost every day.
    They kept saying that the team was under funded, and had to go. Just because it looks like its underfunded doesn’t mean that you can’t work to improve its funding. I have learned that when you don’t have something, you have to go out and get what you need in order to succeed.
    This is what I thought about when they told me about DISCONTINUING MENS TENNIS TEAM AT UCR, I knew that in order to save the team, my fellow teammates and I were all going to have to step up, and take care of it ourselves in order to survive in the future.
    I knew that it was possible, because money comes and goes all the time, and that we could find ways to work around the situation, not cut the team like the proposal stated by Brian Wickstrom.
    I knew that if we asked for help, the team could be saved, and become a gold mine of interest for the University.

    I thank Mr. Bellamy for making this website, and exposing what is about to happen. I knew that things like this had to be stopped because people understand how important the sport tennis is.
    Just like any other sport, tennis should be treated equally and fairly, along with the Athletes that play the sport.
    As the Athletic Director he should be on the same team, he is our captain and we are his teammates, we should all be working together towards victory.
    That’s what an Athletic Director should be doing, not calling his team into an office, and telling them that in 10 Days they could potential discontinue their sport, and instead put in place sand volleyball as its an easier option than working to save Tennis.
    This is like saying that your sport tennis, and each of you are not a priority and don’t matter, so we are going to need to cut it, and take away all its future plans and its funding.
    I was devastated that they are trying to do this is to us, and so I am going to use all my power to help keep this team together. I understand the money is an issue, but I know that it always is.
    There are things we can do to work around it, and as an Athletic Director you are supposed to be on our side looking for solutions to keep your Athletes, not making proposals to discontinue YOUR Men’s Tennis Program.
    -Julian Ruffin
    Incoming Recruit, Student-Athlete for the University of California Riverside

  259. brittani ferraro says:

    Please keep mens tennis! Tennis is such a good program to have at a University, and to lose that would be a shame. Keep men’s tennis for the benefit of the school and for the athletes that are involved with it. Cutting mens tennis for sand volleyball would be a joke. More people would rather come and support the tennis program rather than going to watch a sand volleyball match. Thank you, and please consider this.

  260. Don Ruffin says:

    Brian Wickstrom,
    By now you have heard the voice of the Tennis Community at Large, Executive Leaders in the Tennis Community, Professional US Tennis Players, Alumni, the Riverside Tennis Community, The UCR Men’s Tennis Team and Recruits, the UCR Student Body, Parents, Friends, and the General Public. “Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR”….now and in future years to come!!!

  261. Alan McKay says:

    As an avid tennis fan and the parent of a player on the women’s team, I couldn’t disagree more with Brian Wickstrom’s proposal and yet I welcome the effort to raise the competitive level of the athletics programs. Academically, UCR is making great strides and it is time for the athletics program to do the same. My understanding is that UCR has been in the position of trying to field competitive DI teams with staff, resources, and scholarship budgets little changed from the days when it was a DII school.
    As others have pointed out, Men’s tennis has to be one of the least expensive sports to field, and yet it is also one where UCR’s location should give it a competitive advantage. A quick glance at the rosters of Pac-10, Big West, and WCC teams makes the concentration of strong junior players within a 45 minute drive of UCR evident. The absence of men’s tennis at CSUF and Long Beach both provides UCR with a tremendous opportunity, and makes the impact of losing the program that much greater. Given that the NCAA limits even fully funded DI programs to 4.5 scholarship equivalents, achieving parity with other DI schools would be a bargain compared to other sports. A competitive team would go a long ways towards increasing the attendance at matches, while increasing awareness and participation by students.
    I was intrigued that substituting sand volleyball for such an inexpensive sport as men’s tennis could save money, so I did a little research on sand volleyball. As a new sport, the NCAA currently permits players on indoor scholarships to play both indoor and sand. Since the savings in the proposed budget comes from the fact that no monies for scholarships or coaching are provided, I presume that the “new” sport of sand volleyball will consist primarily of the existing indoor team coached by the existing indoor coach, perhaps augmented by some walk-ons. I did note that sand volleyball requires 5 courts while only 3 would be built under the proposed budget. This would seem to be a major problem as staggering the matches would take twice as long, which would likely deter many potential opponents, and reduce the appeal of the courts to the larger community. I did also see that attendance has been an ongoing concern among schools that have adopted sand volleyball. Given that the existing indoor program is likely underfunded and is currently in last place in the Big West, I can’t help but conclude that the proposal would simply replace one under-funded, non-competitive program with another while ending the dreams of many student-athletes.
    Therefore, it was with a sense of relief that I read Mr. Bellamy’s letter and the responses from so many influential and even legendary members of the tennis community. My wife and I are passionate tennis fans, and our interest in collegiate tennis will continue long after our daughter graduates. Just in the past few months, we have watched the UCR men compete at Indian Wells, the Pepperdine men and women play in the WCC Championships, and the DIII Regionals at CMS. We are certainly willing to do our part to support both the men and women’s tennis teams at UCR.

  262. Andy Forsyth says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR! Men’s college tennis opportunities are already hard enough to come by. Don’t join the pack of other athletic departments, take the easy way out and cut men’s tennis. Find a way. It’s there with a little sacrifice and work to make the appropriate cut without losing existing sport programs and raising funds to keep them going.

  263. Andy Forsyth says:

    Keep Men’s Tennis at UCR! Men’s college tennis opportunities are already hard enough to come by. Don’t join the pack of other athletic departments, take the easy way out and cut men’s tennis. Find a way. It’s there, with a little sacrifice and work to make the appropriate cuts without losing existing sport programs and raising funds at the same time to keep them going.

  264. bert guillermo says:

    PLEASE KEEP UCR men’s tennis program.tennis is lifetime sports period!!!think about it!!!!!

  265. Ryan Stanbury says:

    Letter to UCR
    Dear Chancellor Timothy P. White, Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom, Associate Athletic Director Janet Lucas, Sports Information Director John Maxwell, and all other members of the UC Riverside Athletics Department,

    My name is Ryan Stanbury and I am a 2011 graduate from UC Riverside with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I was also a two-year starter in singles and doubles on the men’s tennis team at UC Riverside after transferring from Glendale Community College. Although I played anywhere from number three to number six singles during my two years, like most of my teammates I did not receive any athletic scholarship or aid. We ALL simply played for love of the game and for our school. No other athletics program on the UC Riverside campus can boast such commitment with such little support from the athletic department. UC Riverside tennis has been underfunded for years, but that has not taken away the spirit of these athletes nor their desire to compete for their institution.

    That said, this story will not have a happy ending unless some amicable solutions are presented. UC Riverside, like most state and government run institutions is made up of narrow-minded thinkers who are totally incompetent for their line of work. The issue presented by UC Riverside Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom is a lack of funding for the athletic department, and their solution is to cut the men’s tennis program. I see this solution as a last resort, and below I will detail some ways in which the athletic department and tennis program can offset some of these expenses and avoid cutting the men’s tennis program.

    How to Cut Costs for Men’s Tennis:
    The first and most obvious way to lower costs without reducing the scholarship budget or lowering coach’s salaries is as follows: First, reduce the travel budget. This past dual match season the Highlander tennis team traveled to Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas twice for a “quadrangle”, to Sacramento State for a dual match, to three Big West Conference matches at Irvine, Pacific, and UC Davis, and to the Big West Conference Championships at Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. The Big West Conference matches are unavoidable and the team must travel and stay in a hotel for those matches in Northern California and at Indian Wells. However, traveling to Las Vegas twice for a “quadrangle” and incurring the hotel and per diem costs can be avoided. Instead, travel to Las Vegas only once for a “quadrangle” and save about $3,000 to $5,000 on hotel, gas, and food expenses right there by not going on a second trip. Next, do not fly to Sacramento State for one dual match. The expense of the flight and hotel do not merit the trip on a tight budget. Once again, without this trip the team would save at least a couple thousand dollars.

    Ok, that’s great and all but now the Highlanders have less matches and have only saved about $5,000 to $8,000 total so how does that help? Well, let’s first save some more money and then find a way to get more matches. The team can easily save more money by reducing the number of players who attend “pre-season” tournaments. In a normal season, the Highlanders play 3 fall tournaments, the “Pre-Regional” in Irvine, CA, the “ITA West-South Regional Championship” in Malibu, CA, and the “SoCal Intercollegiate Championship” at UCLA. For most of these tournaments, the Highlanders travel a squad of 6 players, which means 6 players receiving per diem, and 3 hotel rooms for the players in Malibu and Los Angeles (plus one hotel room for the Coach). For the “Pre-Regional” in Irvine the cost is nominal (no hotel needed) so 6 players can travel to that tournament, but for the tournaments in Los Angeles, why not bring just two or four players? This will reduce the per diem and number of hotel rooms needed for the players. Frankly, the players at the bottom of the line-up are not advancing far in these tournaments anyways so this seems like an easy cut for the program. Some players many be disappointed that they cannot attend these pre-season tournaments, but I’m sure they would much prefer that to not having a tennis team.

    Now how does the team get more matches? UC Riverside should host one or two “quadrangles” per year so the team can fit in some matches without having to travel. A “quadrangle,” which is commonly used by the UC Riverside softball team, works by inviting two or three schools down to Riverside for the weekend and having a round robin format so all teams get two or three matches that weekend. This is certainly a better use of money then traveling to Las Vegas a second time to play three matches. The UNLV men’s and women’s tennis programs host upwards of 8 quadrangles a year so they do not have to do as much traveling. The UC Riverside tennis program is certainly capable of hosting a “quadrangle” or two and could entice east coast schools to participate as many east coast schools come to Southern California on their annual spring break trips. Aside from that, the team can continue to play many of the local teams here in Southern California, and if necessary reduce their number of matches per year closer to the NCAA minimum. While the players might not be thrilled playing a few less matches, they would certainly take that over not having a tennis program.

    Another way to offset expenses is fundraising. The local country clubs (Victoria Club, Canyon Crest etc.) would be willing to run an annual fundraiser for the team if approached. I have spoken with Stephen Vorhees (Canyon Crest) and Marty Montigel (Victoria Club) about fundraisers and they have pledged their support. Additionally, I am confident that country clubs in the Palm Springs area would be happy to help support the tennis program as well. This type of fundraising would not only promote the UC Riverside tennis team by increasing attendance at matches and improving local recruiting, but also generate necessary financial support for the tennis program. UC Riverside is the ONLY Division 1 athletics program between Los Angeles and San Diego…why the UC Riverside athletics department does not use that to their advantage is beyond me. Finally, during the summer run a one or two week (depending on demand) summer camp for tennis. Have the head coach run the camp with one or two players and let the profits go into the UC Riverside tennis fund. If advertised properly, I am sure the school could get a great turn out for these summer camps. Once again, UCR is the ONLY Division 1 school in the Inland Empire!!!!

    Lack of Interest:
    The UC Riverside athletics department also notes that there is little to no student or public interest in the UC Riverside tennis team. This one I cannot argue; we have little support from the Riverside community and almost no support from the student body. That said, have you ever been to a UC Riverside men’s or women’s basketball game that is not on television or during homecoming? I have, and I can attest to the fact that the gym sounds more like a mortuary then a basketball arena. And yes I have even been to a women’s volleyball game at UCR, and if not for the intolerable screams of the women’s teams after each point, you could hear a pin drop inside the Student Recreation Center. So, my point is no UC Riverside athletics team gets any support, not even the ones that get all the publicity and marketing attention from the athletics department.

    If the UC Riverside athletics department cared about tennis, they would put a little effort into supporting the program both publically and financially. Attendance at matches could be increased drastically by making some scheduling changes. First of all, stop playing matches that start at noon or 1 PM on school days. Not even the girlfriends and family members of the team can attend matches at that time. People work and the students have class, so those times are impossible to attend. Start matches in the late afternoon so they run into the early evening; say a 5pm start time so that the match ends around 8 or 9 PM. Would UCR start a men’s basketball game at 1PM on a Tuesday? I think not. Additionally, alert local country clubs of matches and have them out to watch the team on a Saturday afternoon. Then contact the local high school and community college tennis coaches and invite those teams out for weekend or night matches. These people would love to see high quality Division 1 tennis for free and would help create an exciting atmosphere for the UCR players and other spectators. Next, call up local food vendors and have them come out and sell their food at the tennis courts during the match. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo does this for their weekend matches and always has a huge turn out. I know the owners of “Smokey Canyon BBQ” at the Canyon Crest Shopping Center and they have been supporters of UCR tennis in the past (providing free cookies and drinks for fans and players) and would be happy to help in the future.

    Sand Volleyball is a Ruse:
    Despite what the athletic department tells you, sand volleyball will not create new opportunities for women, it is simply a Title IX loophole. The same women who play on the UCR women’s indoor volleyball team will be playing on the sand volleyball team, thus no new opportunities will be created for women. However, UCR will have “created more opportunities” for women, and will be able to count these women twice in their athletic roster numbers (once for indoor and once for sand) so this will give the athletic department more flexibility in terms of male roster spots and scholarships for their “priority men’s sports” (due to Title IX rules). Next, the athletic department states there is “an interest in sand volleyball”, citing an article in the Riverside Press Enterprise. I have played tennis at UCR for two years, on the Student Recreation Center (SRC) tennis courts adjacent to the current sand volleyball court, and maybe once or twice in two years have I seen people playing sand volleyball. Let’s be honest people, Riverside is an hour from the nearest beach. This is simply a prevaricated attempt by the athletic department to promote their own agenda and choose the easy solution to pervasive problem.

    The women’s indoor volleyball team has played in front of sparse home crowds the last few years and had poor results. Over the last 6 years, the combined record of the UCR women’s volleyball team is 31 wins and 143 losses. For those without a calculator handy, that is a meager winning percentage of .178. The men’s tennis team has not been much better of late, compiling 34 wins and 98 losses over the past six years (.258 winning percentage). So with those facts out in the open, do we replace men’s tennis with a new sport that has little chance of being successful based on results from the past six years in the indoor season? Or do we allow an underfunded sport with few players on scholarship to continue to live their dream, play for love of the game, and compete for their school? In my opinion, the saying “if it looks like sh*t and smells like sh*t, then it most likely is bullsh*t” would be an appropriate response to this UC Riverside athletic department proposal for replacing men’s tennis with women’s sand volleyball.

    What is the Right thing to do?
    Now let’s throw the facts away and simply look at what the right thing to do is. Many people look to religion for guidance about right and wrong, but my belief on these matters is quite simple. Ask yourself the question would you like someone to do that to you? And if the answer is no, then don’t do it to someone else. So Chancellor White, Brian Wickstrom, and everyone else in the athletic department at UC Riverside, if you were one of these players who committed to play tennis at a university, would you like it if without any notice that opportunity was snatched from you? How would you feel if this happened to one of your children? Would you calmly accept that an economic downturn and reduced budget made cutting the program a necessity? No, I do not think you would accept that response, I think you would demand action. So ladies and gentlemen of the athletic department, I implore you to do the same here for your student athletes.

    The athletic department made a deplorable decision when alerting the student athletes on May 18th that the tennis program might be dropped. May 18th was exactly three weeks after the tennis season ended, and is such a late date that no current or future players would have time to find a new school to play tennis at because almost all schools already have their rosters full and have already doled out their scholarship money for the year. There are three seniors who I know personally on this year’s squad and they have made enormous sacrifices to attend UCR. Jimmy Roberts transferred from a excellent Sacramento State program to UCR after sitting out the NCAA mandated transfer year at College of the Desert in 2010-2011. He has one year of eligibility left as a 5th year Senior, and he must play it this year per NCAA rules. He was a huge factor on the UCR team this year playing #2 singles and ending the year with one of the best dual match records in UCR men’s Division 1 tennis history. Kevin Griffin has been through the wars already, transferring from Division 2 Cal Poly Pomona after they dropped their program in 2010. Kevin, another non-scholarship player, has been a contributing member of the team in both singles and doubles, and is close to finishing his degree as an accounting major. He has spent the past two years committed to UCR tennis and to completing his degree, and to take tennis away from him during his senior year would be most unfair. Simon Peters will be entering his fourth year on the UCR tennis team. Simon spent his first two years on the bench supporting his teammates, waiting for his opportunity to start and help the team. In his first two years, Simon participated in one dual match. Simon cracked the starting line-up last year in singles and doubles, and looks to be a major contributor in 2012-2013. Simon, who also receives no athletic scholarship, has worked extremely hard on his tennis game to give himself the opportunity to have a memorable senior season. Additionally, he is close to completing his degree in finance, and to take all of this from him would be a terrible decision. These student-athletes have contributed more than just athletic talents to the school, they have been model citizens, helped in the community, and preformed admirably in the classroom (the men’s tennis team boasts one of the highest team GPA’s of any athletic program at UCR, as well as a near perfect APR (Academic Progress Rate) and graduation rate). Chancellor White and Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom state that a well-rounded athlete is who they want attending UCR, and are adamant that academics come first. Well the decision to drop a sport with one of the highest GPA’s and a terrific academic resume certainly contradicts that “student first” message. Finally, from first hand experience I know that one’s senior year as both a student and athlete is one of the most enjoyable and cathartic years of one’s life. Please do not rob these seniors of the memories and experiences that will last them a lifetime.

    Although I do not know any of the incoming freshmen personally, I have spoken with current players and former Head Coach York Strother and he has told me that this group is the most talented and mature bunch to ever come to UCR. These young men, many of who are local kids, passed up opportunities and scholarships at many other schools to come to UCR to made a difference on and off the court. They were promised a scholarship and to be part of a tennis program for four years. By taking away the tennis program, you are leaving these kids high and dry with little options, and that is morally reprehensible.

    At Least One Year:
    With the current situation of three seniors, two sophomores, and five incoming freshmen on next year’s tennis roster, I think at this time the fair and logical decision would be to extend the men’s tennis program for one year, and take a “wait and see” approach going forward. This would give the players, coaches, and administration time to determine whether or not all the people who have pledged support for the tennis program will in fact honor those promises, as well as create an atmosphere for positive dialogue in hopes of finding funding and support for the program. Several months should be given to “test things out”, and a final decision on the future of the program should be rendered in say February or March. This will give the underclassmen ample opportunity to contact other coaches and accept potential scholarships, while also giving the three seniors the opportunity to complete their degrees and tennis careers.

    Brian Wickstrom, let me remind you that your predecessor Stan Morrison made one horrible mistake at the beginning of his tenure as athletic director. He unceremoniously fired Head men’s basketball Coach John Masi, and the community of Riverside never let him forget their disdain. That decision had a negative impact on community support, hampered many fundraising efforts, and certainly left a black cloud over the Stan Morrison era. I can assure you that a decision to drop the men’s tennis program during your first year on the job will also have disastrous consequences. I for one, certainly hope you and your staff can come to a reasonable and fair consensus and retain the men’s tennis program for at least the next year and hopefully well into the future.

    I pledge to continue to support and volunteer my time in any way possible to ensure that the men’s tennis program, which has produced All-Americans and All-Conference awardee’s in year’s past, boasts one of the highest team GPA’s and APR’s in the school, and has players who do things the right way and play “for love of the game” without the scholarships or funding of most other programs, remains strong at UC Riverside.

    Sincerely,
    Ryan Stanbury
    2011 UCR Graduate in Interdisciplinary Studies
    2009-2011 Member of UCR Men’s Tennis Team

  266. Luisa P. says:

    I am a high school student that plays tennis all the time. I look forward going to practices and enjoy playing. With a rigorous academic schedule throughout my day, tennis gives me a place to relieve my stress and energy. If my school were to get rid of the tennis program it would break my heart. Getting rid of the men’s tennis program at UCR would be a big mistake. Tennis is a life-long sport that these guys will play forever unlike baseball and football players for example. Also many tennis players are academically strong. Please make a way to keep the men’s tennis program!!!!

  267. Luis Henrique Accioly Gastao says:

    I am currently in the UCR tennis team. I played tennis my entire life and prepared myself to be part of a collegiate tennis program. I left my family, my friends, my culture, my country to come represent UCR doing what I love, playing tennis. When a player commits to a university, he is not only making an agreement to play for the institution, he is also agreeing that the school is worthy every hour of practice, every minute of conditioning, every second he spent developing his skills in tennis. So in respect to the commitments and sacrifices current players and upcoming freshmen made, AT LEAST give us one more year, so that the seniors can finish their four year eligibility period and the freshmen and sophomores have enough time to find another school to transfer.

    Thank you,
    Luis Gastao

  268. Elyse Davis says:

    Please do not “cut” the dreams (and sport) of so many student-athletes who wish to attend a UC and compete at a high level. These students have worked hard to get where they are at both in school and on the court!!

  269. antoniomora says:

    By dropping tennis, UC Riverside will not only hurt the student athletes involved in its program, it will seriously damage the University and its reputation on too many levels to mention. I’m amazed that the athletic director is making this decision and that he could possibly be supported by the University’s board and its development officers.

    But, as “Mr Tennis” said above, we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture: this is not a fight for one university’s program, it’s a fight for tennis itself. The USTA is making huge efforts to develop world-class players and further popularize tennis by launching a massive initiative (TAUT), spending millions on its player-development program and dramatically changing the national tournament playing schedule. All those efforts will be for naught if American tennis players will have diminishing hopes of playing for college.

    This is an issue that foes far beyond UC Riverside and needs serious attention from the tennis powers-that-be around the country.

  270. Anthony says:

    Before you even think about dropping the tennis program at UCR just think of all of the students who have played for the majority of their lives and training hard to get the opportunity to play at this school. Plus its not like they can just transfer to a different college.

  271. Laurie Roberts says:

    UCR Mens Tennis is so inspiring!! Please keep this program forever.

  272. Bernadette says:

    Mr. Wickstrom made his decision. Go to the Athletic page at UCR.
    Check it out and leave a post.

  273. Cheyne says:

    Dear Mr. Wickstrom,
    The main problem here is the timing. Students have already signed with your school to play tennis this year. Cutting the program at this time would hurt their futures, not just in tennis, but also in their education as some of them are depending on the scholarships from the tennis program to attend college.

    If the funding is really needed elsewhere, then fine, but wait till this season is over and let the students who need this program to advance their future to find a new home that wont abandon them.
    Don’t abandon them when their only fault was choosing to attend UCR under the pretense that it would be a place that helped them grow.

  274. David Gardner says:

    Jim Alexander of the Press Enterprise has posted on his blog the decision to give UCR Men’s Tennis a one-year reprieve.

    http://blog.pe.com/jim-alexander/2012/05/29/ucr-mens-tennis-gets-a-reprieve/

    Many thanks to Steve for all you have done to create awareness of this issue and to rally the support. And thanks to all of you who have contributed.

    While this is welcome news, there is concern that this is merely an interim move to avoid further embarrassment to the university and to avoid litigation and other repercussions. The proposed discontinuance of men’s tennis was ill-advised, based on seemingly scant analysis and research. Before the final decision is made, the athletic director and chancellor owe it to the UCR community and the public to make a bona fide effort to evaluate and utilize the untapped support for tennis at UCR and to welcome the offers of assistance made on this forum and elsewhere.

  275. barrybuss1964@yahoo.com says:

    Good morning all..My understanding is the UCR Mens program has been granted a one year reprieve…Congrats to you all for your efforts in saving the program..It is also my understanding that your Men’s team needs a coach.

    I coached the Highlanders 20 years ago back in their division 2 days. I plan to call the athletic director today and inquire about the position…I understand the situation is more than a bit messy right now…but I believe the situation is salvageable, but it is going to take a concerted effort by all levels of the program, past and present.

    I am seeking as much information as possible from current players and their families, as well as those involved in Riverside’s private tennis community before I present myself as a possible hire to the athletic director.

    Please contact me asap at my 310-292-7306 or message myself at facebook or email at Barrybuss1964@yahoo.com

    I have strong backing from many in the college coaching community, and have been encouraged by Steve here to give them a call…I am seeking as much information as possible from all interested parties such that I can present a solution to the athletic director that goes beyond this one year clemency that has been granted

    This is high level trouble shooting and problem solving..I am up to the challenge but I will need your help and support…look forward to hearing from you

    thank you

    Barry Buss

  276. On the front page of today’s Press-Enterprise sports section is Arlington HS’s CIF-SoCal 3-peat. FRONT PAGE in the Inland Empire’s biggest newspaper . . . Do you think that any of these talented kids will be considering the iffy program at UCR?

    http://www.pe.com/sports/high-school/hsg-sports/hsg-tennis/hsg-tennis-headlines/20120530-boys-tennis-sweeps-help-arlington-retain-cif-title.ece

  277. Arjun says:

    KEEP UCR TENNIS! Everyone worked hard to play at UCR and they deserve a chance!

  278. barrybuss1964@yahoo.com says:

    Greetings…

    Happy to announce my hiring today by the UCR athletic department to coach the men’s tennis team this next season…We have our work cut out for us this next year in keeping the program saved…Just want to let you know we are having our first team meeting tomorrow morning and also wanted to thank you all for stepping up with your support in helping save the program..it was a goner without your efforts..

    I couldn’t be more excited for the experience to come…If you had to ask me what it’s going to take to save the program in 25 words or less, my answer is we just need to get busy on the court, work our tails off, and win a bunch of matches this coming year..nobody wants to cut a successful, competitive, up and coming program…pure and simple..so with that I leave you..this program will be sustained on the court, not in court…and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running tomorrow with our first meeting.

    peace..I’ll keep you updated regularly..thanks

  279. Frank Lafond says:

    I personally know two coming-freshmen who spent years training hard to play tennis in university and who chose to do so at UC Riverside.
    Tennis popularity has been growing a lot in the past few years. It is not fair and logical for UC Riverside to consider stopping its tennis program.
    I realize that universities are impacted by state and national budget cuts. But, the tuitions have increased to record levels – and so most parents now have to put their children into debt to attend universities. The purpose of universities should be provide education, not to make money. UC Riverside can certainly afford to direct some of the tuitions and money that it gets to its tennis program and cut on something else.
    Every time that I visit an university campus, I am shocked to see so many things that students could do actually without. They are not on a campus to live in luxury and comfort, but to learn. Abd tennis teaches excellent lessons for life.

  280. Sat says:

    Great work in getting the program over the first hurdle…!

    In response to Bernadette’s comment on a parallel thread asking about the new tennis coach at UCR, here is my take on Tim Downey…

    Tim Downey is the most hard-working and passionate player/coach/fan/advocate of tennis that I have ever known… he has been involved in the SoCal Tennis landscape for pretty much his entire life… has won tournaments in every decade of his career and understands tennis from a full 360 degrees POV… and his heart has always been for the greater good of the sport …!

    He steps into a journey that has some pretty strong headwinds – lack of funding, team morale, parent uncertainty, extraordinary expectations, possible hidden-agendas (hollywood couldn’t write this any better)…

    If the 250+ comments that have been posted over the last few weeks are any measure of where everyone’s heart is, then I have no doubt as to the future of the program at UCR… but we all know that good intentions and “supporting our kids” rhetoric does not pay the bills… it will take everyone stepping up to the plate to put some skin in the game – sponsorships, in-trade services/products, donations for the 1st year operations, pledges for the next 3 years, and so on…

    With Tim Downey at the helm, I’m happy to open up my wallet & Rolodex to get the program to the next level…

    Peace…Sat

    PS – did I just say Rolodex…? Man that seems ancient…!

  281. Arlene says:

    We had the opportunity to meet Coach Tim Downey, New Men’s Head Tennis Coach at UCR at the Canyon Crest CC. Thanks Steve (Canyon Crest CC Director) and Alison (USTA Inland Empire Respresentative) for hosting the Meet and Greet,
    Coach Downey is very eager to have this opportunity to work with the Men’s Team this coming Fall, He is already traveling to tournaments to see the guys play and making contacts too. We truly need everyone!s support if there is a hope to keep Men’s Tennis more than one year. They are making fundraising plans in addition to getting out in the surrounding communities. When the coming season begins we hope to see MANY att the matches showing their support. Spreading the word about the UCR Tennis Teams. In the meantime Donations are truly welcomed. We need to raise a significant amount. Please go to
    http://www.gohighlanders.com and make a gift donation. Please specify Men’s Tennis. If you want to write a check make out to UC Regents and specify men’s tennis in the memo.With your help we were able to save the Men’s Tennis Team for the 2012-2013 Season let’s not stop there. We have the opportunity to show that CollegeTennis is important and we don’t want to see another CollegeTennis Program disband. The ball is truly in our court. Let as many as you know how they can help make a difference in our section of the Tennis World.
    Thank You,
    Arlene Ruffin

    Donations are very welcomed.

  282. Coach Tim says:

    Thank you Arlene. We appreciate your support for the program and getting the word out.

    She is correct. We do need your help. We have a great group of players this year and more recruits want to join the team and the cause. So, go to: http://www.gohighlanders.com and “Make a Gift” and specify “Men’s Tennis.” Checks actually should be made out to: UCR Athletic Association and specify “Men’s Tennis.”

    Thank you. Please submit to me directly and let me know of your gift. I want to recognize everyone for their generosity. We WILL succeed!

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