Monday, August 20
UGA coach Manuel Diaz
The relatively benign world of college tennis is in an uproar over proposed changes to the structure for the NCAA tennis championships designed to shorten matches and make them more friendly for potential exposure and television coverage.
Included in the NCAA's statement was that beginning in 2014 ...
The following enhancements will be followed to enhance the length of dual matches in the championships:
-- Remove the warm-up with the opponent before singles and doubles;
-- Reduce the time between singles and doubles to five minutes;
-- Shorten each changeover from 90 seconds to 60 seconds;
-- Contest singles as best two-out-of-three sets while using a super tiebreaker (first player to 10 points) for the third set and;
-- Play a six-game set in doubles with a tiebreaker at six all.
These are major changes, and they have been met with a severe backlash from those involved in the sport.
Former UGA standout and current USA No. 1 John Isner has tweeted his displeasure.
Meanwhile, Isner's former college coach, UGA's Manuel Diaz, released the following lengthy statement protesting the changes ...
“I firmly believe that the members of the NCAA Tennis Committee - many of whom I call friends - have the best intentions to help grow our game and generate additional interest in it. Unfortunately, they may have acted a little too quickly, and most people feel that we may be losing the integrity of our sport. My hope is that the committee will evaluate and gauge the sentiment that has now surfaced regarding their decisions, and I truly believe we can come to a compromise.
“Most of our matches last between three and three and a half hours. Our fans are very diverse. Some come for singles and some come for doubles, and the diehards stay the duration. Our sport was never intended to be packaged as a one-hour primetime TV sport. Tennis tests you in many ways. It’s a sport where you have to have strength, agility, endurance, perseverance, and the ability to make adjustments.
“Regarding the Final Four concept that has been approved, we studied that a few years ago but felt like we were robbing so many student-athletes from the experience and benefit of reaching the final site. I agree that our event is long, and I would be a proponent for having an individual part of our season in the fall and a team season in the spring. I would eliminate the singles and doubles portion of the championship following the team tournament, assuring the student-athletes do not spend 12 days at the final site if they are playing the duration of the tournament.
“In regards to the no warm-up with an opponent and a 60-second changeover, the amount of time saved from that would be extremely minute. Student-athletes won’t have the benefit of their coaches being able to get their attention and make final points regarding opponents.
“Ultimately I believe that the committee will do the right thing and help us retain the integrity of the sport. I have confidence that they will take more time to listen to the groundswell of support for our game.”
Per the NCAA, the proposals must be approved by the Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet Sept. 10-12.
Athens hosted the most recent NCAA Division I tennis championships and is believed to be interested in bidding to host the event again in the near future.
ON THE AGENDA
After taking Sunday off, Georgia's football team returns to the practice field today. A full pads practice is scheduled for around 4 p.m. Mark Richt and offensive players are set to meet with the reporters afterward, and there will -- as always -- be coverage on The Junkyard's live thread.
LINK(S) OF THE DAY
Interesting column from Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel pointing out how the lack of media access at Florida and other schools could impact fan following (making me once again appreciate the fact I cover a school, an athletics director, a sports information office and a head coach that typically does not fall into this category).
And UGA's official site wraps up Saturday's Picture Day festivites outside Sanford Stadium.
TWEET(S) OF THE DAY
My boi @reubenfoster_FG tried to get out of practice to watch me play lastnight. That's my bro fr fr!
DB commit Tray Matthews
Thanking God for all the blessings he gave me I'm truly Blessed!
DB Sheldon Dawson
That was a weird Saturday night
DL Abry Jones
I can't believe that I'm sick smh
DB Branden Smith
13 days away! too ready for this season to start #GoDawgs
TE Arthur Lynch
We love you #Dawgnation
WR Blake Tibbs
"You don't have to change your personality to be a leader"
LB Christian Robinson
If a chick takes more than 50 seconds to text back, shes cheating
WR commit Tramel Terry
New survivor man on right now..... #excited
OL Greg Pyke
I dont care what these people say om discovery about whether or not sharks attack people intentionally. They still attack people. #mean
FB Merritt Hall
if you love America, follow @donburrows (Brandon Burrows)
QB Hutson Mason
For every retweet this tweet gets, I will throw one skittle at @ZachDeBell while he plays video games on my Xbox
OL Eddie McQuillen
There aint enough young, black, male teachers out there.
WR Justin Scott-Wesley