A NEED FOR CHANGE IN THE NCAA TEAM TENNIS TOURNAMENT
The NCAA team tennis tournament should be constructed fairly and randomly, striving to create a truly special student-athlete experience. Each year, however, the event falls short of this goal when competitors are paired according to geographic location rather than season-long success. The same teams are repeatedly sent to the same first and second round sites - ultimately playing against common opponents year after year. Instead of honoring the excellence and resources required for qualification, this draw-making process lacks integrity and spoils a contest that should be the pinnacle of the student-athlete's season. The NCAA implements these methods to decrease travel expenses. This motive is heavy-handed since colleges and universities are personally responsible for these costs. It is also illogical, as teams spend thousands of dollars each season traversing the country in pursuit of victories. Yet, those fortunate enough to earn an NCAA berth eventually experience a championship that has been shortchanged, literally and figuratively. Since the NCAA selection process is inextricably tied to the ITA collegiate rankings, it makes sense to subsequently follow these rankings while determining seeds and draw positions. Teams should be placed throughout the draw according to ITA rankings, not geographic location. Student-athletes have the greatest potential to change this defective system. By signing this petition you can voice your support of a championship that promotes competitive integrity and a truly memorable student-athlete experience. YOU can help enact change. Please enter your full name and email address in the fields provided, and then write the name of your college or university in the field marked “comments.” Current and future generations of college tennis players will thank you!