Tennis Goes from Being NCAA Team to Club Sport

Byline: by Suji Han

Posted: March 28, 2012

The Athletics Department announced they had changed the tennis team’s status from a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) varsity team sport to a club sport on Aug. 4, 2011, after reviewing the athletic programs and the budget.

When the college needed to save money, the school reviewed several athletic programs. Tennis was a sport with low student interest, with no incoming freshmen indicated that they wanted to play tennis, and only had three returning players.

Addressing the college's budget through athletics

"This is the first year we’ve been a club team. The decision was made as part of the overall college budget process. Ultimately, administration makes the final say on these types of decisions, but it was the part of process of reviewing a program, talking to the administration about which program would allow to save us money. So, there were people involved, but decision was ultimately made by the college as a whole," says the Director of Athletics, Lori Frey.

A club sport does not require a minimum number of official members or matches played. On the other hand, a sports team must have a particular number of members and play a minimum number of matches. The amount of money that a club sport needs to raise is also much lower than that required of a team.

There were seven team members last year, but four were graduating seniors. Currently, they have four new members, including two students in the Women with Children Program and one Adult Degree Program student, and three returning players. If they want to have a match, they need at least seven members.

"It’s very different now compared to when we were a team. It’s not going to be competitive, and it’s not actually doing anything. I feel like going to practice is not worth it because we don’t even have competitions now. So there are no more goals and there is no motivation either. I wish more people would join, than we can become a team again and try it," says returning player, Sarah Loucks ‘13.

Tennis can have a second chance at team sport status

According to the Athletics Department Varsity and Club Sport Criteria policy, "Club sports will be periodically evaluated for placement on the transition track to varsity status. Criteria for placement include NCAA and/or North Eastern

Athletic Conference (NEAC) sport sponsorship, the club sport must have been adequately maintained during the previous year, and the need for and ability of the college to provide staff, facilities, budget, and athletic training services will be evaluated."

Currently, the tennis club practices twice a week in the evenings from 4:30-6:30pm. People who are interested in the tennis club can contact either, Athletic Event and Facility Manager, Ashley Kisner, or Sarah Loucks ‘13 via email.

Last Updated: March 28, 2012

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