In November, we reported about the rapid disappearance of many college tennis programs (The Avalanche of Dropped College Tennis Programs), an article located inside PUBLISHER'S NOTES. We had observed that 70 college programs at the time were terminated and Coach Dick Gould, who was nice enough to send us the list, wrote there could be many more.
This week we learned of another tennis program slated to be cut: The Men's Tennis team of the University of Minnesota. Tennis friends Emma Gabbert and Mary Tan pointed it out to us and told us of a petition they had started to save "Gopher" tennis at the university. Please read the below appeal and help them save the tennis team by writing to the Regents of the school.
PLEASE READ AND EMAIL YOUR SUPPORT BEFORE FEBRUARY 11
Help Save the University of Minnesota Men’s Tennis Team
This past September, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted seven to five to eliminate the Gopher men’s tennis team after the 2020-2021 season, saying the pandemic has caused financial constraints.
The decision has sparked outrage in the Minnesota tennis community. The men’s tennis team costs the University only $770,000 out of a $125 million budget. That’s less than one percent (0.61%) of the entire athletic department budget.
The Baseline Club, the athletic booster club for the University of Minnesota Men’s Tennis Team, can fundraise for a permanent endowment to keep the team. But as of right now, the Regents who voted to eliminate the team will not respond to our proposal to self-fund.
The Baseline Club has secured $1.3 million in donations since the announcement. When combining that with the existing Men’s Tennis endowment, there is a total of $2.4 million in funds available to fund the Men’s Tennis program. That means the Club can finance the team for the next four to five years without any University funding. The Club believes it can raise a substantial endowment in the next few years to self-fund the sport permanently. If the University does not reinstate the team, it will not receive any of the endowment funds.
The University has also brought up Title IX concerns. The Athletic Department has incorrectly indicated that the University is out of compliance with Title IX. The Department references student body gender ratios as the sole determinant for compliance. The NCAA and judicial rulings have confirmed that fluctuations in such ratios should NOT be the determining factor in the elimination of student-athlete opportunities for any gender.
Our proposal includes pledging a minimum of $100,000 for the Women’s Tennis program. The Baseline Club, together with our key supporters/donors, would agree to work in partnership with university officials to determine how to maximize the impact of this pledge.
We desperately need your help to change the minds of the University of Minnesota Regents. As a tennis enthusiast who understands the importance of collegiate tennis and saving the sport, we urge you to help us by reaching out to the seven regents who voted against us in Minnesota. Tell them to save the men’s tennis team! We can do it with support from across the country. The board meets February 11, so please email your concerns as soon as possible.
The following Regents voted against the tennis team:
Regent Richard Beeson
Regent Mary Davenport
Regent Kao Ly Ilean Her
Regent Janie Mayeron
Regent David McMillan
Vice-Chair Steve Sviggum
Chair Kendall Powell
They can be contacted here: https://regents.umn.edu/regents
With your help, we can save Gopher Men’s Tennis! Our website page will be updated soon to reflect the latest information: http://baselineclub.com
Tennis Club Business is the only tennis business newsletter that calls out the failed policies and programs of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the 17 USTA Sections, the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Our motto: MAVERICKS DON'T TOE THE LINE.