PROPOSED: Change tennis rule to require first enrollment within 6 months of high school graduation. So, if you grad in Spring 2010... you have to start no later than January 2011. You get one extra semester (to decide or clean up academic shortfalls). If you delay longer, you lose a year of eligibility and have to sit a year in residency.
This is designed to cut down the:
• the int'l kids (and a growing number of US kids) trying a year of pro tennis and then doubling back to college
• "I didn't get the offer Top 20 offer I wanted so I'm gonna try the pro's while I wait for a better offer" gambit
This proposed rule will have a huge effect on the big fish of foreign recruits. I would say 90% of international players that have a WTA ranking inside the top 800 have taken a year off to try the pros.
Plus some of the most elite players, those with WTA rankings inside the top 500, are those that couldn't make the pros after 2 years and are doubling back to college tennis.
So if this proposed rule passes it will essentially eliminate the 21 year old freshman or 22 year old sophomore like Cal's Jana Juricova and Mari Andersson.
In short term, there will be a big void of int'l kids but as they learn the rule that will adjust a bit
The eliminiation of the elite kids doubling back will ultimately bring the college game downward... less talent and lesser level.
Also, the big dogs (BCS) will still get the best available. So the best kids going to Pepp, LB and UCI will now get offers at the bigger dogs who need players. Yes, even the Hammell's will now get Pac or similar interest and forgo a UCI for the higher profiles.
So the college game will weaken and the gap between the elite and the mid majors will ultimately grow wider since the best available, though less talented than now, will still go to the highest profile offer.
But this is going to be great news for tennis pros. Parent of competitive high school players are going to be thinking its worth spending that extra five or ten thousand dollars on training and travel, because the chances of the money being paid back or opportunities increased in college is going to be moving up.