UC Riverside Heeds Comments; Men’s Tennis Rallies For Another Year

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — UC Riverside Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brian Wickstrom announced that the Highlanders will indeed field a men’s tennis team for the 2012-13 season.

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The decision was made after considering input from stakeholders from on and off campus who commented in response to a proposal to end men’s tennis and add women’s sand volleball. While many people indicated interest in making the change, there were many who wanted to allow the members of the senior class to finish out their collegiate tennis careers at UCR. The extra year will also allow younger players to evaluate their individual situations.

“We are student-centered in our decision making here”, said Wickstrom. “It was important for any programmatic change—being driven by both opportunity and budget constraints—to have minimal negative impact on our Highlanders.

“We will continue to evaluate the long-term future of men’s tennis at UC Riverside, seeking ways to sustain the program through an endowment or some others means. But if that is not forthcoming, then we will plan to discontinue men’s tennis in 2013-14.”

The search for an interim head coach for the men’s tennis team will continue, with an appointment anticipated in the coming weeks.

This change was proposed to properly fund sand volleyball, and re-direct other funding to more fully support other sports.

UC Riverside is an NCAA Division I institution and member of the Big West Conference, that currently sponsors 17 sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field (indoor and outdoor), and women’s volleyball.

On Jan.15, 2010, the NCAA approved the addition of sand volleyball to its list of emerging sports for women. The inaugural season tipped off on March 3, 2012 as Florida State squared off against Alabama Birmingham. There were 16 NCAA Division I institutions that competed in sand volleyball in 2012 with Pepperdine capturing the national championship.

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