Last week, we reported that the NCAA Tennis Committee had decided to make several changes to the championship tournament format, beginning in 2013. There was significant uproar from the college tennis community, including from our own head men's coach Manny Diaz, objecting to the changes.
Today, the NCAA announced it had reconsidered the changes, but will keep all except two. While we found fault with all of the changes, the changes most damaging to college tennis are the ones that, apparently, will not be imposed. The third set of singles play will not be replaced with a super tiebreaker that awards the match to the first player to reach ten points, and doubles play will not be decided by one six-game set with a tiebreaker at six-all but will remain at an eight-game pro set.
According to the NCAA's announcement, "subsequent reaction caused committee members to revisit the proposals." This reaction included this Saturday's #SaveCollegeTennis Twitter campaign, a massive outpouring of objections in a specially created Facebook page, and formal opposition statements from the United States Tennis Association and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
It's disappointing to see any of these drastic changes -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it -- but tampering with actual match play were by far the worst changes, so this is great news. The new rules still must be reviewed by the NCAA's Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, scheduled to meet 10-12 September, so nothing is final yet.
We can be very proud that our own Coach Diaz lent considerable energy and voice to these objections, including sharing his concerns directly with Dawg Sports.