Given how highly competitive the top levels of NCAA men’s tennis are, it’s easy to recognize many top caliber student-athletes lose out to other tennis recruits at the D1 level and will sign a letter of intent to play for a D2 tennis college. There are many reasons why D1 men’s tennis recruiters pass up equally talented players during their recruiting search. As an example, the player may come from a region not traditionally known for tennis. Many times, it is the decision of the student-athlete himself, as he would feel more comfortable attending a smaller university, which is a D2 tennis college.
Here’s what participating in men’s tennis at the NCAA D2 level means:
There is no doubt a men’s tennis player at a D2 tennis college will be expected to attend all practices and conditioning, but the school size will make it possible for the student-athlete to participate in the many the out-of-class and out-of-athletics experiences associated with attending college.
The number of Division 2 tennis colleges providing men’s programs totals 167. Like D1, the D2 tennis colleges are allotted a maximum of 4.5 scholarships by the NCAA guidelines. Men’s tennis is an equivalency sport, and it is very rare for one student-athlete to be awarded a full scholarship. Coaches divvy up the scholarships among many players. Scholarship awards have a wide range and can include the cost of tuition, books, housing and meals. Scholarship awards are on a one-year basis and the student-athlete’s on-court, classroom and community representation may have a positive or negative impact on a following year’s award.
NCSA rankings are intended to give the prospective student-athlete a closer comparison of tennis colleges, whether a D1 or D2 program. Basing a college decision solely on NCAA rankings, which concentrate on court performance, may result in a less favorable decision regarding a college choice.