Friday, May 15, 2009

NCAA Tennis Quarterfinals


The Dawgs get a much needed day off after Thursday's thrilling 4-3 win over Illinois in the Round of 16.  Our next match is on Saturday at 1:00 EST against #12 Texas, who upset #5 Tennessee in the Round of 16.   This match should be a battle in what has become a bitter rivalry over the last few years.  It all started when former UGA star Travis Helgeson transferred from Texas to Athens and continued through last year when we knocked Texas off in the NCAA finals for our 2nd consecutive national title.  

Check out these quotes made by Texas head coach Michael Center a few years ago as he talks about Helgeson...  “He was our Vince Young.  There are some things behind the scenes there. I’m not going into all the details, but it’s just not good for our sport.  To be honest with you, it’s a real difficult thing for me to talk to the media about. It was a difficult situation; I don’t feel good about the way it transpired. There were some things going on I didn’t feel good about. But, in the end, it happened, so there’s nothing for me to sit here and dwell on.”   After being pressed, Center went on to say, “Well, I’m going to leave it at this: There was nothing done against the rules, but there are some ethics that are involved in our sport.  For me, it crossed the line. They didn’t break any rules, but, ethically, we all have to make a decision in our life about how we’re going to handle things, and that’s up to each coach to make.

UGA Head Coach Manuel Diaz, who is a true class act, responded with this... “The one statement I’ll make is there has not been anything illegal or unethical done in our program.  If I was Michael Center and I had two No. 1 players leave in the last few years, I’d probably feel the same way. But there have been a lot of players leave Texas over the years. Maybe he should be looking in the mirror rather than coming over here and attacking my integrity.” 

I will add this... Coach Diaz is looked upon very favorably across the country.  Despite being the man running the show at a perennial powerhouse that competes for the national championship year in and year out, these comments by Michael Center are the 1st that I have ever heard that call Diaz' ethics/integrity into question.  There is a reason that Tennessee and Florida have both made runs at Coach Diaz and thrown ridiculous amounts of $$$$ to try and lure him away from Athens - he is the premier college tennis coach in America and he handles everything the right way.  There is also a reason that Coach Diaz has stuck around - Because UGA Men's Tennis is a family - We all love going back and seeing him and the current players.  No other program in the country has the loyalty of the lettermen the way that UGA Men's Tennis does.  And that is all due to the great lineage of coaches we have in Dan Magill and Manuel Diaz.  Every year the NCAA's is in Athens (I can't wait til next year), you would not believe the amount of former players that fly in from across the country and the world to gather and cheer on Coach Diaz and the team.   And I can guarantee you that no other program gets that kind of support.  So, Michael Center and Texas tennis can kiss my white ass - I hope we beat the hell out of them on Saturday...  GO DAWGS.   You can follow the live scoring here.

4 comments:

Bop said...

How bout that for a 5am post on tennis! Ha. That was classic RB.

NCT said...

+1. My dad was on Coach Magill's first team, and I can vouch for that sense of family.

Otto said...

Great post!!

RB said...

Bop... I guess there was 1 benefit to having my 3 year old decide that she wanted to play at 4am, and her dad wasn't allowed to sleep.