Furman, Tufts receive ITA Awards
SKILLMAN, N.J. — The Furman men’s and Tufts women’s tennis teams have been honored as March’s recipients of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award, the ITA announced today.
The ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award is a monthly award that goes to one men’s and one women’s team that has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and collegiate tennis. The winners are selected by the ITA Ethics and Infractions Committee from nominations received from all ITA member institutions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges). This monthly award began in 2003. In addition to the obvious reasons, sportsmanship and fair play are considered important in college tennis due to the fact that players make their own line calls during a match.
Furman University is a NCAA Division I school, coached by the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history, Paul Scarpa, and is located in Greenville, SC. While Coach Scarpa is more respected than most in all circles of college tennis, he makes sure his Furman men’s tennis program continues to stand for their character and fair play. The most recent awareness of their outstanding sportsmanship was on display in the limelight of the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic, where many of the top men’s teams in the nation participate.
Adding to the growing list of accolades received recently by Coach Scarpa, he was inducted into the Blue Gray Hall of Fame during the event’s banquet while the entire Furman men’s team was named the recipient of the Blue Gray Sportsmanship Award. The award, typically given to a player since the tournament’s inception in 1984, went to an entire team for the first time in history.
“I personally consider this one of the highest honors that a team can receive,” said Coach Scarpa. “I must say I’m very proud of our team. As a coach, you always scrutinize your team, and there’s a mark of being perfect. We’re not perfect, but obviously, we’ve made some strides that I’m very proud of. What I consider sportsmanship is a team made up of great competitors, but with individuals that are equally gracious in their sportsmanship.”
Tufts University is a NCAA Division III school, coached by Kate Bayard and located in Medford, MA. Opponents praise the Tufts women’s team for consistently demonstrating respect for themselves, their coach and their teammates through their play. They also go out of their way to show their appreciation towards their opponents and the host site. Each time they step on the court, the team has developed a reputation for showing an appreciation and love for the sport they participate in.
“Our team truly understands the importance of having a supportive and positive environment,” said Coach Bayard. “We hold each other accountable every moment to maintaining this priority. The choice to display good sportsmanship is part of our mindset.”
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is compromised of nearly 1,700 men’s and women’s varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 15,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA Web site is www.itatennis.com
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