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A Study of International Student-Athlete Recruitment in Intercollegiate Tennis
AuthorCalkins, Derreck Thomas
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The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore how coaches recruit international students and how ISAs secure positions on men’s or women’s NCAA Division I tennis teams. Participants were chosen based on their experience with recruiting ISAs or being recruited as an ISA. A phenomenological framework was used to look at these questions and analyze the data that was produced through semi-structured interviews. Participants were four NCAA Division I women’s tennis coaches, two NCAA Division I men’s tennis coaches, one national tennis administrator, four NCAA Division I women’s tennis players, and one NCAA Division I men’s tennis player. In this study, doing recruiting and being recruited were viewed as two different but interrelated phenomena. Accordingly, I explored the experiences of coaches and ISAs in order to understand where their experiences intersected or diverged. Two major themes that expressed participants’ shared experiences as they relate to the separate yet interconnected phenomena of doing recruiting and being recruiting were identified. These two major themes were (a) the recruitment process and (b) the significance of an athletic scholarship. Within the first major theme, the recruitment process, three sub-themes emerged. The three sub-themes were: (a) the use of recruiting agencies; (b) the importance of word of mouth recruiting and referrals; and (c) the significance of the Universal Tennis Rating System (UTR).