There is one good thing about the commentator line-up this US Open--no Brad Gilbert. Since he got his coaching gig with Andy Murray the commentating has been just a little bit better. Now if only someone would hire away John McEnroe.
But Gilbert's absence doesn't mean all is well in commentator-land. Last night Tracy Austin, in a discussion about Benjamin Becker, was dismayed by all the European players coming to the United States to play collegiate tennis--coming and taking up all the scholarships that should go, Austin reasons, to American players. She wants a limit of 2 "foreign" scholarships per team.
Hmmm...interesting. Sport is, theoretically, a "may the best person win" kind of endeavor--so if the Europeans are doing the best job then they should get the scholarships. And given Americans' love of (the myth of) meritocracy, one would think Tracy Austin would appreciate that these young Europeans are coming over and working hard for their place on the team. But I guess meritocracy only applies to those already living here. All the hard work one may put in in another country just doesn't count.
But in the end Austin's comment really just reads as highly xenophobic. Despite our immersion in a global economy, Austin believes that Americans deserve (whether they have earned it or not) preferential treatment in American colleges. She fails to see the benefit of non-American students attending American universities. She also clearly does not understand that European recruiting is one of the least egregious aspects of the current win at any cost philosophy of big-time collegiate athletics.