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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

University draws players from New York, New Jersey area

Hoosiers cite athletic, academic reasons

New York, New Jersey and Bloomington. \nAt first glance, the only comparison that can be drawn is rough traffic conditions. But a closer look shows four members of the men's tennis team, all natives of the New York-New Jersey area. \nBut why this jump from the hustle and bustle of their home states to the gentle, rolling hills of south-central Indiana? \nIt's a trend that started four years ago as the first two of the foursome made their moves. Senior Paul Jacobson, of Leonia, N.J., and senior Ian Arons, of Dix Hills, N.Y., both chose to attend IU on academic and athletic grounds. \n"I wanted to go to a place where athletics were important and everyone cared about sports," Arons said. "(IU) provided the athletic environment that I was looking for, and it has a lot of very good schools as well."\nFollowing in the footsteps of his childhood tennis opponents, junior Rahman Smiley made the move from Union, N.J. Smiley found a sense of security and ease with the IU program because of a rich history with his Hoosier teammates. Smiley and Jacobson were members of the New Jersey All-State team during Smiley's junior year, and Arons competed with Smiley in tournament play throughout his career in the New England area.\n"Ian and Paul had a large influence on my decision to come to IU," Smiley said. "They really made me feel comfortable here. Those are two guys that I always looked up to when we were younger, and the chance I have playing with them is awesome."\nBut Jacobson and Arons are not the only people who drew Smiley to Bloomington.\n"Having family in (Indianapolis) played a role in my decision as well," Smiley said. "Having family nearby makes it feel just a little more like home."\nThe latest addition to the group is freshman Bernard Tsepelman, from Forest Hills, N.Y. The campus and tennis program attracted Tsepelman, but the education possibilities were a key for him. \n"It is, of course, an attractive school, and the business department is a big turn-on for many students," coach Ken Hydinger said. "I know that (the Kelley School of Business) played a big role in Bernard's decision. I had one father tell me that the Kelley School was one of the hottest in the New York area. There is a great respect in that area for the University's ability to combine academics and athletics."\nGood schools, athletics and atmosphere contributed to all of the decisions to attend IU. So looking at it from the other angle, what is the draw toward recruiting New England area tennis players?\n"There are a lot of good tennis players that come out of that area," Hydinger said. "There is a lot of good instruction up there and players are prepared well."\nAs for the future of men's tennis, no one knows whether this trend will continue. But one thing not in question is the effect these four players have had on IU tennis. \n"These guys are a key to our team this year," Hydinger said. "You're talking about the (No.) 2, 3, 4 and 6 players in the lineup. Ian and Paul have been a big piece of the program in the past four years, and Rahman and Bernard are a big part of our future"

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