Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Confusing Response from Duke - Men's Tennis

RedmondoRedmondo Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
edited October 2009 in Athletic Recruits
Hey all, I'm posting this in the Duke section as well. Here goes:

I'm looking to play Div. I tennis at an academically prestigious school starting in fall '10. I sent a letter to the coach of the men's tennis team at a bunch of different universities, including Duke. The letter details my tennis history and speaks briefly of my school history. Of course, what I'm expecting is a reply from the coach. However, a little over a week after I sent the letter (I sent it on Sep. 23) I get a letter back form Christoph Guttentag, the Dean of Undergrad Admissions. It reads:


Greetings from Duke University!

We are excited to see you have started the Common Application and selected us as one of the universities to receive your application. It is hard work to complete a college application, but well worth it when you are done. Please know we are looking forward to learning more about you.

In the coming weeks ahead, we will be sending you emails to let you know more about what is happening at Duke and to remind you of important deadlines. Our Early Decision deadline for applying to Duke is November 1, 2009. Our Regular Decision deadline is January 2, 2010.

Would you like to be on our mailing list and receive Duke Viewbooks and other interesting mailings? Just go to our web site, Duke University Admissions and choose Join Our Mailing List at the bottom of the page.

We hope you enjoy the fall season and have a great final year in high school.

Best Wishes,

Christoph Guttentag
Dean, Undergraduate Admissions


My question is: what the heck does this mean? Am I highly desirable, so the Dean is after me? Is this a generic letter any student who contacts Duke receives? I'm a little confused because this letter makes no mention of my tennis, which is what I'm trying to use to spearhead my way into a good school.

Any thoughts would be infinitely appreciated.
Post edited by Redmondo on

Replies to: Confusing Response from Duke - Men's Tennis

  • keylymekeylyme Registered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
  • ChargerFansChargerFans Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Generic. My son got the same email. You must have selected Duke on your initial selections of schools on the Common App. Means nothing.
  • RedmondoRedmondo Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    I'm certainly suspicious that that is the case, yes. But the coach must've at least passed it on, because I sent it to the coach's e-mail address.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Registered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    What is your state ranking? National? What state are you in? Is your tennis game on par with the players recruited at Duke?

    Did you fill out the common application? If not, this is probably a generic letter sent because the coach was not going to take the time to answer...... If so it came because of the Common App and not because of your letter.
  • RedmondoRedmondo Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    I'm currently 41st in the PNW, since I just started playing USTA events in August (I'm Canadian, from BC). I had a long layoff due to a shoulder injury from about 13 to 16, so I have a unique history. I've played six USTA events and my record is 15-3, with three consecutive wins over the 14th ranked player and three tournament titles. I made the semis of a Dual Level 5 18's event a couple weeks ago. The rankings haven't reflected my last two tournaments, so I'm expecting to jump up to about 30ish when the new ones come out. I've go no national results to speak of. My best times are certainly ahead of me.

    I understand that wowing the Duke coach is a long shot. But I've sent letters to other coaches, and many of them have replied at least. Sending it off to someone else because he couldn't be bothered replying is bizarre - it takes one or two lines to say no thank you.

    I've begun filling out the Common App, but I haven't sent it yet, so that can't be the reason.
  • fauvefauve Registered User Posts: 3,515 Senior Member
    If the coach sent your name to admissions instead of contacting you directly about your tennis accomplishments, I'd say he is not eager to recruit you.

    If you marked Duke on the Common App, then that is the source of the communication.

    As sunnyflorida suggests, research the tennis team roster at the Duke athletic website, and compare your accomplishments with those already on the team. You will gain a realistic view of your standing compared to current players.
  • RedmondoRedmondo Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    But I've had Duke marked on the Common App for many weeks... and I just sent the letter a week ago. It doesn't take that many weeks for Duke to auto-respond to a Common App selection. I don't get it.

    I know it's a long shot. I'll see what happens.
  • RedmondoRedmondo Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Ah, I completely forgot to mention - it was an e-mail. I call it a letter, but it was electronic. Sorry for the confusion.
  • fauvefauve Registered User Posts: 3,515 Senior Member
    Until you hear from the coach, you should assume the timing was coincidental. In the meantime, work on those essays! Good luck.
  • ChargerFansChargerFans Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    My son listed Duke back in the summer. He just got the same email in the last week as well. I'm sure it's related to the Common Application not from the coach.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    Trust me--you will know when you are being recruited. I have no idea if you are good enough to be recruited at the kind of schools that you are interested in. But given that time is short and you don't seem to be on the radar at those schools, you need to immediately find someone who knows the tennis recruiting scene inside and out and find out what you should be doing.
  • RedmondoRedmondo Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    I've no idea who I would find. I'm playing the biggest USTA events I can at the moment, which is obviously far superior to competing in Canada. I've sent e-mails to many different college coaches.

    The only thing I can think of is a video.
  • ShesOnHerWayShesOnHerWay Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    Isn't it late for D1 tennis recruiting for a 2010 graduate especially at a school the caliber of Duke? I would think that Duke was done with it's recruiting for this year.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    How about asking around at the tournaments that you are playing in? The other players there might be able to give you some pointers, or be able to refer you to someone reliable who can actually help (as opposed to simply taking your money).
  • 10scholar10scholar Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    ^I would suggest, sending a video, but not to Duke. I agree that it was generic and generated from the common app, and - seriously - top 30 in the country doesn't cut it for Duke in Men's tennis, let alone in the PNW, which is one of the weakest sections. If you get in, they might let you try out and walk on, but they won't help you with admissions. Look who they've signed already this year - a top 5 national player. Look at past years - they consistently get some of the best players nationally. I know it's inconsiderate, but many coaches don't respond if they aren't interested. I'm not justifying it, but they do get hundreds of emails a day and you should take a non-response as non-interest. It is late for tennis recruiting, especially d-1, as most have had contact for months and are taking official visits and committing now.

    To give yourself any chance - because of your history and because your rankings won't cut it - I would suggest sending a video, but probably only to some really good academic d-3 schools. In my experience, they have bigger teams, more "slots" for admissions, and naturally lower levels of competition, so you'd have a better chance of being recruited. Good luck!
This discussion has been closed.