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ASU Tennis: Men's tennis officially reinstated, effective immediately

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Men's tennis will return to ASU for the first time since 2008.

Arizona State University will reintroduce men's tennis as a varsity sport, effective immediately, Sun Devils athletic director Ray Anderson announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

The men's tennis team is being reinstated after being dropped 2008.

The announcement of the team's reinstatement occurs after ASU tennis and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced a strategic alliance on March 31.

"It accelerated the discussion," Anderson said of the strategic alliance's deal influencing the team's reinstatement. "The timing and circumstance were ideal."

Anderson and his wife, Buffie, said they are committing a $1 million donation to aid the reinstatement effort. The couple has now donated a total of $1.5 million to ASU athletics, having previously contributed $500,000 to football in 2014.

Anderson said his goal is to make ASU the epicenter of tennis in the valley, emphasizing community as key factor in reinstating the team. Anderson also said he plans on ensuring men's and women's tennis is fully funded, without fear of being dropped in the future.

"Our goal is to get to the point where men's and women's tennis will be the first two sports ASU to get fully endowed," Anderson said.

ASU women's head coach Sheila McInerney, who has coached the women's team for 32 years, was emotional, recalling how devastated she was when the men's team originally folded.

She echoed Anderson's sentiment, saying the reinstatement of the men's team will benefit the local community.

"Ray and Buffie's enthusiasm has been fantastic." she said. "It's a holistic approach. The university is about community involvement."

Men's tennis will become the 11th men's-sanctioned sport at ASU. In 2015, men's hockey garnered varsity status, and both women's triathlon and women's lacrosse are set to be elevated in 2016 and 2018, respectively.