Tennis Loses the 'Conscience of the Sport': Eugene L. Scott, 1937-2006
The death of Tennis Week founder and publisher Eugene L. Scott of heart disease on March 20 prompted an outpouring of love, support, condolences, and tributes from Scott’s friends, colleagues, and readers. Here is just a fraction of the many tributes that were posted on EugeneLScott.com.
I had the privilege to work with Gene on the Tennis Industry Council and always enjoyed his straightforward rhetoric and style. There is no doubt that his life and his work were about tennis. He never stopped caring about growing and improving the game.
— Doug Fonte, president, Prince Sports USA
Gene forced all of us to rethink positions we routinely accepted as givens. There were no sacred cows for Gene. He was a tennis renaissance man in every sense of the word.
— Alan Schwartz, USTA immediate past president
At Tennis Week, Gene challenged me constantly, and as a result, I accomplished things I couldn’t have imagined possible. It’s astounding to think of how many lives he has influenced, and how many people he’s pushed to do more and to do better for tennis.
— Jennifer Kenas, former Tennis Week staff
Gene was a champion of tennis on every level. I will always remember him for his quick, dry wit and for his love for the greatest game on earth.
— Sam Cook, Völkl Sport America
When I started traveling internationally at 17, Gene took me under his wing. He was my Professor ‘iggens. He even gave me the book, The Elements of Style” to try to improve my writing. He was a total joy to play mixed doubles with.
— Kathy Bryan, Wimbledon mixed-doubles partner
The tennis world will miss Gene; his wry humor and fearless, innovative thoughts and editorials. He was always on the side of tennis at its best.
— Dennis and Pat Van der Meer
Gene was a stickler for good writing and developing a strong and coherent story line. I enjoyed his [Vantage Point] column and his energy. Gene was a class act and will be deeply missed.
— Dan Markowitz, author, Tennis Week contributor
If tennis had elected a commissioner, Gene would have been the ideal candidate. A man who was willing to rock the boat for the benefit of the game.
— Jim Westhall, former tournament director, Volvo International
I always had so much respect for Gene because he did it all in tennis: world-class player, U.S. Davis Cup team member, tournament director, writer, publisher, agent, TV commentator, etc. His love and passion for the history and traditions of the game are to be admired.
— Randy Walker, former USTA P.R. manager, former Tennis Week intern
I will miss [Gene’s] words in Vantage Point. He was a man of vision and depth. His words of wisdom and truth were a very special gift to all of us who were fortunate to have read them.
— Patty Young, Tennis Week reader
The more time I have spent in tennis, the more respect I have felt for Gene. As I lived life on the tour, life in the TV booth, life in the USTA as a board member and as the Davis Cup captain, I have always heard it straight from Gene, and learned so much in the process. He was the conscience of tennis in so many ways. Gene was so passionate about our sport, our game … he just got it.
— Patrick McEnroe
Gene didn’t always take the popular route, but rather chose to do what he felt was important and necessary. He truly cared, and for that the entire tennis world will be forever grateful for his numerous contributions.
A tennis icon, Gene touched the game in every possible way — as a player, as an advocate, and as the publisher and founder of Tennis Week. His views on tennis were always respected.
— Franklin Johnson, chairman of the board and president, USTA
Gene, thank you for kicking off pro tennis in my part of the world. The Kremlin Cup now is 16 years old, and your input in this wonderful tournament will live forever.
— Max Mirnyi, ATP player
Gene was a role model for every aspiring tennis player in the New York area. He took Vitas Gerulaitis and me under his wing during our teenage years.
— Gene Mayer
Gene challenged the way we look at tennis and pushed us to make the sport better for everyone.
— Billie Jean King
His personality, knowledge, perspectives, and opinions were revered in the industry. He was a fountain of truth, an ambassador of all that was right about the sport, and a person whose legacy is as large as any will ever be.
— Steve Bellamy, founder, The Tennis Channel
Gene was a singular light and exceptional voice. A gifted wordsmith, he wrote with gravitas and conscience about our wonderful but often perplexing sport. Father, athlete, businessman — he created an inspired path in tennis, which touched so many. His wit and wisdom will always be with us.
— Bill Simons, publisher, Inside Tennis
I had known Gene as a regular first week attendee at the Wimbledon Championships for 30 years; he always went home early to celebrate 4th of July with his beloved family. Not only a consummate lawn tennis player, he also excelled at the far more complex game of Court Tennis and was U.S. champion multiple times.
— Alan Chalmers, Wimbledon press steward
Gene worked unfailingly to make tennis better, which is why the world’s best journalists wanted to write for him.
— Donna Doherty, former editor, Tennis magazine
We’ve lost a wonderful, loyal friend who always gave us the benefit of “straight talk,” whether we liked to hear it or not.
— Ray Benton, president, KSB Ventures
I knew Gene for 20 years, and he always had a way of bringing out the best in people. He was the pulse of tennis and will be sorely missed.
— Madeline Hauptman, PowerAngle Rackets
Gene was always eager to share his expertise as a tournament director, publisher, player, writer, promoter and keen observer of our game. I greatly valued his counsel, support and encouragement. He will be missed as a mentor and friend.
— Mark L. Stenning, CEO, International Tennis Hall of Fame
I am so grateful to Gene for offering me my first job out of college. I spent 4+ wonderful years learning and growing at Tennis Week, which led the way for everything that has followed in my life. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from such an intelligent and passionate man.
— Mary Ann Benack, Tennis Week staffer
Gene was a man truly passionate about our great sport. He was not afraid to speak out about what was right and wrong. He made us think, therefore making all of us better.
— Dede Allen, former USTA administrator for junior competition
I have long felt Gene was a voice of reason for the best interests of our fine sport, and one not afraid to go against the grain for the good of all. We will miss a man of his character and hope to continue on in his traditions.
— Tim Bauer, director of tennis, Eau Gallie Yacht Club