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September 5, 2001

Butch Buchholz

Rick Ferman

Tom Fetzer


SETH SYLVAN: At this time I'd like to introduce Tom Fetzer, our Chief Executive of Community Tennis for the USTA.

TOM FETZER: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us for what promises to be a historic announcement today by our Association. Our President, Merv Heller, has infused this 120-year-old Association with a youthful vitality. He is constantly challenging us with his admonition, "Take it up a notch." He is never satisfied with good when better is available. He is never satisfied with better when best is attainable. Ladies and gentlemen, the President, Chairman of the Board, and Chairman of the United States Open, Merv Heller (applause).

MERV HELLER: I didn't know the annual review started so early (laughter). Would you give me some of those lines for my next speech, please. Thank you very much, Tom, and welcome, everyone. It's a pleasure really to be here in front of a group of reporters and photographers and cameras today, because this is an exciting day for the United States Tennis Association and a group of other people that we are going to be creating an alliance with. As you know, that's why you're here. So, anyway, I'd like to just tell you that it's been my personal vision, when I became President of the United States Tennis Association, to take tennis to people. Today's announcement, I think, fits into this personal dream as we embark on a program which will take tennis to children that might not otherwise have an opportunity to learn this game. First Serve, I believe, is a historic collaboration with the shared vision of providing a safe place for kids to go after school where they can have access to computers; where they can have a mentor, an adult mentor, to have a one-on-one relationship with for learning skills; to get a nutritional snack or a meal; and, most important to me and to our Association, learn the game of tennis. This program is important to the United States Tennis Association because our mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. It is our number one strategic priority to build community tennis programs, and this is something that I can't think more fits our strategic priority as a community tennis program. The USTA cannot do this alone. It needs the strong alliance of communities and schools to achieve this mission and to create programs such as First Serve. In America today, almost 70 percent of the tennis is played in the public parks. The USTA and its partners propose to target the inner city, inner cities' public tennis facilities across America, to invest, refurbish and revitalize these important assets in our community. In doing so, we believe that we will be reaching to a segment of our population who need the caring adult relationship, the educational tools, and the physical activity that First Serve will provide our inner-city youth. First Serve will strengthen our ability to impact people's lives by bringing together an organization called Communities in Schools, which is one of the largest, most successful providers of adult mentoring relationship to at-risk children. It will also bring together in a sponsorship and support Burger King, Court TV, and in this historic opportunity today, the State of Florida, who we are privileged and pleased to have their governor leading this, Jeb Bush, one of the most innovative and passionate public policy leaders in this country. I understand he wasn't a bad tennis player, either. But I'm sure we'll hear more about that a little later (laughter). Anyway, we are confident that this model that will be created in Florida will be an incentive for other cities and counties across America to improve the quality of inner-city life in the neighborhoods and the lives of people who live there. Through First Serve, we will not only take tennis to people, but we will provide something much more important - opportunity. Thank you very much (applause).

TOM FETZER: I first met our next speaker when I was the Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. We had a very severe problem in our public housing and inner-city neighborhoods. Seven out of every ten children that lived in those areas was dropping out of high school before completion. We went and interviewed 1,500 families in those inner-city neighborhoods to find out why we were losing these kids. One of the things we found out is that the three out of ten children who were succeeding, who were getting through high school could almost invariably identify outside their immediate family a caring adult mentor - a coach, a teacher, a pastor, somebody who cared enough to get involved in their lives and coax, cajole, push, prod, exhort them to get across the finish line. That's when we brought in Communities in Schools to reach out and provide adult mentoring relationships with our inner-city children. The results were nothing short of miraculous. Today I'd like to present to you the President and founder of Communities in Schools, one of the largest, most successful adult mentoring programs in the United States, Bill Milliken (applause).

BILL MILLIKEN: Thank you. It's good to be with you, Governor. One of our largest Communities in Schools is in the state of Florida, so it's great to be able to partner there. For the past 40 years, I've had the privilege, after I got helped out, of reaching out to young people across the country. I've learned two things over the last 40 years. One is I haven't seen one program change one kid's life. What changes people is relationships. Somebody has to be in their life face-to-face, knowing them by name and caring that they exist. Because once you get them turned on to living, then they get turned on to learning. The second thing is they need a safe place to learn and grow, to have a place where they know they can be safe not only emotionally but physically. What we've learned in Communities in Schools is how to prepare kids for a life by keeping them in schools. We've learned how to keep them in school by bringing all the resources of the community that young people need and bring them in. A lot of kids drop out because they can't see the blackboard or they don't have food in their stomach or they don't have a decent place to live in. What we do is coordinate all those resources, create that sense of community in the schools, make sure there's an after-school place in order to have a safe place to go after school and to find those kind of relationships. That's why we're so excited about partnering here today - because of the combination of tennis to attract young people there, us being able to provide the tutors, the mentors, the relationships and the safe places. We're going to be able to see a whole lot of young people make it. We started with 80 young people in Atlanta, Georgia, in this particular program 25 years ago. This year we'll be in 2,300 Communities in Schools serving 1.3 million. We're fortunate today to have Dr. Roy Blash, who's the Communities in Schools Director here in New York City, and I thought this was the best place that we could kick it off. So thank you very much. Thank you, Governor (applause).

TOM FETZER: In the short time that I've worked with him and for him, Rick Ferman has impressed me with a unique style of leadership. Most often, Rick doesn't tell you what he wants done. He comes to you and says, "You know, I really got inspired by something I saw. I think this is important." Then he waits for you to capture the vision and do something with it. Rick came to us at the annual meeting in Tucson, and before the general session, the USTA, told us something that had inspired him and challenged us to do something about it. All you people here today are the result of that one moment of inspiration and his communication of that to us. The Executive Director of the USTA, Rick Ferman (applause).

RICK FERMAN: Thank you, Tom. I could take a little inspiration from the players here and improve my forehand a great deal, I think. My role is to introduce Butch Buchholz. It's a terrific pleasure, a great pleasure for me to do this. Butch is an accomplished player. One thing you might not know is that he won a consecutive Junior Grand Slam - I won't say when - but winning all four Junior Grand Slam events in consecutive order, and he participated on three American Davis Cup teams in a distinguished way. He's been an outstanding tournament promoter and entrepreneur and a tennis administrator in many organizations and very successful wearing many, many hats. We owe him much in all of those roles. When I was given the opportunity to attend the dedication of the Ashe-Buchholz Tennis Center at Moore Park I was absolutely - inspired is an understatement - by what Butch and his group in Miami working with the Greater Miami Tennis Foundation and others in the community had done. At that time, I referred to Butch Buchholz as the "leading community tennis citizen in this country," along with his family - great background in family tennis and community tennis. Since that moment, he has increased his commitment to community tennis and family tennis by leading the way to expand the concept of First Serve. So, my pleasure to introduce the leading tennis citizen in this country, Butch Buchholz (applause).

BUTCH BUCHHOLZ: Well, I don't know if that's true, but... The inspiration for us to continue helping the communities really came from the fact that my brother and I were public parks products. Just before Arthur got very sick, we started a thing called "The Good Life Program" in Miami, which was a mentoring program. Arthur and I took a tour through the inner city of Miami, in the parks, and looked at the tennis facilities. Nobody would want to play tennis there. The backdrops were falling down, grass was coming out of the courts, the nets basically didn't exist. So Cliff and I decided that we would want to do something and make a park more like what we grew up with. I really did not have any experience in dealing with governments or city governments, so I went to a good friend who happened to be a golfing partner of mine on Sunday morning, Jeb Bush. Jeb helped me understand how we could leverage the tennis tournament, the Ericsson Open, to raise funds to build this facility. We dedicated and opened it this past March. Jeb was there. When I got a call from Rick and Tom to say, "Maybe we ought to expand this Ashe-Buchholz concept," I called my good friend again, Jeb Bush. My role today is to introduce Florida's No. 1 tennis fan, Jeb Bush, our governor (applause).

GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you, Butch. It is really Butch's inspiration that is the seed from which we are all here today. If you are going to be in Miami - and for all the non-Floridians here, we welcome you to Florida, not as many sharks as you might read about and see on television - it's a wonderful place to visit. If you have a chance to visit Miami, I would urge you to see the Ashe-Buchholz Tennis Center. It is in the midst of poverty and despair, but at that place, children are getting a quality education first and foremost, which is the reason I'm here personally. I love tennis, but rising student achievement and assuring the children gain the power of knowledge is what I'm passionate about. They're in a safe environment, and they are being inspired by adults that there is a better way for them, there is a better chance for them. Then they get to play tennis, which is not a bad thing. They're going to do it in a quality setting that probably will generate, whether it's that center or one of the other centers hopefully in Florida that we're going to build as a partnership, one of the US Open tennis champions. That's why it's pretty exciting to be here. We have a couple of goals in Florida. We want 200,000 mentors to spend at least an hour a week with a child. Because, as I close my eyes and envision what that would be like, if we do that with regularity in our state, I only see wonderful things. I only see children that defer gratification and can look over the horizon and know if they work hard and study hard, then good things can happen to them. I only see adults that are inspired just as much by being with a child and enhancing their own lives and making them more productive in the workplace. That's why, for example, the state of Florida, every state employee, 125,000 employees, all of them can take four hours a month off with pay to be able to do this. We've had a 28 percent increase in the number of volunteers in our schools. We also have seen big increases in the after-school programs with adults coming in to provide support. So this combines this very noble effort of, as you said so eloquently, it's not a program, it's the human connection and reweaving that web that really matters to ensure that children aren't left behind. It also combines something that I'm excited about as well. As I look over the horizon in our state, we want to build high-tech heaven on earth. We want to build a place where the entrepreneurs and the dreamers will come to invest in those dreams and create high-wage jobs. Knowledge will be essential for young people particularly to be able to get those kinds of jobs. A whole lot of kids are left behind because they don't have access to technology. We've started something called Power Up Florida in conjunction with Power Up United States, a group of private sector technology-based companies. We hope to be able to coordinate in the 16 different or 20 different places around the state Power Up facilities. By the end of next year, we'll have 65 after-school programs where there will be mentors that understand technology with the best technology available, totally wired for young people that wouldn't have access to technology to be able to acquire it. And, again, First Serve is going to provide a great forum for that to happen. Finally, tennis is something I can personally tell you, although my pride has gotten in the way, Mr. Chairman, if you play something good and then you get hurt and you get lulled and atrophy sets in, it's hard to go back because it's not quite as it once was. But some of the greatest experiences I had as a younger person were playing tennis. Playing in 95 degree heat with 95 percent humidity and stretching myself to the limits I never imagined that I could have. Winning and losing, and being able to do that in a way that added character to my life. The friendships that I gained from tennis, the sense of competition which probably, in my family, I didn't have to do that in tennis. But it certainly enhanced my sense of fair competition. But the joy of competing. It has been an incredible part of my life and something that I think a whole lot of young people, if they don't have access to it, will miss out. So I can envision this place being a place - safe, healthy, all across our state, not just in the urban core areas, but we hope to put these in some of the smaller communities that are economically disadvantaged as well, places like Milton, Florida, which you may not have ever heard of, in northwest Florida, and a lot of other places where young people can be inspired to dream big dreams, where they'll have the tools to be able to go out and pursue those dreams, and where they'll be able to get a healthy meal, be able to exercise and come home and make a difference in the lives of their families. That's what this is about. We're happy that Florida is going to be the site where we act as a catalyst for this to expand. We have parks programs, we have technology programs, and we're just simply going to use what we have available already and gear it towards the centers. And maybe some other states will follow suit. Normally, Florida, we like to be leaders. We don't like to follow. This is a good example of leadership that I hope will inspire others across the state to join in this partnership. Finally, I want to thank Court TV and most particularly Burger King because they're based in Miami, they're a Florida-based company, for stepping up and providing support as well. These are public, private, not-for-profit partnerships. I don't know what we call these things anymore, but this coalition is the way good things can happen. If you expect it to only be done through the USTA or through a private sector group and not have government involved, it will probably not be as successful. If you expect government to do it by itself, I can guarantee you it's not going to work nearly as successful as it should. But the combination of taking the best of each one of these organizations to build something really special is what successful public policy is about. I want to thank all of the partners in this, and I look forward to working with each and every one of them. Mayor, I want to come down and maybe we can inaugurate the first -- since you're the only mayor that showed up, you deserve to have the first celebration in Lauderhill, how about that, where we cut the ribbon and celebrate this success.

MAYOR KAPLAN: Happy to have you.

GOVERNOR BUSH: Thank you (applause).

FETZER: Much mention has been made of Governor Bush's tennis career. He was an accomplished tennis player and did play varsity tennis at the University of Texas. It was very interesting to me when I went to visit him in his office. He has a typical governor's office where the ceremonial things occur - with the big desk and the flags and everything. But where he actually works is a little, small cubicle off to the side where there's nothing but a chair, a desk and a computer terminal in there. He's got to be the most accessible governor of all 50 because if you e-mail Jeb Bush, you get an e-mail back in 30 minutes, guaranteed. No questions asked. The other interesting thing that happened when we were in his office that day, we said, "We'd like to launch this in Florida, and we've identified four or five sites that would be good, potential First Serve sites," thinking we'd get started sort of modestly. He said, "You know what, let's do more than that. How many can we identify?" We ended up presenting a selection of twelve different sites that we proposed to launch in Florida. I want to thank him for taking that bold and ambitious initiative. Sixteen I just heard. Twelve and counting, maybe I should say. The thread that is throughout this whole program today is Butch Buchholz because it was Butch's relationship with Governor Bush, it was his relationship with Arthur Ashe, it was his inspiration to start Moore Park. And his relatively new affiliation with our next speaker, when this was really starting to look like it was going to come together, Butch said, "You know, I had dinner with a guy at Wimbledon in July who's a sports guy, was a tennis player as a young man, played as a junior in the Orange Bowl, really big into sports, just recently came in and is turning Burger King around, and I think he might be interested in this." So we went to Miami to meet with Chris Clouser, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Burger King. And we went to see him less than a month ago. In that span of time, Burger King looked at this option, reviewed it, and resulted in a decision for them to be the national sponsor of First Serve. At this time I'd like to, with great gratitude, introduce Chris Clouser, the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Burger King (applause).

CHRIS CLOUSER: Governor, Mr. Chairman, it was a very brief visit to the Orange Bowl. Very brief visit (laughing). About 125 days ago I joined (inaudible) in coming to run Burger King. About 90 days ago I ran into Butch Buchholz and Tom. They said, "The governor would like you to consider something." Pretty strong medicine, pretty strong order there (laughter). And we are tickled to be able to sponsor this. We talked about, believe it or not, I've come to find out 12 million people every day walk into a Burger King. Not only to buy a Whopper, hopefully, but also hopefully to understand about what our company's about. We talked 120 days ago about helping and taking great organizations like CIS and First Serve back to communities. As our first I guess major sponsorship, because of Butch and Tom and the USTA, we are just delighted to be here today and look for great things. Governor, I have a much worse backhand than you do. I can tell you (laughter). Thank you very much (applause).

TOM FETZER: One of the things we've talked about in these First Serve sites which are principally going to be inhabited by -- (lights went out) maybe the lights went on at Center Court -- is making the sites available after the kids are through with them for Burger King employees to come in and take computer training, maybe take GED courses. Hopefully, this will be of an added benefit to the Burger King family as well. We're going to show a brief video for you next. I should say this is very hurrily put together by our good friends at Court TV. It is not a broadcast product. It is something that will introduce you a little bit to First Serve. We have committed to Andre Agassi, who got very interested in this when he heard about it through Bill Milliken. He wanted his academy, his charter school and his Boys and Girls' Club in Las Vegas to be a First Serve site. We committed to do that. So when Andre was here for Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, he taped a brief message about First Serve. Dick Beahrs and the Court TV folks took it on short notice and turned it into the following presentation... (Video is shown).

TOM FETZER: That gives you some idea of the quality of work that Court TV can put together on very short notice. And, again, a relationship that Butch Buchholz had. Dick and Butch have been good friends for the better part of a quarter of a century. Butch and his wife, Marilyn, are godparents to Dick's youngest daughter. Dick has got a lifetime of experience in television. For the better part of the last decade, he has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Court TV. They have agreed to be our media partner and to help promote First Serve through the production of PSAs and to link us into communities through their affiliation with hundreds of local cable affiliates throughout the country. So it is at this time with great gratitude and anticipation I introduce to you Dick Beahrs with Court TV (applause).

DICK BEAHRS: Thank you, Tom. On behalf of everyone at Court TV, I want to tell you how much we appreciate the great opportunity to participate in First Serve. I am honored to have known Butch for over a couple of decades. For those of you that know Butch, you know that when he sets his mind to something, it happens. That's one of the reasons we're really drawn to this program, is because we know it will be around for a long time and it is something that will grow. When you take on something tough, obviously you face significant hurdles and you want to be involved with people that stick with it until it really becomes a reality. I know that's going to be the case with First Serve. At Court TV we have a program called "Choices and Consequences," which we have invested a great number of resources in over the past five years. It is simply committed to keeping America's kids out of America's courts. We do that by trying to focus on enhancing their decision-making skills. So, accordingly, we have a wide range of resources including in-school curricula, resource guides for parents and teachers, on-line programs. Then also, perhaps most significantly, First Serve. We have televised over 60 community forums from around the country on subjects which are of real interest to young people. So these could range from anything from censorship on the Internet, gang violence, domestic issues and the like, but it is always geared towards giving a voice to young people. What is interesting to us is that there have been two themes which have continually emerged from these 60 community forums. That is the fact that young people are so clearly wrestling with issues of self-esteem, and the other one is there is often times a perception amongst young people that there just simply isn't enough to do in their communities. From the standpoint of Court TV, First Serve is an outstanding example of being responsive to those two challenges. As the program has envisioned, it will clearly do a great deal to enhance young people's self-esteem, and also it will clearly change the perception of a lack of things to do in local communities. I want to emphasize on the spot that we just showed you that we will be partnered with local cable companies throughout Florida and throughout the rest of the United States. So when a final spot is developed, it will be always customized with a call to action in that local community with the support of the local cable company. Already we have commitments from Time-Warner Cable, Adelphia Communications and AT&T Broadband to participate in this program in Florida. It's our perspective that we'll really have universal collaboration from cable companies. So thank you very much for giving us an opportunity to participate in this (applause).

TOM FETZER: One other person who couldn't be with us today is Billie Jean King. Her father is requiring her attention, so she left last week, may come back to the US Open later this week. I think Billie Jean has a lot in common with Arthur Ashe in that her life may very well be most remembered for the contribution she made to this world outside of the game of tennis. But she has a foundation, and the foundation has made a commitment to First Serve sites. They're going to put in sport walls, which is a new product in the game of tennis. It's a plastic panelled tennis hit-back wall with lights and a computer score board that allows kids to hit the targets, score when they hit the targets, and improve their game in a real interactive way that keeps them motivated and keeps them interested in the game. At this time, I want to acknowledge very briefly some of the other partners that are here with us today. Then we'll open this up for questions. I want to acknowledge, as Governor Bush did earlier, the presence of Richard Kaplan. Mayor Kaplan, if you'll stand please, of Lauderhill, Florida (applause). Mayor Kaplan and some of his colleagues in Florida are remembered from my previous life before I got a promotion to the game of tennis and the world of sports. Several of Mayor Kaplan's colleagues wanted to be with us today and couldn't: The Mayors of West Palm Beach and Daytona and Miami sent strong letters of support for First Serve. Mayor Anthony Grant of Eatonville had scheduled some time to be with us, but some late-breaking city business required his attendance there. Rick mentioned earlier that 70 percent of tennis play occurs in public park facilities in the United States. So it's obvious that those need to be our principal partners as we grow the game. We have two very important people in public parks and recreation with us here today: Kathy Spangler . Kathy - if you'll please stand - is the National Director -- or Director of National Programs, the NRPA (applause). And one of our own, a family member, former member of the USTA Board and currently the National Sport Council Chair for the NRPA, Jody Adams (applause). Thank you for being here. Among many other things, they're going to help us identify facilities in inner cities throughout America that would be good First Serve potential host sites. None of this would have been accomplished so far today without the Herculian efforts of our strong Florida section of the USTA who met with us originally with Governor Bush, went out and identified these sites in a dozen Florida cities and are currently working on the grant application process, working with the local community tennis associations, the local NJTL chapters and the local tennis people there to raise the funds and to develop the community network that's going to be necessary to make these programs possible. I'd like them to stand as I call their names: Doug Booth, our Executive Director in Florida (applause). Loretta Strickland, Paddi Valentine, and the long-time Chairman of the Greater Miami Tennis Foundation, Donna Fales (applause). Lastly, I'd like to acknowledge some of the staff people here that are going to be very integral to this process, one of which who was inspired by this from my very first trip to Miami, has been integral in it and has a deep passion for the game of tennis and expanding it to inner cities. That is our own Director of Multicultural Participation, Rodney Harmon. Rodney's a former NCAA doubles champion and one of just a handful of African American Americans to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament, and one of the great human beings in our game. I'd like to also recognize D.A. Abrams, who heads up our NJTL program nationally (applause). This is going to be a coordinated effort with all our NJTL chapters. I'd like to also recognize a very important new person to the world of USA tennis. She is the new director of the USA tennis, Karen Eliezer. When Chris Clouser writes the check, it's going to go to Karen Eliezer's and then back to First Serve. I'd like to recognize a great friend of the game of tennis and a colleague of Butch Buchholz's and one of the great tournament promoters in the United States, one of the great tennis legends sitting in the back of the room, Charlie Pasarell (applause). Charlie, thanks for being here today. Bill Milliken already recognized Roy Blash and the great Communities in Schools programs in New York City where they reach 60,000 kids annually. They're already partnering with our NJTL chapter in New York City to collaborate on educational initiatives and tennis. Finally, I want to recognize two very important people to the USTA and the game of tennis: Pierce O'Neil, who's our Chief Marketing Officer. Pierce is responsible for generating the revenue that not only allows us to put on this tournament, but allows us to spend about $50 million annually growing the game of tennis at the grass roots level. Finally, the guy who makes it all happen at the US Open for two marvelous weeks every September and has taken what is a Grand Slam tennis tournament and elevated it into one of the premiere athletic and entertainment events anywhere in the world, Arlen Kantarian (applause). Thank you for letting us have the room rent free for a half hour (laughter). Unbelievably, we're about to wrap up on time. Now, Governor Bush and the other participants will be more than happy to take any questions which you might want to offer.

Q. This is for Governor Bush. Two-part question. We're in Ashe stadium, he spent a lot of time in Florida. What will his values, his heritage, his belief in education have as a role model in this program? And, secondly, the Williams sisters are having a wonderful run here. What role do they play with at-risk children in Florida and America?

GOVERNOR BUSH: Well, as it relates to Arthur Ashe, his ties to Florida, as you said, were very strong, and his friendship with our friend, Butch Buchholz, is the genesis of this very idea. And how long did it take, Butch, to take the concept you all talked about to reality? It took a while.

BUTCH BUCHHOLZ: Almost eight years.

GOVERNOR BUSH: It took about almost eight years. From that, we'll multiply this out. If that's the standard, we're at warp speed here. So the hard work has been done to establish the concept, and that will be one of Mr. Ashe's many legacies. As it relates to the Williams sisters and their family, we are proud to call them Floridians. In fact, it may be a little cocky to say this, but I think Florida could probably take on the world right now in tennis. We'd take some of the foreign players on our team since they reside in Florida, and we'd take the Americans that live there and we probably - we might be No. 1 against anybody in the rest of the word. I don't know if there's a very good chance of organizing that kind of event, but...(laughter). If we do it, we'll host it in Florida and maybe one of these centers will be the place where we do it. But the Williams sisters' father is very interested in getting involved in these things, in these activities. He was at the opening of the Ashe-Buchholz Tennis Center. We hope to get them and other great tennis players involved in this program. I think we'll be able to do it.

Q. I'm with the St. Pete Times. Can you specifically tell me why St. Petersburg was chosen and where the initiative will be based. There's a clay court center that's in danger of being closed right now.

GOVERNOR BUSH: Well, I don't think we've identified the site, if I recall. I'm looking over to the Florida contingent. We have a site in St. Pete?

AUDIENCE: The one she's talking about. It has a lot of history. A band of people have come together since, the last 30 days. It's very exciting.

GOVERNOR BUSH: Okay. The list I had, that was one of the cities we identified, but had not identified a particular center. The way this will work is these are public parks, and we have a program that has an acronym - for the life of me I don't know what it stands for, but it's called FRDAP. It's a government cancer that I have failed to cure. I have no clue what it means other than it's state money to the tune of $27 million that goes to cities that apply for it to refurbish and to build local parks. Through that resource, we expect to get additional moneys otherwise wouldn't go to these kinds of projects to rebuild, in this case, existing tennis centers. So that would be the source of money. The grant application, I believe, will be in October to be funded by the legislature next session. We're pretty confident that the state's contribution will be a catalyst for more than -- I thought we had 16 of these.

TOM FETZER: We can get to 16.

GOVERNOR BUSH: I think 16's a better number than 12.

Q. Governor, if you would be so kind as to answer a political question. Could you please comment on the entrance of Janet Reno into the race for your job next year.

GOVERNOR BUSH: Well, I'm not surprised that Ms. Reno and six or seven other candidates would aspire to be governor. It's the best job in the world.

Q. How do you think you're going to do against Ms. Reno?

GOVERNOR BUSH: I'm going to let Floridians decide that in November. It's a long way off. I love my job, I'm passionate about the things that I believe in, and I'm going to spend most of my time advocating these ideas that hopefully will enhance the quality of life of people in the state, and they'll make up their own minds about it.

Q. One more question on that.

GOVERNOR BUSH: On that? You're going to keep trying (laughter).

Q. She's saying education, the environment and the elderly are going to be her key issues.

GOVERNOR BUSH: That's good (smiling). I'm all for it (laughter).

TOM FETZER: Could we get back to tennis, please.

Q. Are you going to stay for the day's events? If so, who do you like in the Agassi-Sampras match?

GOVERNOR BUSH: Oh, that hurts! Gosh, that's a horrible question. That's like asking who I'm for between Florida State, Florida and the University of Miami in football.


GOVERNOR BUSH: You know, I'm going to get in trouble, I'm going to tell you that I'm for Sampras just because I want him to come back and win. Although, you hit my two favorite tennis players, obviously. And the Boca kid, too. Put him in there, too. But I have to go, unfortunately. I have to go back, I have to go down to Washington. But I've been watching. This Labor Day weekend, I don't think I did anything but watch. CBS actually had -- the local affiliate in Tallahassee had the telethon on, so I missed -- I had to go do something on Labor Day afternoon. But in the evening we were back at USA watching it. It's an incredible tournament. The United States Tennis Association should be just enormously proud of everybody that works here for putting together a world-class event. Even if you don't play tennis, I imagine that people are watching because it's very exciting. I'll be one of them for the rest of the tournament.

Q. Governor, a female U.S. Senator from this state who will not be mentioned --?

GOVERNOR BUSH: Where are we? I forgot now (laughter).

Q. -- Earlier here at the US Open told a delightful story of her exploits in tennis. Could you take a moment and reflect on what's the most delightful, intriguing story or anecdote?

GOVERNOR BUSH: I can't tell you my most delightful one because I have a vow not to mention the day that my brother and I won the greatest tennis match of our lives. From that moment on, I could have retired. But I have many memories of being a walk-on at the University of Texas, was one of them. I'll tell you this story. This is an early 1970s story, so go back to the bell-bottoms and the days when hair was a little bit longer and all that. This was the first year that Dave Snyder was the coach at the University of Texas. He came from Arizona with the intent to rebuild the tennis program at the University of Texas. There was a tournament at the start of the year, the winner of which could be allowed to try out for the team. It wasn't a guarantee. I won the tournament. I won the amateur intermural tournament. It was a big deal. So I show up and Coach Snyder looks at me and says, "You're on the team. Cut your mustache. Get a hair cut." That's exactly what I did. I spent a year playing tennis for the University of Texas. Then they got a couple of guys, a couple of players from South Africa that showed up, that ended up becoming the No. 1 doubles team in the world my sophomore year, their freshman year. I decided maybe I needed to go back to studying.

Q. How much of that 27 million in grant money do you expect to be allocated for this program?

GOVERNOR BUSH: It depends on which cities apply and the amount of refurbishment that they need. But that is ample money to be able to accomplish the refurbishment part of this. There will be some private money that will go along with it. So you combine that with the moneys that the state puts up for the Power Up program, which will be a great adjunct to this as well to build the computer centers, and our contribution will be pretty meaningful.

Q. Is it renewable every year?

GOVERNOR BUSH: No. The FRDAP money would be for refurbishment. The Power Up money could be renewable, but not the parks money. Thanks (applause.)

TOM FETZER: After reading the paper this morning, our coaching staff put together a scouting report on Ms. Reno. Their advice is to chip deep to her backhand and charge the net (laughter). I made an egregious error of omission a moment ago. As my only excuse, if you look at this, this is a list of people I've been trying to recognize here (holding up a sheet of paper). I wrote Nancy Morgan's name right here, I looked straight at her and I still didn't mention her name. But the President of the Florida section who's just a delightful lady and has been very supportive of this is here with us, Nancy Morgan (applause). I beg for dispensation on that. Are there any other questions for any of the other participants today? (No response). By the way, FRDAP stands for Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program. I have the governor's disaffection with acronyms, but this one I've had to get intimately familiar with over the last several weeks. I want to thank all of you for participating in this press conference. Again, Butch, none of this would have happened without you. None of these people would have been here without you. We wouldn't be here without you. Thank you so much (applause).

End of FastScripts….

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