Angry Neighbors Question Profiteering Tennis Instructor Bryn Bryant Over Seward Park Tennis School

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 at 9:28 am by
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One tennis teacher has his balls all over Seward Park, pissing off (on?) the neighbors.

An instructor named Bryn Bryant reportedly convinced the Seward Park High School to grant one of its three in-demand tennis courts to his business during the summer months. Locals are understandably upset that a third of the public space in the park has essentially been privatized for personal gain. Taken from the community, we are told, for sessions that sometimes last from 6am to 6pm.

Disgruntled sources allege that the deal was conducted with Bryant under the guise that his local non-profit would use the space with the aim of teaching children the fundamentals of the sport and to stay active. That couldn’t be further from reality, though. Take a look. Most of the pupils under his tutelage appear to be adults. Bryant further claims an association with the 501(c)(3) “Minds of Steel” on his flyers, yet there is no mention of him on their website. In fact, no one has been able to verify that a “permit” of any sort exists with the school.

Moreover, we also hear word that his tennis instruction is apparently the source of many an altercation in Seward Park this summer. Mostly arguments with other local players through his teenaged minion.

“Bryn hides over at Grumpy’s while Kelvin fights with the local residents,” one neighbors intimates. “He comes back out after his assistant pushes out the players on the court.” There are accounts out there of Kelvin and/or Bryn “getting in the face” of other players as well as walking through active tennis matches. We tried getting other folks on record to chat about their experiences, but most fear further incidents.

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Bryant is associated with a host of similar endeavors with various business names – Urban Tennis NYC, Pee Wee Tennis, Bryn Bryants Sports Academy, Cape Tennis. All with the same strategy and outcome, which angry former customers allege is to avoid a trail of complaints.

Technically, this entire discussion is moot, though, as Bryant’s for-profit lessons are apparently illegal in this city-owned parkland. Looking at the code, the primary use of Department of Education buildings and parks are for its programs and activities first and foremost; then, secondarily, preference is given to the community. The DOE explicitly forbids commercial activity on its property other than flea markets. (Here’s a link to the “extended use permit” application.)

A few of the relevant provisions from the DOE’s “Regulation of the Chancellor” are as follows…

Athletic fields, gymnasiums, auditoriums, swimming pools and other large areas shall not be scheduled in a way that creates an unreasonable restriction of use by others.

School premises may not be used for commercial purposes except for flea market operations authorized pursuant to Chancellor’s Regulations A-650.

Before a Principal approves a permit for an outside organization to use a school building, a thorough check of the potential User should be made.

Approval of the school’s Principal must be obtained prior to the posting of any material.

The individual or organization responsible for disseminating the information shall be identified on all materials posted on school property.

Material posted on school property may not demean or expose any individuals or groups to ridicule.

Advertising related to private, commercial activities is not permitted on school property.

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Tennis lessons don’t leave much space for basketball

 

Here is a further sampling of his reputation on Yelp.

Let me put it this way, if I could put “minus star” I would! I have never experienced such an awful operation/ business in all my life! Bryn the owner/ operator and I use the term lightly “tennis instructor” is a awful man. Arrogant, rude and has no respect for anyone. He takes your money and runs and my advice to all is RUN! STAY CLEAR! He used to operate as PeeWee tennis and received such bad reviews he changed to UrbanTennis to avoid a trail of complaints. Awful coaching, terrible business and not worth the trouble. I even heard him cursing on the court in front of the children!!!

Or…

I selected a tennis class for my child because the propreiter, Bryn Bryant and his staff assured me of their experience teaching tennis. I also selected this class because of proximity and convenience for the date and location offered. After the first class we were asked to switch to a different day and time, and then we were asked to switch to a different location, both which didn’t work for us. As many weeks went by and we didn’t have a lesson I requested a refund. I was promised a refund by Mr. Bryant via text repeatedly. The refund never appeared. He was always ‘traveling’ or ‘out of the country’ promising to send the check on his return. Be wary of his claims and be wary of any business that doesn’t take credit cards (as I now notice he states on his website). He did a similar bait and switch on another family I know attending the same location.  There are many other tennis classes offered in NYC. Run, don’t walk, away from this one. He also operates as urbantennisnyc.com

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