Skip to main content

Must-Read Article On The Ivy League

Yesterday over at the Big Green Alert blog Bruce released a riveting Q&A with Chris Lincoln, author of the riveting book "Playing The Game" about the cutthroat world of Ivy League recruiting. It's a highly recommended read.

They talk about a plethora of subjects: the "Amaker Affair", next year's retirement of the executive director of the Ivy League, Jeff Orleans, and the new aid policies being put in place by Harvard and Yale.

Of most interest to followers of the Patriot League is this juicy question:

Whether it's a love-hate thing is debatable, but The Patriot League and Ivy League definitely have a relationship. Will this give the Ivies the clear upper hand and if so, would you anticipate the Patriots would finally add football scholarships?
Adding football scholarships is expensive. At $45,000 a year per student-athlete, that’s $1.8 million a year for 40 players, $2.7 million a year for 60 players. How will Lehigh alumni feel about that? What about talented engineering students who need financial aid? Would spending all that money on football make any Patriot League school a better educational institution? Do you want 40-60 students on campus enjoying a different status than everyone else?

There isn’t a single Ivy League board of trustees enacting these new aid policies to make their sports teams more competitive. The motivation at Princeton, where this trend began back in 2001, was to help its students graduate without the burden of loan debt, so they could have a wider variety of career options, including public service and teaching, rather than feeling forced to seek high-paying jobs in order to pay off their loans. In the case of these other schools, I have read that their motivation is less altruistic and based more on a fear of Congress forcing them—and other wealthy non-profits—to spend a percentage of their endowment or risk losing government funding. “Spread the wealth” appears to have been the message. The bottom line is the same for students: schools can now attract a broader group of talented students to their campuses, from a wider economic spectrum, and relieve more of their graduates of loan debt.

You know, in light this financial aid issue, and looking at the current Harvard basketball recruiting controversy and the realities of competing Division I athletics today, you have to wonder why the Ivy League remains a Division I athletic conference. To what end? How is this improving your educational mission?

And, if the Ivy League wants to remain a Division I athletic conference, then everyone who’s not working at Harvard, Princeton and Yale needs to stop whining about their lack of money to spend on aid for athletic recruits—because the bottom line is that your academic institutions are enjoying the benefits of being associated with the top academic brands in the country. Your school’s reputation is being lifted by being in the Ivy League. Where would you be without Harvard, Princeton, and Yale?

All interesting questions. And in terms of the Patriot League and scholarships, he's right: it would be expensive. But to me it signifies an important shift in the debate. Last year, this type of question might have been dismissed as "against the principles of the Ivy (and Patriot) League". Now, in light of the academic aid largesse of Harvard and Yale? It becomes more of a question of economics.

Could it be that the principle of football athletic scholarships being taboo is a thing of the past - and now it's all about the money?

Comments

ngineer said…
The money being spent would not have to differ. It's the manner in which it is awarded.
MC said…
http://acropolisreview.com/2007/10/congratulations-to-harvard.html

Popular posts from this blog

Seven Positive Thoughts About All the Patriot League Recruiting Classes

It's recruiting season.  Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated.  It's all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world.  In that, it's a win for everyone.

While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I'd comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.

This summart isn't a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of "starred recruits" (they list Holy Cross as the "winner"), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN's yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons "winner": Lehigh) or HERO Sports' list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the "winner").  It's just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.

What Are You Doing the Night of Lehigh's 2017 Home Opener?

I have this vision.

It's the weekend of the home opener at Murray Goodman Stadium, Labor Day weekend.  It could be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

And it's 6:00 PM.

In 2018, the Lehigh football team will open the season with a big celebration of the football program - at Navy, Lehigh's first game against an FBS team in over a decade.

In 2017, why not, as a one-off opportunity, try to have one Lehigh football game, the home opener, be the first-ever night game at Murray Goodman Stadium?

Will it cost money?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.

However, is it doable?  I've got to believe the answer is "yes".


Sandusky/Paterno Timeline Keeps Getting More Difficult To Ignore

The crimes committed by Gerald Sandusky continue to be a band-aid that is re-applied, and continuously ripped off, the arms of those of love Penn State.

Already convicted by a court of law, Sandusky has what is effectively a life sentence, while others who were in power at Penn State during the 1998 period where sex crimes were reported internally, Graham Spanier, Gary Schulz and Tim Curley, have still not faced any sort of trial and are still at-large today.

Last week, with an interesting sentence appearing deep in an insurance lawsuit involving a Sandusky victim settlement, the band-aid was once again ripped off.

The details of the lawsuit claim that Joe Paterno chose not to act in 1976 when one victim reported abuse by Sandusky, while Sarah Ganim, the hero reporter who broke the Sandusky story wide-open five years ago, added a second story of abuse in the 1970s where Paterno pressured one of Sandusky's victims over the phone in the 1971 to not press charges against him.

Penn S…