Here's the catch: Other schools aren't going to be eager to follow you if you are determined to take them where they have no intention of going.
That being the case, a good first step for Harris would be to encourage the Ivy presidents to get in step with the real world and show that schools can maintain lofty standards for their student-athletes and still compete – and compete successfully – in the NCAA football playoffs. Maybe, just maybe, schools around the country would listen a little more closely to what Harris and the Ivy League have to say if the Ivies were in the game instead of preaching from the sidelines.
An aside: I can't wait to hear Harris' explanation for why football is the only Ivy League sport not allowed to go to the NCAA playoffs. Jeff Orleans – who will retire this spring – always seemed to be left dangling in the wind when that question came up for one undeniable reason: There's no justification for the ban. Period.
Should the football playoff ban come to an end, could a postseason Ivy League basketball tournament be in the offing? Stop the presses. One of the sons of Princeton basketball – coach and former Tiger star Sydney Johnson – actually had a few good things to say about a tournament in a New York Times blog.
Oh yeah, in case you are a lawyer-type, here's Harris' profile on Martindale.com
Have you been following the football recruiting news? Of course you have, or you wouldn't be here. Sites like Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN are fun to look at and offer some good information about what schools kids are considering. But as Dave Coulson over at The Sports Network says, take their ratings with a huge shaker of salt. Coulson writes:
Sites such as Rivals use a star system to rank players, much of it based on what schools are recruiting those athletes. For example if USC or Florida is recruiting a kid, he automatically must be a four- or five-star player. But as soon as he commits to Delaware or McNeese State, these rating services suddenly downgrade him to a two- or three-star athlete.Speaking of recruiting, the morning papers have stories about a couple of kids who thought about Dartmouth (and other Ivy schools) only to land elsewhere. Cleveland.com writes that Ohio defensive lineman Torry Treu "considered Yale University, Dartmouth College and Williams College," before choosing Davidson. ... Dan Judge, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback from Haverford School in Pennsylvania, "considered Harvard, Penn, Dartmouth, Princeton," before choosing Richmond according to this story.
After signing with the FCS national champion, the Pennsylvania high school quarterback told the paper, "When I looked places like Harvard and Penn, they had a great academic program; but at Richmond, not only did they have a great academic program, but also a great atmosphere and a great athletic program."
Remember how Florida State was trying to jettison a game against Maine in order to pick up an ESPN paycheck? The Seminoles got their wish – and Maine will still be getting a $450,000 check according to the Bangor News. Now the Black Bears are reportedly trying to schedule a game against Syracuse. There's no truth to the rumor they are hoping shortly after they sign a contract that ESPN offers the 'Cuse big bucks to play against Penn State on the same date, and that the Black Bears can parlay that into another big check without ever stepping on the field.
The economic meltdown has given us some insights into how the other guy lives. An AP story notes that the Miami Hurricanes will take charter buses instead of flying to games at Central Florida and South Florida this year. Riding the hounds for 3-4 hours for each game will save Miami $140,000. According to the story, it has been at least 10 years since Miami took a bus to a road game.
A Daily Dartmouth columnist takes a long time getting to his point – in the business they call it "burying the lede" – before calling on Dartmouth to cut the swimming/diving and equestrian teams to help the budget crunch.
An Alert reader who absolutely would have used the innovative A-11 offense when he was coaching youth football laments that the attack is being legislated out of existence in some precincts. The A-11 makes almost every player an eligible receiver. Find a story here.
And finally, the Daily Dartmouth reports that the snow sculpture on the green has collapsed and been bulldozed over with days to go until Winter Carnival. Intended to be a model of the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, the sculpture literally fell victim to a couple of days of warm weather and rain. Lest the old traditions fail, the Outing Club and Snow Sculpture Committee are hoping to get an emergency replacement sculpture finished in time. It will be a mountain with twin peaks split by a river that will also be a slide.
Oops, one more. This will probably be fixed by the time you read this, but check out the lede from a Dear Babs column from the Kansascity.com:
Dear Babs,Notice anyone missing?
What makes an Ivy League college education so advantageous? Should I only search for college in the Ivy League?
- Ivy Curious
Dear Ivy C.,
The name "Ivy League" refers to an athletic conference of seven private colleges in the United States. Harvard University, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University have been playing each other in basketball, football and rowing for over a century. Beyond college sports, these seven schools were amongst the first colleges in this country, and (excluding Cornell, which was established in 1865) they have been building their reputation since before the Revolutionary War.
They aren't going to like that in Morningside Heights ;-)