Friday, April 07, 2017

Now What's The Excuse?

Yes, it's that time of year again. With Harvard's 2-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth last night finally putting an end to the Ivy League men's ice hockey season it's time to yet again point out that ultimate (?) Ancient Eight athletics hypocrisy.

One of the "rationales" out of the Ivy League office over the years for why football is the only conference sport not allowed to go to the NCAA playoffs is that it would make the season too long. That's also been offered up as a reason why the league won't join the rest of the free world and add an 11th game.

Here's something to chew on.

Harvard's hockey team opened its season with an exhibition game on Oct. 8. It finished the season on April 6. That's a span of 181 days, or just shy of half a year.

Harvard's football team opened its season with an exhibition game against Dartmouth on Sept. 8. It finished the season on Nov. 18. That's a span of 73 days, or significantly less than half as long as the hockey season.

And before someone trots out the tired argument about how extending the football season would lead to a conflict with exams . . . it already does. Dartmouth exams start during the final week of the season.

Florida's Bradenton Herald has a story about incoming Dartmouth recruit Seth Walter's busy spring as a two-sport athlete. Find the story HERE.

It has been a long time coming but with this graphic Dartmouth has introduced tight ends and tackles coach Cheston Blackshear, most recently tight ends coach at Nevada. A former Florida Gator, Blackshear was a well-regarded offensive line/tight ends coach at Columbia from 2006-08 and coached tight ends at Georgetown in 2013. Find his Columbia bio HERE and his Nevada bio HERE.

Blackshear will recruit Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado and Alaska.

The Dartmouth coaching staff is now complete with Blackshear joined by first-year offensive coordinator Kevin Daft (most recently at UC Davis) and new running backs coach Steven Thames (Dartmouth offensive quality control last year).
A full-page ad in today's local daily with former defensive lineman Elliot Kastner keeping his head up next to the "P" in MVP.

Barring a change, the second practice of the spring is slated for Saturday morning at 9:45. Check BGA Premium tomorrow for coverage.

The decision to postpone yesterday's practice was a wise one. Gusting wind, the emperature hovering around the freezing mark and bone-chilling dampness in the air made Thursday about as miserable a day as any since last fall.

Fortunately, the forecast is expect to improve dramatically in coming days with the possibility of the mercury reaching the high 70s by Tuesday.

Welcome to spring in northern New England!