Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Spring Has Sprung, Or Has It?

Spring football is supposed to start today but as of this writing the best I can offer is, "Time will tell."

Translation: It is absolutely miserable here on Moose Mountain right now with the wind howling and rain falling. The hourly forecast calls for 38 degrees (feeling like 31), showers and 15 mph wind this afternoon when the team is scheduled to hit the field.

Green Alert Take: The nice thing about spring practice is that without a game at the end of the week the schedule can be more flexible than it is in the fall.

Green Alert Take II: That much-anticipated, much-delayed, much-coveted indoor facility sure would come in handy this week with rain in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, and snow showers possible Saturday morning.
A $5 million gift from Barbara and Ed Haldeman '70 and family has endowed the Dartmouth athletic director's position. From a news release:
“Harry (Sheehy) is everything that an athletic director should be,” says Barbara Haldeman. “He sees athletics in the bigger context of what the College is trying to provide. Even though he’s committed to quality and winning, it isn’t just for the sake of winning. It’s all in the context of building better citizens down the road.” (LINK)
Speaking of the place of athletics in the educational mission . . .

While recent opinion pieces in school newspapers question the value of athletics at Yale (LINK) and Brown (LINK), there's a very well-reasoned response in the Brown Daily Herald under the headline, In defense of Ivy League recruiting HERE.

Referencing the earlier columns in the Yale and Brown papers, the author of this latest piece says:
These writers use colorful vocabulary and quotations from school charters to disguise an accusation directed at our athletes: “You don’t belong here. You are not one of us.”
For students who are supposed to champion diversity and inclusion, this is a painfully limited outlook. Do you truly believe that the standard of admission to places like Brown is solely the number of A’s on your transcript, or a 95th percentile SAT II?
In its coverage of spring football the official Columbia website (LINK) takes the unusual step of offering up capsule looks at each of the Lions' opponents this fall. Regarding the Dartmouth game it has this to say:
Columbia travels to Hanover, N.H. for a Saturday, Oct. 21 matchup. Last year, Columbia used three Oren Milstein field goals to defeat Dartmouth 9-7 on Homecoming at Robert Kraft Field. The Big Green will have a new offensive coordinator and also must replace Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Folarin Orimolade. Dartmouth, which led the league in passing offense (278 yards passing per game), finished 4-6 overall and 1-6 in Ivy League play last year. The Big Green returns quarterback Jack Heneghan (2,725 yards passing), who led the Ivy League in passing last year.
Looking over the various capsules I noticed the Harvard piece says it, "must replace starting quarterback Joe Viviano." Maybe the folks at Columbia know something the rest of us don't but Viviano missed an entire season with injury and there's a strong history of Harvard quarterbacks using their medical redshirt seasons. Stay tuned on that one.
STATS has a story spun out of Sacred Heart "releasing" a 2017 schedule that features an Oct. 14 game against Dartmouth in Fairfield, Conn. The story mentions that the Pioneers were 5-0 in nonleague games a year ago and that sent me scrambling to see who they played.

Sacred Heart's nonleague wins were over Stetson, Valparaiso, Marist, Stony Brook and Cornell.

From the story:
The Pioneers face the difficult task of replacing veteran quarterback RJ Noel and linebacker James Rentz, but they will return nine starters on offense and seven on defense.