Another ‘P’ for QB/P

Guess who pitched for the Quakers in Baseball's 18-8 loss to Maine yesterday?

Well, the once-magnificent Todd Roth got the start and picked up where 2009 left off, allowing eight runs (seven earned) in 2 1/3 innings.

But the big news is the lefty who entered in the seventh: Kyle Olson. Yes, that Kyle Olson, the punter/quarterback who stormed on the scene after transferring to Penn in 2008, and who, after Keiffer Garton got hurt, led the football team to this year's Ivy League crown.

Apparently, he plays baseball, too. At Fullerton College, Olson hit .310 while playing first base and pitching sporadically.

No word yet on whether he's assumed full LOOGY status; in two-thirds of an inning against Maine, he allowed one run on one hit.

Check the DP after Spring Break for a full story.

Correction: One for the record books

It's official: This year's Penn women's basketball team has lost more games than any other.

The Quakers picked up historic defeat No. 24 thanks to tonight's 62-40 loss to Cornell at the Palestra. The 1995-96 squad, previously the losingest in school history, finished 3-23 (.115).

The Red and Blue (1-24) have three games remaining, so technically, they could finish with a .143 winning percentage, marginally better than that 95-96 team. But somehow, I don't foresee consecutive victories at Harvard, at Dartmouth and at Princeton.

Not a pretty welcome for first-year coach Mike McLaughlin. He'll be able to bring in his own recruits next year, of course, but it may take some time to turn this around.

*An earlier version of this post said that for the first time in the program's 31-year history, Penn would end the year winless at home. Only one problem, which my editor dutifully pointed out: The Quakers' lone victory this season was actually at the Palestra on Dec. 31, as they defeated St. Francis (N.Y.), 52-48. Thus, they finished the year 1-11 in friendly confines, and I owe McLaughlin and his players an apology. Penn has, however, tied a program record by losing eight straight at home; we'll have to wait until November to see if that continues.

Set your TiVos now

We have already chronicled the spectacle that is the Trinity men's squash program, which this weekend extended its NCAA-record winning streak to 224 en route to claiming its 12th straight national title.

The Bantams defeated host Yale, 6-3, for the championship on Sunday. But the big story became the taunting -- and, ultimately, shoving -- between the teams' No. 1's. First, the lack of sportsmanship made SportsCenter. Now, it's the focus of today's Outside the Lines. Tune in to ESPN at 3 p.m. ET or check your local listings.

Here's the Yale Daily News' account.  Penn, by the way, earned the B Division crown.

(HT Andrew Kaufman)

More bad news for W. Hoops

It's a dark time for the women's basketball team. At 1-20 (0-7 Ivy) and -- despite the hopes of Sarah Bucar and Mike McLaughlin -- with no real reason to expect a turnaround, the Quakers may wind up with the worst season in program history.

Now this: The City Six career points mark held by former Penn great Diana Caramanico was broken last night by Drexel's Gabriela Marginean. The forward's 19 points against Towston gave her 2,428 for her career with four games remaining.

At least Caramanico's 2,415 points remain the Big 5 mark to beat.

Penn wants YOU

Calling all soccer aficionados out there: Brian "Rudy" Fuller needs some help.

The Penn men's soccer team is looking for an assistant coach -- and advertising for the opening on Pennlink, the Career Service website. Good to know that a background check is required, at least.

Here's the posting (Pennkey req.). You can apply here (through Feb. 10). And after the jump, a screenshot.

HT: Brandon Moyse

Continue reading

More national coverage and updated lines

So far this week, we've seen a book devoted to Ivy hoops and a Wall Street Journal piece saying that the Harvard-Cornell game (tonight, 7 p.m. ET, Ithaca, N.Y.) may be “[t]he game of the year in college basketball.”

Well, now Sports Illustrated jumps into the fray with a feature on Harvard basketball. The story focuses on coach Tommy Amaker and star guard Jeremy Lin, who may be headed for the NBA. SI also had an interesting table with the story, replicated below:

School

NBA Alums

NBA Games

Last Played

Princeton

10

2,668

2001-02

PENN

12

2,176

2002-03

Dartmouth

7

1,748

1994-95

Columbia

5

1,068

1978-79

Yale

3

976

2002-03

Cornell

2

172

1950-51

Brown

3

63

1953-54

Harvard

2

54

1953-54

*   *   *

Zach Klitzman gave his picks for yesterday's games. All the favorites cruised, and Klitzman didn't do too badly, going 2-1.  But his line-setting prognostication skills weren't quite as good; here are the previously unavailable spreads for today's action:

Harvard at Cornell -8

Princeton -2 at Yale

Dartmouth at Columbia -9

Penn at Brown -6

School

NBA Alums

NBA Games

Last Played

Princeton

10

2,668

2001-02

PENN

12

2,176

2002-03

Dartmouth

7

1,748

1994-95

Columbia

5

1,068

1978-79

Yale

3

976

2002-03

Cornell

2

172

1950-51

Brown

3

63

1953-54

Harvard

2

54

1953-54

Ivy hoops by the book

Nobody ever accused us at The Buzz of being avid book readers, so I apologize that we're a little late with this.

But Washington Post reporter Kathy Orton has written what she calls "the first book inside Ivy League basketball." To get material for Outside the Limelight: Basketball in the Ivy League -- which was released on Sept. 11, 2009 -- Orton spent the 2005-06 season following Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and, yes, Penn.

Of course, a lot was different back then. Fran Dunphy was still the coach, and the Quakers finished 20-9 (12-2 Ivy) en route to the NCAA Tournament. Ibrahim Jaaber was the conference Player of the Year.

Still, in additional to chronicling that season, the book provides context on the history of Ivy League hoops. We'll try to get our hands on a copy and relay what we find, but in the meantime, here's an excerpt from the book and a Q&A with the New York Times' Quad Blog.

The most relevant part of the Q&A is after the jump. Continue reading

WSJ long on Ivy hyperbole

Personally, I think The Wall Street Journal's rhetoric is a bit over the top on this one. But an article in Wednesday's paper says that the Ivy League may just have "[t]he game of the year in college basketball."

The essence:

Saturday's game between Harvard (13-3) and Cornell (16-3)—and the scheduled rematch on Feb. 19 at Harvard—will bring a sense of urgency that this sport is unaccustomed to, at least before March. For the first time—arguably ever—the Ivy League has two legitimate NCAA Tournament-caliber teams.

But given the conference's diminished standing, it's all but certain that only one of them—the eventual Ivy champion—will get there.

The Ivy League has never sent more than one team to the Dance.

National Ivy TV deal?

Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris tells Bloomberg News that she would like multiyear national TV deals to broadcast the conference's football and basketball games -- plus, perhaps, lacrosse and soccer.

You may recall that the Ivy League had a deal with Versus for 2008, only to see the deal collapse for 2009 when sponsorship dollars dried up in this economic climate.

Harris would not tell Bloomberg which networks might be interested, or what type of revenues the league  might expect. (In the '08 deal with Versus, the league and the network did not exchange money; the Ivies just wanted the exposure). She also did not think a deal could be in place for the 2010 football season.

For his part, Athletic Director Steve Bilsky seemed lukewarm on the idea, referencing Penn's strong ties with Comcast. The University's deal with the regional sports network runs through 2010-11, with mutual options to renew thereafter.

“We have a good local TV package,” Bilsky told Bloomberg. “Selfishly, we wouldn’t give that up unless we felt there was a very legitimate alternative, not something we have for a year and it dissipates.

“The challenge is to come up with something that is sustainable enough and positive enough that we’d be willing to give away our good games."

So it seems as if Harris has a tough road ahead. Considering that the Ivy League couldn't get a football deal for '09 --and considering the dismal ratings that the football games on Versus received -- finding someone interested in soccer and lacrosse seems like a long shot, even bundled with the top two sports.  Then, she'll also have to convince the member institutions that its worth their while. And as we know, not all Ivy schools enter this discussion on the same footing.

Cornell scales back on athletic aid

Over the past couple of years, we have written about how the Ivy League's changing financial aid landscape might impact athletic competitiveness.

Indeed, Penn President Amy Gutmann said last year that the greatest challenge facing Robin Harris, who became Ivy chairwoman on July 1, would be "maintaining and promoting the Ivy concept of the scholar-athlete."

So this story from yesterday's Cornell Daily Sun struck us as especially interesting:

After coming under scrutiny by Ivy League officials earlier this month, Cornell has retreated from parts of an initiative launched in November 2008 that gave more lucrative financial aid awards to athletes, among other groups of students that the University deemed "enrollment priorities."

While the initiative was aimed at aggressively recruiting students of academic excellence, diversity and athleticism, the Ivy League saw the inclusion of athletes in the program as a violation of the league’s ban on athletic scholarships.

Cornell has the lowest endowment and largest student body in the Ivy League, the Sun said, so it was looking for  a way to remain competitive with its peers. That's certainly in line with the so-called "arms race" that many feared. But Harris' office felt this policy crossed the line, and without investigation, Cornell agreed to change course and examine other alternatives.

(via IvyGate)