Random Ivy notes for 10/26

I know it's been a while, but here's a Random Ivy notes:

1) Sure it's been beaten to death many times before, but here's another column decrying the Ivy League's ban on football postseason play. I've already stated I'm pro-football playoffs, and won't rehash the arguments. But this column, written by someone from Delaware of all places, emphatically believes it's "the dumbest, most unfair rule in sports" that the Ivy champion can't play in the FCS playoffs. (Some background: when he's talking about Delaware playing Delaware State, he's referring to the Blue Hen's refusal to play their in-state rivals.)

2) As a hard-hitting linebacker (and center) for Penn and the Eagles, Chuck Bednarik probably would've liked the Penn-Yale game Saturday that ended 9-0. He actually was present at Franklin Field, signing copies of an oral history about him. Although we were told not to talk to him, Soft Pretzel Logic got a short video interview with the Philadelphia legend.

3) The Cornell Basketball Blog has an index of season previews, and not surprisingly the Big Red are the consensus preseason No. 1 Ivy team. Penn's preseason ranking is extremely more volatile, ranging from second to seventh.

Random Ivy notes for 8/9

1) The New York Times ran a profile of new Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris. I'm sorry it's a little late, as I know a few readers have sent this in as a tip. Among some highlights: she talks about possibly redesigning ivyleaguesports.com (which definitely could use a change); she plans on going on a "listening tour" of every Ivy campus (similar to the Glen Miller town hall?); referring to extending the football schedule to include the NCAA postseason, she says "I want to be very clear that it’s not on the table ” (guess she didn't get my letter from a few weeks ago).

2) Remember Fire Glen Miller? Well after a three-month layoff, they've returned. Loyal Buzz readers already know everything the post mentions except for one item: Glen Miller was active on all 20 of the offiicial recruiting days during July. He was one of just 24 coaches in Division I to do so.

Random Ivy notes for 7/23

1) Despite the recent installation of a carousel at the Dunning Coaches Center, one Penn coach is raking in national honors. Not surprisingly, Karin Brower won her second-straight W. Lax Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year award after Penn went 15-3. It would've been interesting to see if Brower still prevailed had Maryland coach Cathy Reese been in Brower's region. Reese led a very young Terrapins team to an undefeated regular season and Final Four berth, before falling to North Carolina in the semis. (She did win Southern COY honors.)

Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller won National Coach of the Year, after the Wildcats went undefeated en route to a fifth-straight NCAA championship.

2) In what's got to be considered an upset (or at least proof that there are more University of New Mexico voters than Penn voters), the Palestra almost certainly will lose its matchup against the University of New Mexico's "Pit" on CBS' Arena Wars. And it's not even close, as Penn has 42% of the vote to the Pit's 58%. I guess people believe in separation of church and sports since somehow the Cathedral of College Basketball can't beat a Mountain West gym.

3) Temple has released its men's hoops schedule, and Fran Dunphy's going to be in for a rough year. The Owls host Kansas, which almost certainly will be a top 5 preseason team, as well as Siena who has won NCAA tournament games in each of the last two seasons. In addition, Temple faces five other Power Conference teams, hosting NIT champion Penn State Dec. 5, playing at Georgetown Nov. 17, taking on Virginia Tech and St. Johns at the Palestra Nov. 27 then 28 and of course battling in the annual Big 5 matchup with Villanova at home Jan. 2. (As a side note, the link also confirms Penn's recruits, though Noah already commented on that.)

4) In case you're ever quizzed on terms related to Cornell Athletics, here's your Big Red sports glossary. I guess it's supposed to be funny, though saying that Dartmouth excels in ice sculpture isn't exactly back-breakingly hilarious, especially considering this exists. Penn's entry:

Pennsylvania: Slimy Ivy rival in Philadelphia. It has strong athletic teams and questionable recruiting ethics. Learn to hate them. They’re ruthless, bad sports and play to win at whatever cost — even if it means throwing toast on the football field. And they call themselves Quakers.

So I guess we are Cornell's biggest rivals?

Random Ivy notes for 7/16

1) Thanks to reader Will, vote for the Palestra over "The Pit," which is the University of New Mexico's stadium on CBS Sports' "Arena Wars."

2) Right as Penn's M. Lax coach is leaving, the W. Lax team is gaining coaches, as former standout Melissa Lehman will return to the team as an assistant coach. As a senior she was second on the team in scoring during the team's run to the 2008 NCAA Championship game.

3) The Ivy League has five preseason All-American FCS selections, and Penn's K Andrew Sansom is on the first team. CB Chris Wynn made the second team.

4) The info isn't really that noteworthy, but the headline and image of this CBB post grabbed my attention. However, I advise you to vote on the right-hand side for who you think the biggest challenger to Cornell is.

Random Ivy notes for 7/1

Got to start off the new month with a new "notes." Here we go:

1) Today marks the start of a new era in Ivy athletics, as Robin Harris officially takes over as Ivy League Executive Director. She'll replace Jeff Orleans, who had led the league for 25 years as the first official director in league history.

(As a heads up, expect a column about the challenges Harris will face in the next issue of the Summer Pennsylvanian, which comes out a week from tomorrow.)

2) Which would you rather do: play professional sports or go to Harvard? Well Louis Leblanc might get to do both. Despite being drafted in the first round of the NHL draft by his hometown Montreal Canadiens, he's decided to attend Harvard in the fall and play for the Crimson hockey team.

3) Here's a rundown of the Ivy League M. Hoops scene from Fox Sports' Jeff Goodman, although the Penn stuff  -- games at Duke, Penn State and Villanova and home games against Temple, St. Joe’s, La Salle and Drexel, as well as Harrison Gaines transferring to UC-Riverside --  is old news (HT CBB).

Random Ivy notes for 6/26

1) After renovating Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, St. Joe's will move back into the facility -- to be renamed the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena -- after playing its home games at the Palestra last season. Right next to the expanded arena will be a new 20,000 square-foot basketball facility, named after legendary coach Jack Ramsay.The dedication ceremony of the facility is today.

Dr. Jack -- he received a Ph.D in education from Penn in 1963 -- coached high school, college and pro basketball, including an 11-year stint with the Hawks. He also led the Trailblazers to their only NBA championship in 1977. In 1992 he became enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and now does color commentary for ESPN Radio.

Take a look at an exclusive interview Ramsay gave me back in March 2008.

2) Following up on Noah's NBA draft post, Philly Hoops Insider has a breakdown of Philadelphia area prospects that were drafted last night. A quick rundown: three players who played high school ball in the area were drafted in the first round (Tyreke Evans, Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington) while two Big 5 players were drafted in the second round (Dante Cunningham and Amhad Nivins).

3) The U.S. women's lacrosse team will play in the finals of the FIL World Cup tomorrow, as it dispatched England, 20-3, yesterday. Although no Penn players past or present are on the team, there is a solid Ivy League contingent.

Tommy Eggleston, other recruits, and Maryland monopolizing w. lax

1) It's been a rumor for a while, but the Indiapanolis Star reported that Tommy Eggleston (brother of hoopster Jack) is officially Penn-bound.  Tommy was being recruited in football and basketball, but years of growing up with Jack must have worn off on him, because basketball was his first love. So when his best football offers were to be a recruited walk-on at a D-1 school, he switched his focus to basketball and chose to commit to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Football inevitably complicated the situation, because Tommy applied to Penn after visiting as a football recruit, but was accepted after switching his focus to basketball. Glen Miller and Co. apparently had recruited him a bit early on in the year, although they did not mention him in any recent comments on recruiting. They did not speak to him until he was accepted (one month after he committed to UWM).  The Ivy League education and chance to play with his brother was enough to persuade Tommy to come to Penn.

Tommy is a 6-5 guard who was a safety in football. I don't know too much about him as a player, but he must be a hard-nosed kid that can probably help the Quakers' backcourt off the bench. UWM is a solid program that makes the tournament pretty regularly and made it to the Sweet 16 in 2005.

2) Various Penn recruiting classes were "officially" announced in the last few weeks. Of course, most of these recruits have been on the radar for a long time now, but as the applications were completed the official Athletic Department announcements were made. Here are links to the 2009 classes for defending Ivy League champion M. Soccer, W. Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling, Softball, M. Tennis, and W. Golf.

3) The NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Committee decided that the 2010 Women's Lacrosse Final Four will once again be held in Towson, Md. It marks the third time in a row that Towson University hosts the event, and the 12th time since 1986 that the championship games take place in Maryland. (1986, 1987, 1993, 1994 – University of Maryland, College Park; 1998 – University of Maryland, Baltimore County; 1999, 2001 - Johns Hopkins University; 2002 – Loyola College (Maryland); 2005 – U.S. Naval Academy).

Updated: Random Ivy notes for 6/1

Update: going along with the lax awards, freshman shortstop Derek Vigoa was named the Big 5 Baseball Rookie of the Year today.

1) It's postseason awards time for women's lacrosse, and Penn has done well so far. The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Associatoin revealed their All-America and All-Region teams last week, and Penn had two first team All-Americans, juniors Emma Spiro and Ali DeLuca. In addition, junior Courtney Lubbe and senior Becca Edwards were named to the first and second Mid-Atlantic Region teams, respectively. Ironically, Penn had one more first team All-American than national champion Northwestern.

2) Of course, that one selection for Northwestern was Hannah Nielsen, quite possibly the best player ever. She solidified herself as one of the game's greats with her second-straight Tewaaraton Trophy.

3) With spring sports almost all but over (rowing is still going), it's never too early to look towards football season (only 110 days left till the opener versus Villanova!). But before looking ahead, The Harvard Crimson looks back on last year's Ivy Champion.

4) Here are some other recaps of the past year in Ivy League sports (sorry some of these are old): The Brown Daily Herald has a standard review; The Daily Princetonian names a female and male Athlete of the Year; The Columbia Spectator sports page has an article on each team as well as senior writer columns; The Cornell Daily Sun picks the top 25 senior athletes, naming quarterback and third baseman Nathan Ford the Cornell Player of the Year.

Is the Ivy League broken?

In a thought-provoking, albeit a little too familiar, article, the Wall Street Journal's Darren Everson asks if the Ivy League needs fixing.

Using the decline of national success of Ivy football, basketball and hockey, he writes about the luster Ivy Athletics has lost in the last 20 years or so. The standard reasons for the Ancient Eight's fall are there -- no scholarships, no football playoffs, no basketball tournament and of course rigorous admission standards for athletes -- but he does make a good point that the Ivies theoretically are at a crossroads with Robin Harris starting her job July 1.

So what do you guys think?  Does the Ivy League need to seriously adjust their standards? Or is it OK that the league does well in second tier sports like lacrosse, wrestling and of course in lower-level sports like squash and fencing but can't make noise in the bigger ones? Let me know in the comments.

Since there's a possibility that link won't give you the entire article, the full text is after the jump.

But before that, here's some other Ivy news. I wrote a few months ago about the possibility of a Washington, D.C., "Big 6" version of the Big 5. Well Connecticut of all places has beaten out the nation's capital. Well kind of.

For the next three seasons, the Connecticut 6 Classic will take place at the beginning of every season, as Yale, Sacred Heart, Hartford, Quinnipiac, Fairfield and Central Connecticut State will compete in a triple header of games. So it won't be exactly like the Big 5 since it won't be round robin. Instead it'll be more like the Philly Classic that started two years ago.

(via Cornell Basketball Blog)

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Random Ivy notes for 5/21

1) Tomorrow's big game is approaching as the the W. Lax team heads to Towson, Md., for the Final Four contest against Northwestern (much more on The Buzz tomorrow). Here's the last interview with some Quakers before they left West Philadelphia.

2) Today Penn Athletics formally announced the incoming football freshmen class. Perhaps the highlight of the 34-person class is quarterback Billy Ragone (Chesire, Conn.), who was a 2008 Wendy's Heisman nominee and Connecticut State Player of the Year, as voted by some publications.

3) Here's an interesting look at the commercialization of college sports. It's not specifically relevant to Penn (the Ivy League is the conference the least worried about increasing its profits, in my opinion), but it's a compelling look at the NCAA as a whole. However, you need an account with The Chronicle of Higher Education to read the article, so I'll paste the full text after the jump.

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