Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Down with the Hatch?

Andrew Hatch

The decision-making process should be finished soon on whether LSU transfer QB Andrew Hatch will be allowed to play for Harvard this fall. It's a thorny issue for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being that the Crimson appear a little thin at the QB position this coming season, (but that's what we said two years ago when Liam O'Hagan was suspended and Harvard had to settle for Chris Pizzotti, who turned out to be a star).

As much as I don't want to see Harvard get stronger than it already is, (and I actually think the Crimson got weaker last year compared to 2007 despite sharing the title), I do hope young Mr. Hatch is judged based on the rules and the rules alone. Just because Harvard is a very rich team right now, it shouldn't be held to a different set of rules. It's kind of like making it legal to rob rich people, it might make you feel good, but it ain't right.

Big Money

Columbia is getting a lot of publicity, maybe not all good, from a national story about the highest paid university employees. #1 was USC head football coach Pete Carroll, who made $4.42 million in the 2006-07 academic year. But #2 was Dr. David Silvers, a dermatology professor at Columbia who made $4.33 million.

For those of you who know about medicine in this country, dermatology is a field only the best med students can get into. It's the specialty with the best earnings-to-terrible schedule/hassles ratio. So this guy must be a total genius. I think I can live with a top skin expert making that kind of money. (If he were a plastic surgeon doing boob jobs, I wouldn't be so happy).

I think the bigger question is whether these big salaries will be sustainable for anyone at any school in the coming years. That's an open question that transcends medicine, sports, or bureaucracy.

... Back to the Program

And now we return to the 1961 Penn-Columbia program.

We start today on page 9 when editor Philip J. Burke sets the scene for the Ivy race as three teams went into that week 8 of a 9 game season with a chance at the championship. Columbia had the lead at 5-1 in the Ivies while Harvard and Princeton were both 4-1 in the league. Burke talks about how fans will be listening closely to P.A. announcer Bud Corn's updates on the Yale-Princeton and Harvard-Brown games which could help the Lions clinch a solo title. (As it turned out, both Princeton and Harvard won that Saturday as well. Princeton ended up losing the following week to Dartmouth, leaving Harvard and Columbia tied for the title even though the Lions defeated the Crimson at Harvard Stadium).

Burke goes on to remind readers that Yale was predicted to win the Ivy title in 1961, and Cornell chosen second. But Yale Was stuck on the middle of the pack that year while the Big Red barely eluded the cellar.

Surprise is nothing new in Ivy play, and while the last couple of seasons have been free of absolute shockers, you know another Cinderella champ like Brown in 2005 or Princeton in 2006 can't be far off.


At Wed Feb 25, 07:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, the medical school and the sciences generally have contractual provisions by which they share in royalties from patents. This is pretty standard practice, and we have had some scientists who have become multi-millionaires. But that is the way the game is played. If we didn't cut these deals then I imagine we would suffer a brain drain. As a result of these deals we have made a fortune in royalties for the university. The Axel patent is one notable example of a literal gold mine for Columbia; the fact that Axel took a percentage is not a problem, it is a fact of life. My guess is that the dermatologist either has a patent or that he is running his private practice through the university, which lot of our medical faculty do for convenience. And my guess is that this individual doesn't owe his good fortune to "boob jobs".

At Wed Feb 25, 11:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What "rules" are we talking about Jake? Let's be realistic. We are talking about Harvard and not one of the other seven Ivy League schools. Harvard plays by its own "rules," and those rules change all the time. Look at what the Harvard Admissions Office and the Harvard Athletic Office have allowed Tommy Amaker to do with the basketball program. Here are some cases in point: (1) Dan McGeary --declared eligible to play immediately upon transferring from New Hampshire--all of the other Ivy League schools require that basketball transfers sit out for one year; (2) Cem Dinc-- Harvard admitted a 6'11 center transfer from Marshalltown Community College in Iowa who had transferred to Marshalltown from the University of Indiana; (3) Frank Ben Erze--initially recruited by Harvard to also play center, but then shuttled off to Marquette when Sports Illustrated questioned Harvard's recruiting practices. The bottom line is that if Murphy wants Hatch badly enough, Harvard will break the "rules" for him.

At Thu Feb 26, 08:44:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvard views jocks as mercenaries and Hesians. Most Harvard jocks are like the hired help; tolerated but not fully accepted. Any athlete who goes to Harvard knows the deal; he is there to entertain and is tolerated for that purpose.


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