Friday, March 13, 2009

Will We Lose Fordham?

The Liberty Cup: Are its days numbered?

Fordham Head Coach Tom Masella has told a group of Ram supporters that Fordham intends to offer full athletic scholarships in football as early as the next recruiting year.

In addition to putting Fordham in a presumably much stronger recruiting position, such a move could force its ouster from the Patriot League. It could also spell the end of the annual Liberty Cup game between Columbia and Fordham that began in 2002, (the Fordham-Columbia rivalry was renewed as an annual game in 2000).

Some Columbia fans would argue that losing Fordham on the schedule wouldn't be much of a loss. If the Rams indeed improve on the field to a large degree because of the scholarships, the competitive aspect of the game might go the way the Dartmouth-U. New Hampshire has gone in recent years as UNH has become a dominant FCS team. All the Big Green faithful's hopes that playing such a strong team year after year would make their team stronger haven't really come true.

Others would say they don't enjoy trekking up to Fordham's Jack Coffey Field every other year since the stadium doesn't have "away" stands and the uncomfortable aluminum bleachers are... uncomfortable.

These arguments are compelling.

But unless Fordham becomes as strong or stronger as UNH, I would hate to see this series come to an end. I have three reasons:

1) The Liberty Cup is a classy event that acknowledges the victims of the 9/11 attacks in a way that's becoming too rare in sporting events. Never Forget.

2) Fordham is a good enough academic school that a decent number of its football recruits are eligible for Ivy play. Who knows what will happen when some of the more studious Ram prospects see that there's an Ivy option just a few miles away? I like the idea of keeping them in the loop.

3) Fordham's stadium may not be the comfiest, but it's the easiest road game ever! The players get to sleep in their own beds, and the bus ride to Jack Coffey is just about the same length as the trip to Wien Stadium. I know gas prices have fallen off a cliff, but I still like to save money.


The NCAA powers that be decided not to give Lou Miller an at-large bid to the national tournament despite his 3rd place finish at the EIWA tournament last weekend. It's a bit of a robbery, but it does give him a little more time to get ready for spring practice which begins two weeks from today.

We're all still impressed with Lou's fantastic season on the mat.


At Fri Mar 13, 05:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, with all due respect I strongly disagree. I really hate Jack Coffey field. It isn't just the lack of a visiting stand. The entire facility is third rate; those bleachers are awful. Also, I don't like the fact that our team has no fan support directly behind our bench. In addition, other Patriot League fans with near Ivy credentials such as 'gate will tell you that Fordham has appreciably lower academic standards for their football team. They do not have the banding system that we have, and they can take people a colgate couldn't touch. Finally, I've been there. Our series with Rutgers, which had been highly competitive, ended when we lost 69 to 0 in Giants Stadium in 1976. Later that season, Princeton, who we had beaten the week before wisely ended its 100 year old rivalry for that reason. what you don't realize is that scholarship schools beat the hell out of players at non-scholarship schools. If we open the season against a scholarship school and suffer a few injuries it can wreck the season. If Fordham goes scholarship, then I am going to urge Dianne to drop Fordham. It's all wella nd good to talk about the challenge of playing a scholarship school, but it tends not to be a fair fight and you and I are not the ones on the field getting our butts kicked by players whose primary purpose for being at the school is to play football. This isn't basketball, in which finesse can sometimes overcome size and strength. football, as much as I love it, is a violent sport. It's a collision sport, and I'd ratehr that our guys collide with other non-scholarship players.

At Sat Mar 14, 11:11:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Maybe the can make the Cornell game the Liberty Cup game. A good way to get more meaning into a conference game and establishing a better rivalry.

At Sun Mar 15, 05:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Sun Sep 20, 08:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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