Saturday, March 12, 2011


Tevya Sings for a Postseason

It’s hard write anything about Ivy sports today without mentioning the big basketball playoff game tonight at Yale where Princeton and Harvard will battle for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

A couple of points:

-Tickets for the game sold out within minutes. What does that tell you about the interest in Ivy athletics?

-This is a playoff game. Playoffs are good. Fans love them. Teams love to compete in them.

I can’t think of a better argument for creating a postseason Ivy basketball tournament and for allowing the Ivy football champ to compete in the FCS playoffs.

With football, the extra time and travel involved with going to the FCS playoffs is still a consideration. But it’s one that I am sure NO Ivy football player or coach has a problem with.

On the other hand, I am very sure that an Ivy basketball tournament would absolutely generate net revenue for the schools involved and the league in general.

Readers of this blog know I am a very strong traditionalist. But traditions that don’t really add anything to league are not traditions worth keeping.

Traditions like maintaining high academic standards should remain.

Traditions like no playoffs in basketball or football are not cutting anymore for anyone.


At Sat Mar 12, 03:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow the story in today's WSJ about Harvard boosters raising big bucks for Amaker and his staff, plus the Amaker sleaziness in recruiting, rubs me the wrong way. Harvard has cut corners in a manner which is unprecedented in the Ivies, with the exception of what Bags has done for years, and I hate to see it rewarded.

At Sat Mar 12, 05:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope both teams lose. I'm sick of reading about both of them.

At Sat Mar 12, 06:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, if anything this could be good for Columbia. It shows how important it is to invest in sports. If Harvard and her alumni are willing to do so, there is no reason why Columbia cannot.

Money talks. It does everything. It makes coaches better recruiters. It makes facilities look nicer to prospective athletes. It makes a program big-time.

Anyone who knows anything knows that a big part of our problem over the years has been the lack of money from Low Library (especially under J.Cole) and our alumni, especially relative to other ivies. Add to that the fact that Columbia has higher costs in NYC, it really means that we have to spend more to get the same value as others.

Think about it - all Harvard had to do to go from also-ran to first-place was to invest more money in its basketball program, and allow the coach some leeway in recruiting. there is no reason why that can't happen on morningside heights.

If we do that - people will be reading about us. In the NY Times, of all places. (And maybe Fox News too?)

At Sat Mar 12, 09:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake - that picture brought me back to a run of Fiddler I did at Jacksonville - Tevye said it tradition! Remember his toast to the Czar - may god keep him well and far from us - sort how I feel about Penn fans!
honestly though, I think the Yale gym is about the size of Anatevka - about 2 K?

At Sun Mar 13, 05:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J Cole and M Sovern set back Columbia sports 50 years. The Baker Field sell-out to the Allen Pavilion was criminal. As far as Harvard and Princeton, I join in the comment that both teams can't lose enough.

At Sun Mar 13, 11:29:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Amen Jake. Tonight ESPN actually showed an Ivy League basketball game highlight because it was a PLAYOFF.The game was actually televised in its entirety on ESPN3. This exposure tells the rest of the country that, in addition to academic excellence, there are also athletics. Ivy traditions are great but not when it comes to shared titles, same ordered schedules every year, and no post-season play- Boring !!

At Sun Mar 13, 07:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the comment about the Allen Pavillion. Sovern was a fine Law Profesor but an awful University President. With regards to the Allen Pavillion, he simply made a huge blunder, giving away valuable land for practically nothing. There was also no need to construct a "community hospital" so close to Columbia Pres. And if there was a genuine need it could have been constructed on parking lot across the street. President B is five times smarter and much more practical than Sovern.

At Sun Mar 13, 07:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great performance by Columbia's Sharay Hale finishing seventh in the Women's 400 meters at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Texas A&M last night. She was the only Ivy Leaguer to score. Would have fared even better, but she had to hurdle over another runner who fell in front of her. We have some amazing athletes at Columbia.

At Mon Mar 14, 04:32:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Kevin DeMarrais said...

I still recall the 1968 playoff between Columbia and Princeton at St. John's. It was one of the truly great moments of Columbia sports in the past 50 years. Columbia fans outnumbered those from Tigertown and they were cheering and singing an hour before tip-off. The game was over when Dave Newmark made his first basket as he was sidelined in loss at Princeton a couple nights earlier. By all means, lets have playoffs as does every other conference in the nation.

At Mon Mar 14, 11:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Allen Pavilion, etc., Sovern and
Jonathan Cole did screw Columbia sports. CU publications always identified Provost Cole as a former Lion baseball player. I guess he was one who hated football. I don't like accepting flagrant misconduct. Tear down that unnecessary hospital and build it across the street on the parking lot where it should have been built...if it's needed. I don't recall if S and C were responsible for the Lakeside, Conn., giveaway too, but that was another huge blunder. Columbia had its own rural football camp for decades but the brass didn't like the idea. What did CU do with all its Rockefeller money? one thing it didn't do was buy all the land down to the Hudson River and north
as they could have. To this day the Lions don't have a decent FB practice facility.

At Mon Mar 14, 09:11:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never understood why one of the world''s greatest medical centers constructed a "community" hospital only two miles from its main facility? While we all love hospitals, I suspect the idea to build Allen Pavillion was not a great idea and may even have cost Columbia University a few bucks over the last 25 years, say $50 million. Does anyone know the number?

At Mon Mar 14, 09:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbia needs to purchase the Union Theological Seminary site which would provide a link from the Morningside Heights campus to the new Manhattanville campus. Columbia could then construct a world class indoor athletic center/sports practice facility on the site, fronted by the beautiful Gothic buildings on Broadway.

At Mon Mar 14, 09:40:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lakeside facility was superfluous because first year players had to be on campus. Once first years became eligible then it was necessary to have training camp at Baker Field.

At Mon Mar 14, 09:46:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is paying for these grandiose ideas? A Field House at UTS? can't we get the Campbell building at Baker done first?

Who is stepping forward like Steve Ballmer did for Harvard hoops? We all know about the people who have been supportive over the years, where are the new donors?

At Tue Mar 15, 03:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvard better go ask Ballmer for some more money.


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