When Jason Collins, the NBA center and former Stanford Cardinal, came out as gay in a “Sports Illustrated” article a little while back, you may recall that The Ivy Coach was critical of Collins’ alma mater, Stanford, for not touting the milestone achieved by one of its distinguished alumni. After all, Jason Collins is thought by some to be the Jackie Robinson for gay athletes in the big league men’s professional team sports. So why didn’t Stanford run an article on their homepage after the announcmement? Why wasn’t there an article on the Stanford Athletics site? These are questions we asked, but we didn’t really get an answer. Until now.
Stanford has just released a video for the wonderful “You Can Play Project” in which a number of student-athletes from various teams, coaches, and administrators let people everywhere know that if you can play, you can play. As they say in the video, if you can swing, you can play. If you can dribble, you can play. If you can run, you can play. It’s that simple and what a wonderful message it is. Produced by Stanford Athletes and Allies Together and the Cardinal Channel, this video speaks to a university that values diversity in athletics.
The Ivy Coach salutes Stanford University for putting this wonderful video together. The school may not have paid much attention when one of its distinguished alumni courageously did what no pro athlete in one of the four big league sports had ever done, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. May more universities and professional sports teams follow the example of Stanford University and shoot a video letting LGBT student-athletes know everywhere that if they can play, they sure can play. Stanford seems to be LGBT proud.Categories: College Admissions, College Athletes, LGBT College Students
Over this past weekend, Robbie Rogers of Major League Soccer got quite a lot of attention for taking the field for the Los Angeles Galaxy. In fact, Rogers probably brought the most attention to the sport of soccer in the United States since David Beckham moved to LA to play for the Galaxy. And Rogers was able to draw this attention because he took the field of a U.S. male major league team sport as an openly gay athlete — something journalists in reputable papers this weekend claimed had never happened before. But we at The Ivy Coach knew this wasn’t the case. We knew that our friend Andrew Goldstein, a graduate of Dartmouth College, had already taken the field as a professional athlete for Major League Lacrosse. Heck, we’d even previously reported on it.
Is Major League Lacrosse extremely popular? No. But it is a male U.S. major league team sport and it’s not like Major League Soccer is ridiculously popular either in this country. We don’t want to take away anything from Robbie Rogers taking the field for the Galaxy. It was a wonderful moment when he checked in and they announced his name (if you haven’t already, you should check out the video below). He was all smiles and the crowd was on its feet clapping and cheering. For gay athletes everywhere, it was a wonderful moment to witness.
But, at the same time, we think it odd that journalists — who are supposed to fact-check — have been getting their headlines wrong. A former Dartmouth College lacrosse goalie already broke this barrier years before — in 2005. Cyd Ziegler of “Outsports” also brought attention to this error by journalists yesterday when he pointed out that an Ivy League lacrosse player — and not Robbie Rogers — actually broke this “barrier.” We’re glad he righted the record.Categories: College Athletes, Ivy League Tags: Dartmouth Lacrosse, Dartmouth Lax, Ivy Lacrosse, Ivy League Lacrosse, Ivy League Lax
Hey, Stanford Athletics — it’s ok to run a story on the Stanford Athletics homepage (or heck, even the Stanford University homepage) on Jason Collins. It’s very nice that the student newspaper ran a story on someone who should be one of your favorite sons, but the university administration should be singing his praises too. The President of the United States took the time to do so. So too did a former President of the United States, the First Lady, Oprah, Martina Navratilova, and so many more. What would it take to land a story on your homepage? On the Stanford Athletics homepage, it’s nice that you have a Q&A with a men’s volleyball senior, an NFL free agency recap on former Stanford players, and an update on the tennis team but seriously? Nothing on the LGBT community’s Jackie Robinson?
Wouldn’t Stanford be proud to have Jackie Robinson among its alumni? You’d think. And now they do have a figure who broke down an important barrier for the gay community in the macho world of sports. But they don’t seem to be too proud of him based on their online marketing. Beyond online marketing, we are calling on Stanford to retire Jason Collins’ jersey number on the moment that he laces up his shoe-laces and takes the court as the first openly gay male athlete in one of the four big league sports. This shouldn’t even be a question. Collins’ remarkable play for Stanford University, his solid and long NBA career, coupled with his strength of character, courage, and conviction make him an obvious candidate to have his jersey retired. No player should be wearing his number. Not now. Not ever again.
Stanford, retire Jason Collins’ number. Write a story about him on your homepage and on your athletic page. It’s not asking too much. Get with the program. You’re supposed to be a university that is extremely supportive of its LGBT students and alumni. Show that support by championing a hero from The Farm.Categories: College Athletes Tags: Athletics at Stanford, Jason Collins and Stanford, Stanford Athletes and Jason Collins, Stanford Athletics, Stanford University Athletes
A Harvard victory! David has indeed topped Goliath. We are proud to report that Harvard University, the 14th-seeded little underdog that could, pulled off the biggest upset thus far in March Madness today with a victory over 3rd-seeded New Mexico. According to “The AP,” “The university where John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy earned degrees was making just its third trip to the tournament — and it had never won — though the Ivy League advanced in 2010 when a Cornell team made the regional semifinals.” The basketball team where Jeremy Lin once shined has now gone further into the NCAA Tournament than ever before in the university’s long history. At 20-9, the Crimson pulled off a spectacular victory, taking down the favorite by a score of 68-62 in one of the most memorable First Round games we’ve seen in years.
Next up, Harvard will face Arizona. But they’ve already busted their bracket so why not bust it up a bit more? Harvard just might be this year’s Valparaiso, Miami of Ohio, or George Mason. All of those schools once pulled off spectacular upsets in previous NCAA Tourneys. And just think how good the Harvard basketball team would be this year had their co-captains not been suspended prior to the season in the fallout from the cheating scandal at Harvard? Maybe they’d have a shot to make the Final Four. Maybe they still do!
Congratulations to Tommy Amaker and the Harvard Crimson on your remarkable victory. You are representing the Ivy League well in March Madness and we think you’ve got a real shot to pull off another upset. We’re rooting for you and so is the rest of the country. Because only in March Madness is Harvard ever an underdog!Categories: College Athletes Tags: Harvard and March Madness, Harvard Basketball Upset, Harvard in NCAA Tournament, Harvard Victory, Victory for Harvard
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you probably know that we write every year about the impact of March Madness on various universities. Remember our piece on the impact of George Mason’s Final Four run a few years back on the university’s admissions statistics? The fact is that March Madness does impact college admissions figures the following year. If a highly selective college like Duke University advances far into the NCAA Tourney, expect significantly more students to apply to Duke than the year before. If the Blue Devils bust and go out in Rounds 1 or 2, you won’t see that same kind of correlation.
So which highly selective colleges have a chance to impact their admissions figures for next year in this year’s NCAA Tournament? Well, there’s Duke of course. Duke takes on Albany in Round 1. Some years ago, Albany nearly orchestrated the first 16 over a 1 in the history of the Men’s NCAA Tournament. So maybe they should watch out for the SUNY team in this 2 vs. 15 matchup of David vs. Goliath. Harvard University is also in the NCAA Tourney this year. They’re the 14th seed, taking on the University of New Mexico in Round 1. Let’s go Harvard!
Cal made the field this year, too, as they’ll be taking on UNLV in Round 1. Georgetown University is a 2-seed so there’s a good chance they’ll go far. How far? We’ll just have to wait and see. UCLA is a 6-seed, taking on the University of Minnesota. The University of Michigan is a 4-seed, taking on South Dakota State University. UNC and Villanova face off in an 8 vs. 9 matchup. Davidson also made the field, facing off against Marquette in Round 1. Did we leave off a highly selective college in this year’s March Madness field? If so, let us know! Or let us know who you think we should have written about! It’s possible that we don’t consider the school to be as highly selective as you (or at least as the schools we brought to your attention). And, no, South Dakota State isn’t one of those schools. We just happened to list the opponents of the highly selective universities in Round 1.Categories: College Admissions, College Athletes Tags: College Basketball and Admissions Statistics, College Bball and Admissions Stats, March Madness and Admissions Stats, March Madness and College Admission, March Madness and College Admissions
Let’s check in on the Ivy League standings in basketball. In men’s basketball action, the leader of the pack is Princeton University. The Tigers have a 9-2 record this far into the season. Sitting in second place in the Ivy League is Harvard University with a 9-3 record. Next come Brown University and Yale University, both with 6-6 records on the year. The University of Pennsylvania is at 5-6, while Cornell University is at 5-7, Columbia University is at 4-8, and Dartmouth sits at 3-9. Looks like it’ll be Princeton and Harvard vying for the Ivy League title and the right to play in the NCAA Tournament. As you may know, the Ivy League has an automatic bid to The Big Dance.
In terms of their overall records on the year (both in and out of Ivy League play), Harvard has the best record at 17-9. Princeton is right behind them with a 16-9 record. Every other team in the Ivy League has a losing overall record. Brown sits at 12-14, Yale at 12-17, Penn at 8-20, Cornell at 13-16, Columbia at 12-14, and Dartmouth at 7-19. Not a great season for the Big Green this year. But, hey, it’ll make their Ivy League championship next season all the sweeter.
In women’s Ivy League basketball action, the Princeton women are also in first place. They’ve got a 10-1 record in Ivy League play. In second place is also Harvard University (just like in men’s basketball action), but they’re tied with Penn. They both have 8-3 records. Yale sits at 7-5, Cornell and Dartmouth at 4-8, Brown at 3-9, and Columbia at 2-9. Overall, the Princeton women sit at 19-6, Harvard at 17-8, Penn at 15-10, Yale and Cornell at 12-14, Dartmouth at 6-20, Brown at 9-17, and Columbia at 4-21.
Do you think both the Princeton men and women will advance to The Big Dance? Let us know your thoughts by posting below! And how far do you think the representative of the Ivy League will be able to advance in March Madness? Do you think the league has a Final Four shot this year? Or is that a remote possibility?Categories: College Athletes, Ivy League Tags: Ivy League Athletic Standings, Ivy League Basketball Standings, Ivy League Rankings, Ivy League Standing, Ivy League Standings
Let’s check in on the Ivy League hockey standings for the year. On the men’s ice hockey side, Yale University sits atop the standings with a 6-1 mark in Ivy League play. Dartmouth College sits in second with a 4-2-2 mark in league play. Princeton University has a 4-2 mark, Brown University a 3-4 mark, Harvard University a 2-5-1 mark, and Cornell a 0-5-1 mark. Overall, Yale has a 13-6-3 mark. Dartmouth is at 11-8-4, Princeton is at 9-10-4, Brown is 8-9-5, Harvard is 6-15-2, and Cornell is 8-13-2. Cornell has lost seven straight games.
In women’s ice hockey, Cornell University sits atop the Ivy League with a 7-1 mark. Harvard University is at 6-0-1, Dartmouth College is 4-2-1, Princeton University is 2-6, and Yale University as well as Brown University are at 1-6. Overall, Cornell sits at 20-5 on the season. Harvard sits at 20-3-2, Dartmouth at 13-7-4, Princeton at 9-14-2, Yale at 4-17-2, and Brown at 4-17-1.
It’s interesting that Cornell and Harvard are at the top of the women’s ice hockey standings in the Ivy League but sit at the bottom of the pack in the men’s ice hockey Ivy League standings. Why do you think that is? Let us know your thoughts on the hockey standings by posting below. And do you know what is traditionally thrown onto the ice during Princeton-Dartmouth men’s hockey games in Hanover? Tennis balls.Categories: College Athletes, Ivy League Tags: Hockey in Ivy League, Ice Hockey in Ivy League, Ivy League Hockey, Ivy League Hockey Standings, Ivy League Ice Hockey
Remember when the Dartmouth College swim team was cut back in 2002, only to be reinstated after a fury of public outcry — including the boyfriend of a then-student swimmer posting the Division I team for sale on eBay? Well, if you’ll recall, one of the main reasons why it was cut was because the school could never field a competitive team. Dartmouth regularly finished at the bottom of the Ivy League swimming standings. Well, just as the fate of the Dartmouth swim team was reversed when it was un-eliminated, the school’s swimming program has risen in the Ivy League standings!
The Dartmouth men’s team at 3-3 in the Ivy League and 4-3 overall is firmly in the middle of the pack. At 6-0, Harvard sits in first place, with the 5-1 Princeton Tigers in second. In third is Yale at 4-2 and in fourth is Columbia at 3-2. Behind Dartmouth is Brown at 2-4 in addition to Penn and the winless Cornell Big Red. And how about on the women’s side, you ask? Dartmouth has done a bit better since the team was reinstated but they’re not in last right now with a 4-5 overall record and 1-5 Ivy League record. Cornell sits in last place (just like their men’s swimming program). On the women’s side, Harvard too sits in first with an undefeated mark of 7-0 in Ivy League play (and 9-0 overall). Princeton is next at 5-1 overall as well as in League play.
What do you think about the rise of this Ivy League program? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below. Have another story of a team that was cut, only to be reinstated, and later thrive? Tell it to us in the comments section! We look forward to hearing from you.Categories: College Athletes, Ivy League Tags: Ivy League Swim Recruits, Ivy League Swimmers, Ivy League Swimming, Ivy League Swimming Prorams, Ivy League Swimming Standings
There’s a great op-ed in “The Columbia Spectator” by first-year student Josh Fram in which he writes about why athletes belong in the Ivy League. In the op-ed, Fram writes about how athletes on Columbia’s campus are often asked, “Oh…so you’re an athlete?” With this question, it’s implied that student-athletes aren’t as good academically as are non-athletes. According to the op-ed, “Objectively, it is clear that these sentiments are based in truth. A 2007 study conducted by sociologists Douglas Massey and Margarita Mooney shows that Ivy League athletes scored on average 93 points lower than non-athletes on the SAT. They reported a similar discrepancy with regard to high school GPAs. And according to James Shulman and William Bowen’s book ‘The Game of Life,’ published in 2002, these same trends persist in college.”
But others argue that student-athletes are more successful after college than their non-athlete peers. They’ve worked as member of teams. They’ve held leadership positions. They understand their role. These are some of the things that are inherently intwined with sport. And shouldn’t a highly selective college seek out students who they think will be successful after college? After all, don’t they want to admit the next President of the United States and CEO of IBM and founder of the next big startup? You bet. As referenced in the op-ed, “But as former Harvard Dean of Admissions William Bender famously proclaimed, ‘If you let in only the brilliant, then you produce bookworms and bench scientists; you end up as socially irrelevant as the University of Chicago.’”
What do you think would happen to a university if they admitted only students with perfect SAT scores and grades? Do you think they’d be more or less likely to pick the next President of the United States? Do you think the college would be stronger or weaker for this decision? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!Categories: College Athletes, Ivy League Tags: Ivy League and Athletes, Ivy League and Athletics, Ivy League and Sports, Ivy League Athletes, Ivy League Sports
There’s a terrific article in “The New York Times” today about Aaron Liberman, a freshman at Northwestern University. Aaron, at 6’10, as you may guess, is a Northwestern University basketball player. He’s currently redshirting his freshman year due to shinsplints, but we wanted to bring his story to your attention as it’s a really cool one. Liberman is an Orthodox Jewish student. He is believed to be the third Orthodox Jew to play for a Division I team. According to “The New York Times” article by Ben Strauss, “Tamir Goodman is widely recognized as the first Orthodox Jew to play Division I basketball. He received a scholarship to Maryland, but chose to play at Towson because the university tailored its schedule to his decision not to play on the Sabbath. Naama Shafir, a fifth-year senior at Toledo, is the first Orthodox Jewish woman to play Division I basketball. Shafir, who wears a short-sleeve shirt under her jersey to keep with customs of modesty, scored 40 points in the National Invitation Tournament championship game in 2011.” We remember Tamir Goodman well. If we remember right, there was a “60 Minutes” segment on him.
Apparently, Liberman will be the first Division I athlete to wear zizit (the tassels on a prayer shawl) under his uniform! How awesome is that? And remember how Sandy Koufax — a cousin of our Founder — bravely refused to pitch in a game of the World Series because the game fell on the high holy day of Yom Kippur? And, as previously mentioned, Tamir Goodman received a scholarship to play ball at the University of Maryland but ultimately transferred to Towson because Towson changed its schedule so they didn’t have to play on the Sabbath (Friday after sundown and Saturday until sundown). Well, it seems that Aaron Liberman has given a lot of thought to playing on the Sabbath and has come to a really interesting conclusion: According to “The New York Times” article, “Liberman has decided, after much reflection and consultation with rabbis, to play on the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest. On one Saturday afternoon, he walked eight miles to practice. ‘Actually, playing basketball is not breaking any of the 39 laws of the Sabbath,’ he said. ‘But I’ll only be taking cold showers afterward because you can’t use hot water.’”
Are you excited to watch Liberman take the court next year? Do you think he’s going to be a Division I star? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!Categories: College Athletes Tags: Basketball Player at Northwestern, Northwestern Athletics, Northwestern Basketball, Northwestern University Admissions, Northwestern University Basketball