Columbia football is not good. Three weeks into the season, they have lost three times: to Fordham (52-7), to Monmouth (37-14), and to Princeton (53-7).
This weekend, the Lions are slated to lose to Lehigh. More of the same, right?
Wrong. This one’s gonna be aired nationally, on NBC. So that’ll be pretty humiliating. (Maybe not as humiliating as going on NBC for hate crime arrests and questionable tweets, but still). But, the athletic department reasons—if we must lose at home on national TV, we should at least do it with stands that aren’t quite so empty as usual.
To that end, Columbia is offering two $1,000 prizes: one “to the student group that brings the most students” and the other “to the most spirited student group.” The administration also included a helpful tip for Columbia students unfamiliar with how sports fandom works: “bring signs and wear Columbia apparel.”
We’ll see how many hungover Columbia students drag out the Columbia tee they haven’t worn since high school and make it up to 218th street by noon. Since we can’t have a fair bet over the game: over/under 15 students for the winning group?
Yale football is having the worst year ever—for reasons entirely unrelated to the actual game of football. As The Crimson reported a month ago, the Bulldogs have lately been rather scandal-prone. Most recently:
In May, captain Will McHale’s ’13 gave a former Yale Daily News sports editor fourteen 14 stitches in a bar fight.
And now this new impropriety: yesterday, former lineman Pat Moran ’12 resigned from his father’s Congressional re-election campaign after James O’Keefe recorded himplotting to cast 100 fraudulent ballots.
Oy. It’s almost like Yale would be better off not having a football team.
Although he was best known for his Big Ten career, former Penn State coach Joe Paterno first made his name as an Ivy League star, playing football for Brown in the 1940’s. And while it was once an honor to call Paterno an alum, his alma mater has publicly renamed an athletics award that was given in his honor, is reviewing his membership in their Athletic Hall of Fame, and, less publicly, removed his name from a list of “Prominent Brown Alumni,” distancing themselves from their former star quarterback. Well, sort of.
The reasons for these changes are clear. In the wake of the Sandusky sex scandal, Paterno’s reputation has been severely tarnished, as it was determined that not only did he know his assistant coach had molesting young boys, he went out of his way to hide it. As Louis Freeh wrote in his independent report on Penn State released earlier this month:
“[Paterno] repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the University’s Board of Trustees, the Penn State community, and the public at large.”
Doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that you want to be advertising on your website.
However, even after removing his name from their alumni list and taking his name off an athletic award, Brown has left up what seems to be a fairly substantial connection to Paterno: a webpage titled “The Paterno Legacy.” Read the rest of this entry »
Last fall the national press fell in love with Patrick Witt, a Yale quarterback, and NFL hopeful, who gave up his finalist interview for a Rhodes scholarship so he could play in the Harvard-Yale game.
Now the New York Times reports that, in fact, Witt didn’t turn down the interview of his own accord: the Rhodes committee suspended his candidacy and cancelled his interview after someone (who was not a Yale official) informed it that Witt had been accused of sexual assault in September.
It’s not clear whether the Yale official who initially approved Witt to apply for the Rhodes knew about the sexual assault incident, for which Witt went through an informal disciplinary process (and seemingly faced no consequences?) — but it’s likely he did. Interesting factoid: Witt was a member of DKE, the Yale frat that made really horrible headlines for sexual harrassment a few years ago. So this is very ugly for Yale.
Witt is reportedly no longer enrolled at Yale (?) but is still finishing his thesis? Unclear.
But, wait. That the story was broken by the Times probably strikes you as odd; the Yale Daily News — second best collegiate paper in the land – is normally all over these types of scandals like white on rice. In fact, that might be the most amazing angle of this sorry story: Former YDN opinion editor (and IG editor emeritus) Alex Klein reports that the News had known about Witt’s Rhodes woes since as early as November, but the paper’s editor in chief, Max de La Bruyere, elected to sit on the story. We reached out to the News — asking “WTF???” — but haven’t yet heard back.
And, one last quick and relevant reminder: Witt’s football coach resigned in December after it was exposed that he lied about having been a Rhodes scholar finalist.
A Columbia sports team is in REAL news! The back story: following a 62-41 defeat at the hands of Cornell last weekend, the Columbia University Football Team was treated to a humiliating satirical revision of the school fight song when the Columbia University Marching Band changed the words of “Roar, Lion, Roar” to “We always, lose, lose, lose.” Columbia athletics was quick to respond, banning the marching band from this weekend’s season finale match against Brown; then just as quick to renege on the ban, citing the ‘free speech’ – but only after the Marching Band posted a lengthy official apology. The drama has quickly turned into a hot topic on campus, producing sprawling comment wars and impassioned op-eds.
And so, apparently, Columbia sports are interesting again, as evidenced by articles on ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, the NY Post, and most recently the New York Times, which ran the story as its front page lead. Any press is good press.. right?
Though we sometimes forget, it’s not fair to pigeonhole the students of large universities into superficial, one-dimensional characterizations. In jest, sure. But we shouldn’t get carried away with it. People don’t work that way. Not all Brown students are hippies. Not all Princetonians are effete, country-club elites. And very few Wharton students ever actually kill vagrants or migrant workers just to see how it feels. (We’re guessing.) At the end of the day, these sorts of stereotypes aren’t just bothersome — they can be pernicious, too.
The same goes for Dartmouth: Though we often joke that Hanover is a drab, frigid and barren wasteland with little to see and less to to do — and, don’t get us wrong, it is all those things — that doesn’t mean the Dartmouth community is entirely bored and lonely and that that boredom and loneliness manifests itself in an endemic, inveterate alcoholism. That’s not fair. And it gives too little credit to what is probably a vibrant community of fascinating and engaged students and academics. Addiction is a heavy claim to seriously level against an entire group of people, and though we may poke fun from time to time, we here at IvyGate do not actually think that all Dartmouth students are alcoholics.
Although … after viewing the following video about Keggy the Keg, we’re starting to think there actually is some sort of weird emotional dependency thing going on. Behold: A tender, acoustic-tinged commemoration of the mascot’s first visit to a Dartmouth home football game in five years.
Update: For the sake of context, we probably should mention that the video was posted to YouTube by the Dartmouth Jack-o-lantern, a student-run humor magazine. So, there’s like a 50-50 chance that they’re in on the joke, we estimate.
As we’ve alluded to before, Ivy League football teams can barely compete with the JV intramural squad at Philips Exeter, much less full-grown collegiate opponents. In fact, “Ivy League football” is probably a bit of a misnomer, since we imagine the average player spends most of his practice time sitting cross-legged on the sideline, fiddling with an abacus and sipping on a juice box.
But, whatever. Ivy League football teams — and their perennially disinterested fans — are still plenty good at some things … like being douche bags, apparently.
Football in the Ivy League hasn’t been good since penicillin was discovered. But each year, against all odds, a handful of alumni from our esteemed, testosterone-deficient sports conference manage to sneak their way into the NFL.
2011 is no different, and six Ivy grads will be lacing up their cleats, donning their helmets and doing their best not to batter their boy-genius brains into oblivion this fall. Those players are:
Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (quarterback, Bills) [pictured right]
Brown’s David Howard, defensive tackle, was the lone Ivy Leaguer picked in this year’s draft, by the Tennessee Titans. He was later signed the Seattle Seahawks, and played in the team’s final pre-season game. Unfortunately, he was released late last week.
In an effort to preserve Ivy football players’ most important asset — their brains — the conference announced on Wednesday new rules prohibiting teams from holding more than two full-contact practices per week. NCAA-wide regulations permit up to five full-contact practices.
Well, we’ve certainly come a long way from the days when they wore leather helmets, or no helmets at all, haven’t we? Seems like the general trend is: the more head protection required, the less relevant Ivy League football teams become. Back when tough young whippersnappers ran right into each other with no helmets or pads, Johnny Heisman (for whom college football’s MVP trophy is named) was donning the Brown and Penn uniforms. Nowadays, Ryan Fitzpatrick (Harvard ’05) leads the Buffalo Bills to perennial terribleness and is best known for (stereotypically) acing the football I.Q. Wonderlic test.
In all seriousness, it’s good that the Ivy League is taking a progressive stance on this instead of letting its student-athletes concuss each other into mindless banking automatons. Better to let the grade inflation and senses of entitlement allow that process to take its natural course.
IvyGate has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Observer, Newsweek, New Yorker, and other publications, as well as NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Drudge Report, Gawker, The Huffington Post, Wonkette, Jezebel, The Awl, and many more. Most are horrified.