Yale Football’s Worst Year Ever — Voter Fraud Edition!

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 January, the New York Times reported that quarterback Patrick Witt ’12 lost his Rhodes candidacy due to a sexual assault allegation raised by a classmate.

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 him plotting to cast 100 fraudulent ballots.

Oy. It’s almost like Yale would be better off not having a football team.

Star Yale Quarterback Lost Rhodes Scholarship Bid After Sexual Assault Allegation; Yale Daily News Buried the Story

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.

FLASH: Smart Kids Playing Football This Sunday

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:

  • Brown’s Zak DeOssie (linebacker, Giants)
  • Cornell’s Kevin Boothe (guard, Giants)
  • Cornell’s Bryan Walters (wide receiver, Chargers)
  • Harvard’s Matt Birk (center, Ravens)
  • Harvard’s Desmond Bryant (defensive tackle, Raiders)
  • 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.

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Ivy Football Teams Take Measures to Avoid Concussions; Become Even Worse at Football

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.

Princeton Buzzer-Beater Secures March Madness Bid, Harvard Goes Home to Weep in Private

Man, how it must feel to be a Harvard fan right now. It must sting, right? To be so close, you could feel it. A March Madness bid was yours. Basketball was finally gonna be your thing. (Lulz.) You were so sure it was finally going to happen for you this year.

Remember when Jeremy Lin was upstaged by a bunch of clowns doing the Beyonce dance last year? No more. Recall how Harvard never won the Ivy League Championship in basketball? A thing of the past.

Last night, Harvard’s shockingly competitive varsity basketball squad faced off against Princeton — which owns a share of the regular season title — to decide which team would go to the NCAA Tournament. And, with just moments left in the game’s second half, Harvard held a 1-point lead!

Then this happened.

Sure, Harvard held out hope — even given their soul-shattering, last-second loss — that their strong season would bring them an “at-large” bid in the tournament. They did, after all, have the 35th highest RPI in the nation! Which means … we’re not really sure, but it means something, right?

But again, Harvard hopes dashed.

Of course, Harvard wasn’t upset because Princeton stole their tournament spot. They were upset because, for the first time in their lives, things didn’t go according to plan. (Did we see the Winklevii on the Crimson sideline?) Princeton, meanwhile, snagged a No. 13 spot at the Big Dance. They will have the pleasure of losing in magnificent fashion to No. 4 Kentucky. (Much the same way Cornell did last year.)

More March Madness-related content for you to peruse, after the jump:

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The Mouth that Roared Podcast: Last Week of Regular Season Edition

In this week’s episode, Tom and Lucas get you ready for the last week of Ivy play. And, since there’s no conference tournament for the Ancient Eight, we’ll know shortly whether Harvard or Princeton will have the honor of getting smacked in the first round of March Madness. They also offer a snap judgment on the best cheerleading squad/dance team in the Ivies. Exciting times!

Here’s IvyGate’s Team of the Week:

F: Kareem Maddox, Princeton – 16.5 points per game, 8 rebounds per game
F: Greg Mangano (5x), Yale – 13.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 6 blocks per game
G: Noruwa Agho (4x), Columbia – 20.5 ppg
G: Zack Rosen (3x), Penn – 19.5 ppg, 5.5 assists per game
G: Dan Mavraides, Princeton – 15.5 ppg


The Mouth that Roared Episode 2 – Coach James Jones

On this week’s installment of the Mouth that Roared Podcast, Tom Di Benedetto interviews Yale basketball coach James Jones. Also, Tom names his player of the week for each team: 

G: Brian Barbour (2x), Columbia – 23 points (8-9 FTs)
G: RJ Griffin, Dartmouth – 20 points (4-6 3pt)
G: Sean McGonagill, Brown – 11 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists
F: Greg Mangano (2x), Yale – 17 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks
F: Aaron Osgood, Cornell – 16 points, 6 rebounds off bench

Once again, good luck to all the teams this weekend!

Ready to Go – Columbia Lions?

Columbia, we all know conference play for bball starts this weekend. Ok, a small proportion of us were aware of this , most of whom were reminded by our Cornell acquaintances. 

We all have other things on our mind – starting classes next week, surviving the snowpocalypse, and being jealous of half of Columbia going to see Colbert this past week.

I don’t think we can place all the blame on students. It’s not like we have rabid fans in the area dedicated to our sports team. Actually,  Henry Vick has created a blog entitled GOING LIONS.

IvyGate asked him why he cares about Columbia athletics – it’s not  like he gets a free t-shirt for going to a game.

Columbia’s Football stadium is up where I live and I got involved by attending a couple games up there and learning the basketball season was starting shortly. At that time I was without a project and I gave myself the challenge to follow the Lions all season. Little did I know how lucky I actually was. Coach Smith had just assumed control of a young, positive, enthusiastic Lions Team, the freshman have a lot of talent and everyone has bought into the program. Coach Smith is tremendous. His intensity and experience have lead this team and its clear from watching the bench during timeouts that everyone is on board and excited about the team. This has been so rewarding to watch because its so new and fresh, there’s so much positive hype around the players and the new coaching staff and the feeling around the whole Men’s Basketball Team has been very positive.

We all encourage you to check it out. It has a festive background, a lion of the week, and cartoon videos. Maybe more people will get more involved in this basketball season. Wait, what am I saying? The core will always be the biggest basis for our school spirit.

Brown Senior Wants to Get Rid of Athletics Department, Fellow Students Suddenly Discover Team Spirit

We all know the Ivy League’s pretty useless at sports, unless you count “naked parties” and “playing miniature golf in plaid khakis” as athletic activities. And we also know that Brown’s football field gets more use from students lying around smoking dope and sharing their feelings than it does from people who actually know how to throw a football. But above all we know not to mess with Ivy League athletes, because they have a lot of rage and inexplicable team spirit, and they have to wake up at 5am every day to use the ThighMaster, and they drink revolting whey protein shakes. And if you provoke them, they will KILL YOU AND EAT YOU.

So we hope Brown student Susannah Kroeber has learned her lesson, because we’d hate to have to cover her death at the hands of Brown’s thumb-twiddling athletes. The former athlete and opinion columnist at the Brown Daily Herald wrote a piece last week called “Why the Athletics Department is Bad for Brown,” in which she denounced the athletics department for being a fascist spending machine:

But high level sports teams in the way that they currently operate do not have a place at Brown. The Department of Athletics should be cut, or at the very least be forced to undergo massive reform, if it wants to see continued funding. Sports teams at Brown currently encourage all of the attitudes that the University stands against (or should stand against):

On a team, you lose your individuality. The more you stand out as different, and the less you cohere to the group, the less you are worth and the more you are stigmatized.

On a team, many people acting as a mechanical unit is appreciated far above diversity.

On a team, methods of dictatorship are appreciated far above those of democracy.

On a team, anyone who fails to obey the strictest of rules is punished.

On a team, anyone who doesn’t play for your team is an enemy.

Oh boy. We have never met Susannah Kroeber, and would like to throw in that she’s probably a delightful person to have a serious political discussion with (particularly if you disagree with her and you’re not wearing body armor). But in addition to going painfully overboard with her generalizations, she also neglects to mention that half of Brown couldn’t give two shits about the heinous violations of basic civil liberties on sports teams, because half of Brown doesn’t even know that Brown has sports teams.

And those that do, of course, now want to maim her. Commenters have called her article “a piece of trash” and “emotionally hyperbolic ranting,” and she’s been pegged as a “chauvinist” and a “stupid Brown Univ. hipster.” (The war between athletes and hipsters wages on.) And many of them insisted that Brown was a scion of athletic talent, like this one:

Here’s a little secret: sports, especially at Brown, are a big deal, and are one of the greatest sources of friendship and camaraderie available.

The centrality of athletics at Brown is more than a little secret. It might be the third-best-kept secret in the Ivy League, after the freshman skeletons buried in Harvard Yard and the fact that Princeton eating clubs are actually mass orgies. But anyway.

Alexa Caldwell, another Brown senior, took the lead with a rebuttal in the Herald last Thursday. Among other things, she made the point that there is no better preparation for professional life than viciously beating the other guys with a field hockey stick:

what she so drastically misses is that the athletes’ experience on the playing field is, in fact, the best preparation we can get in our future professional lives. What area of life rejects or does not participate in this kind of competition and intense mentality? Professional work in marketing, political campaigns and legal cases all require the skills developed in competitive sports. Attacking sports teams at Brown for engaging in “abhorrent” behavior that is common and promoted in every day [sic] life is unfair and unjust.

Initially we thought that there could be better preparation for attorneydom than gnashing one’s teeth against a mouth guard and body-slamming one’s opponent. But then we were like–well, no, not really. We’re pretty much content to stand on the sidelines for this one and root for whoever seems to be winning, because we ourselves have minimal upper body strength. And as a rule, we bow down to anyone who can stomach whey protein.

RagTime: I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok Edition

  • Columbia: Columbia beats Princeton in volleyball
  • Harvard: Harvard beats Columbia in football
  • Brown: Men’s soccer beats Yale
  • Penn: Penn beats Princeton in football, breaks 116 year-old record
  • Yale: Yale beats Harvard and Dartmouth in volleyball
  • Dartmouth: Women’s soccer beat Cornell
  • Cornell: Cornell  beats Dartmouth in field hockey