Thursday, March 25, 2010

ONE MORE CORNELL POST: Since odds are they're going to lose tonight, though this is the perfect year (read: undertalented) for a team like them to go far. Stefan Fatsis argues that the Ivy League does not have to be athletically incompetent. I agree! And I've always been fascinated by the demise of the Ivies as national powers in the revenue sports--I mean they were huge in the first half of the 20th century. My understanding is that they essentially sacrificed athletic legitimacy for brand identity beginning in the 50s. I believe it begins with Penn wanting to keep playing big time football around that time (too lazy to find links at the moment) but was afraid of being blackballed by Harvard, Yale and Princeton and backed off. But really, the Ivies can and should be at least as competitive as Northwestern and Vanderbilt (not a lofty goal, I realize), if not Duke and Stanford. And those of course are all schools who have not sacrificed their academic brand for the sake of athletics. Yes yes, the Ivy presidents probably love their brand more than they love getting to minor bowl games, so this is all moot. Just think it's kind of a shame that, say, Penn plays in one of America's most hallowed football stadiums and nobody really cares anymore.

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