Shriveled Sports Scene Irks Some Ivy Alums

By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2009 10:25 AM CDT
Harvard and Yale end the season playing each other, and not in an NCAA football tournament because of the Ivy League's ban.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Ivy League has a reputation for excellence in all things, but the consignment of its sports programs—particularly the more visible ones like football and basketball—to college athletics’ second tier has alumni clamoring for change, the Wall Street Journal reports. Academic standards limit the pool of top student-athletes for the eight Ivy schools; the football teams can’t play in the postseason, nixing their title chances.

The Ivies have a proud sports history: Harvard and Yale were among college football’s early powerhouses; the Princeton offense is a basketball staple. The league’s incoming executive director promises a summer listening tour, and some are hopeful. “I still believe the Ivy can compete for national championships,” says Lane MacDonald, star of Harvard’s 1989 national champion ice-hockey team. “I’d love to see that happen.”