The “Poisoned” Ivy League Fails to Lead


Author’s Note: 

The Best and the Brightest are no more.  William F. Buckley was right.  I don’t know exactly what year he wrote it, but yesterday’s announcement from the Ivy League confirms it for me:

“I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.” –LINK

He might have been even more correct if he used the Yellow Pages.  No Harvard faculty listed there, in the White Pages there’s a possibility of overlap.

Look, we all get it.  The Pandemic made a lot of people take the ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude.  Many of us know a victim, or many, of it and many still take the approach of avoiding risk by limiting contact, social activities, etc..  But at some point you have to stop some of the hypocrisy.  We’ve been lectured for nearly a year now by many about “following the science”, UNLESS it conflicts with your personal beliefs.  The Ivy League, and their D3 wannabees, the NESCAC, decided to play scared, decided to play elitist and decided they didn’t have what it takes, to LEAD.  They decided to not trust their students to do the things necessary to participate in a sport.

The science is pretty clear at this point that healthy young adults are far less likely to have the type of co-morbidity issues that have proven fatal to so many who have lost their lives.  The NFL noted that NO PLAYER CONTRACTED COVID WHILE PLAYING.

Didn’t matter.

The administrators know best.  Not the kids.  These are IVY LEAGUE STUDENTS, and they weren’t trusted by their overseers.

Let that sink in.

For many years it’s been assumed that an Ivy League education was the gold ring, the mountain peak, the imprimatur of greatness.  In reality, it was always about the after-graduation network.  There’s no magical greatness about reading the Oresteia at Yale versus UF, no incredible insight gleaned from studying diplomatic history at Brown instead of Stanford.  Calculus does not magically solve problems better at Cornell than Colgate.

The dirty little secret of the Ivy schools over the years is that you are paying for the LABEL and the NETWORKING access.  The BRAND.  Don’t believe me?  Prove me wrong.


This decision has NOTHING to do with money.  Besides the enormous endowments, we know that alums were willing to foot the ENTIRE BILL for a bubble atmosphere:

This was Monday in the Wall Street Journal: LINK

The Ivy League Is Still on the Sidelines. Wealthy Alumni Are Not Happy.

Billionaire Joe Tsai’s rebuffed offer to fund a lacrosse ‘bubble’ is one sign of how pressure is mounting on the conference that never returned to the field.


What it clearly states, and which every parent needs to inculcate in their thinking is that know it all thinking, combined with fearful decision-making, leads to these poor decisions.  And do you really want to trust your child’s futures to them?  As far as lacrosse is concerned, it’s not because of the Ivy coaches.  On the Men’s side I pretty much know all of them and interviewed many.  I’m sure they are sick to their stomachs.  Even before this announcement came out, Yale cancelled their season as many team members withdrew from school so they could come back next spring to complete their eligibility.  Cornell looked like it was the same.  Penn was poised for a championship run this year but now we have to see if this decision, COMING THIS LATE, has unintnded consequences for eligibility.

So far, the ‘lesser brands’, the ACC, the Patriot, the NEC, etc., have ALL found a way to handle the stuation.  Well, to steal a quote from Edward James Olmos in the movie Stand And Deliver, as Jaime Escalante, “you are the true dreamers”.  You met the challenge in front of you and fought back.

As far as the Ivy’s are concerned, you look as courageous as the Cowardly Lion.

Your brand is now Chicken Little.

Live with that the rest of your lives.



from the Ivy League website





PRINCETON, N.J. — Consistent with its commitment to safeguard the health and wellbeing of student-athletes, the greater campus community and general public, the Ivy League Council of Presidents has decided not to hold league competition or host league championships this spring.  While acknowledging that the current public health environment is not compatible with a traditional Ivy League season, the Council has also put in place a process that may allow for limited, local competition during the spring if public health conditions improve sufficiently to allow greater levels of in-person activity at Ivy League campuses.

Athletics training opportunities and practices for enrolled student-athletes will continue to be permitted, provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state and local regulations. This approach is consistent with the phased approach implemented by the Ivy League for all sports in the fall 2020 term.

These decisions are grounded in public health best practices and informed by the pandemic related policies currently in place at member institutions.  The ability of the league’s members to continue on-campus operations during the ongoing pandemic requires rigorous limitations on travel, visitors, gatherings, and other elements that are essential for intercollegiate athletics competition.

The following outlines the newly adopted parameters for practice and competition:

  • The Ivy League will not be conducting a conference spring season
    Due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, and in order to maintain compliance both with campus travel, visitor and gathering policies and also with the state guidelines governing each institution, the Ivy League will not conduct conference seasons or conference postseason events in any spring sports.
  • Continuance of Ivy League athletics activities phases
    Member institutions will continue with the league-wide phases for athletics activities already in place on all Ivy League campuses, subject to individual institutional policies. These phases govern athletics activities including training, practices, and other team and individual activities.  While the league’s goal is to work toward local competition in Phase IV, it is currently not permitted on any Ivy League campus.
  • Potential opportunities for local spring competition
    If public health conditions substantially improve and if permitted by an institution, local non-conference competition may be allowed to occur this spring. These competitions will be subject to league stipulations and must remain consistent with institutional policies for comparable co-curricular activities, including applicable travel restrictions for on-campus students and university visitor policies.

The Ivy League Council of Presidents offered the following joint statement: 

As campus and community leaders, we believe that our public health responsibilities and educational principles preclude us from sponsoring Ivy League athletics competition this spring.  The public health measures now in effect at all Ivy League universities have been carefully designed to support our teaching and research missions while keeping our students, faculty, staff and neighboring communities safe.  These policies include restrictions on travel, limitations on campus visitors, and other pandemic related regulations that are not compatible with the Ivy League’s usual competition schedule.   In the Ivy League, these measures must apply equally to our athletics programs along with other academic and co-curricular activities.

We know that this news will come as a disappointment to many in our community.  We regret the many sacrifices that have been required in response to the pandemic, and we appreciate the resilience of our student-athletes, coaches and staff in the face of adversity during this difficult and unusual year. While we would like nothing better than to deliver a complete season of competition, these are the necessary decisions for the Ivy League in the face of the health concerns posed by the ongoing and dangerous pandemic. We will continue to monitor the situation as we move forward so that our universities can determine whether Ivy League principles and evolving health conditions might allow for limited, local competition later this spring.

Ivy League Council of Presidents
Christina Paxson, Brown University
Lee Bollinger, Columbia University
Martha Pollack, Cornell University
Philip Hanlon, Dartmouth College
Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University
Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania
Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton University
Peter Salovey, Yale University

About the Ivy League
The Ivy League stands at the pinnacle of higher education and Division I athletics, rooted in the longstanding, defining principle that intercollegiate athletics competition should be “kept in harmony with the essential educational purposes of the institution.” Unrivaled in its legacy, The Ivy League provides the true test of academic and co-curricular rigor – fostering an enduring culture that celebrates a storied-tradition, thrives on shared values and holds paramount the academic and personal growth of students.

Consistently ranked as the top academic conference and with more national championships than any other collegiate athletic conference (287 team, 546 individual), The Ivy League showcased 98 nationally-ranked programs in 2018-19 and prides itself on sponsoring 33 sports, the highest number of any NCAA conference, with more than 8,000 student-athletes competing annually. The League’s world-renowned schools – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale – serve as the standard bearers for inspiring and transforming student-athletes to boldly take on the world’s challenges and lead lives of great impact.

For more information, please visit