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Subject: Re: Ivy BB Tourney/ NYT Article/Sweaty Unis


Author:
mrjames
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Date Posted: 15:29:13 03/03/17 Fri
In reply to: M3 's message, "Ivy BB Tourney/ NYT Article/Sweaty Unis" on 06:49:46 03/03/17 Fri

And I assume that Columbia's money to buy a home path to a CIT title fell out of the sky. Or that the Harvard players in the broad-based government cheating scandal were the only basketball players in the league to cheat. Or that Harvard is the only program to get dinged with a secondary.

Other programs have had players be prosecuted criminally. Other programs take far more lower AI profiles than Harvard. Other teams have had players dismissed for cheating. Other teams have committed secondary violations.

You can be disappointed about transgressions committed by players or others related to the Harvard program, but it is completely inaccurate to pretend like what has happened there is unprecedented amongst the basketball programs in our league. It is absolutely incorrect.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Ivy BB Tourney/ NYT Article/Sweaty Unis


Author:
Boston Lion
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Date Posted: 15:52:24 03/03/17 Fri

Making bulletproof comparisons is a complicated business. So, without engaging in an endless back-and-forth on the topic, I will rest with the comment that, in my humble and admittedly subjective opinion, what Harvard is up to these days is just not cricket, and is distinct, if not in kind, but certainly in degree, with the other cases that you or anyone else could cite.

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[> [> [> Subject: Name the Harvard players who wouldn't have been admitted to other Ivies


Author:
Diogenes
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Date Posted: 15:54:58 03/03/17 Fri


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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Name the Harvard players who wouldn't have been admitted to other Ivies


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 17:12:55 03/03/17 Fri


I'm blanking on names, but posters on the Ivy BB board repeatedly accused Harvard of bringing in "academic ringers" to offset some lower AI scores of the basketball recruits that they really wanted. If you go onto that Board, I'm sure you'd find many people willing to list the players involved.

Carm Cozza attempted similar stuff in the early 1980s. Yale's brass told him to quit it.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Name the Harvard players who wouldn't have been admitted to other Ivies


Author:
Memphis Bill
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Date Posted: 17:27:29 03/03/17 Fri

To Go Green:

Prove your allegation about Coach Cozza. League rivals and Giamatti pulled in the reins on Carm because he beat and challenged teams outside the Ivies' comfort zone, and his teams were generally too damn good. Navy's losses in 1981 were to ND, Michigan, Ohio St and YALE!

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Cozza discussed it in "True Blue"


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 18:35:05 03/03/17 Fri


It wasn't a secret.

Cozza was very explicit about it and discussed it in his autobiography.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Cozza discussed it in "True Blue"


Author:
Memphis Bill
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Date Posted: 14:47:14 03/04/17 Sat

Coach Cozza was "explicit" in his autobiography, but not in the way insinuated by Go Green. Here are a few of his observations:

"In all my years at Yale, we received only one sanction from the NCAA, and that was because of a well-meaning alumnus in a Midwestern city who broke a minor rule without realizing it." (117)

"It is important to note that we never tried to sneak a kid into Yale who didn't belong. I never once sought the admission of a young man I didn't think could do Yale work. Not once" (195)

Four Rhodes Scholars and scores of former players who became doctors, lawyers and bankers bear out the truth of those statements, it seems to me.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: I'm not going to go back and re-read it


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 19:08:02 03/04/17 Sat


If you have the book handy, you'll find extensive passages where Cozza says he clashed with the Yale admissions people.

One (of many) instances was Cozza attempting to meet Yale's AI averages by bringing in 1600-SAT guys as "recruits" who barely played on their high school teams to justify the admissions of guys with lower scores. Yale's admissions department wouldn't let him do it.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Well, Zena Edosomwan, For One


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 19:07:50 03/07/17 Tue

Dio, check out the profile of Zena Edosomwan in Harvard Magazine linked elsewhere in this thread. It's a good read for all Ivy fans, not just Crimson fans.

Edosomwan comes across as a great kid, one that we can all be happy sought out the Ivy League. The guy can speak Mandarin, for crying out loud. But coming out of high school, he did not meet the minimum AI score to be admitted as an athletic recruit. So he could not be admitted to any Ivy, not just Harvard.

But Edosomwan improved his credentials after a PG year at prep school. I would be very curious how that conversation with Amaker went. Did Amaker say, "If you go PG, you might get in next winter, but I can't promise anything" or did he say, "If you pad your transcript at prep school, it's highly likely you'll get in."

In either event, check out the article. It's a window into the recruiting of a superstar high school athlete in the modern Ivy League.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Well, Zena Edosomwan, For One


Author:
Diogenes (An Observer)
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Date Posted: 21:45:11 03/07/17 Tue

Thank you for your post. I did read the linked article and was struck by several points regarding the young man. First, he is a strong willed young man raised by two strong parents. Second, he is widely respected by his peers and teachers. Third, he was a good student at an excellent private school in Los Angeles. Fourth, he has many interests besides basketball and his studies. Fifth, he is a better than average basketball player but not a star. Sixth, the only problem with his AI stemmed from his standardized test scores. Seventh, he took a PG year to raise his test scores and succeeded. Eighth, a PG year to raise your grades, and/or test scores, has been a way for athletes and non-athletes to gain admission to selective schools (including Ivies) for well over a century.

In sum, what Ivy school would not admit this young man? Or, put another way, why would any Ivy school deny admission to this young man?

Thanks for making me think a bit more.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Well, Zena Edosomwan, For One


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 22:02:57 03/07/17 Tue


Patrick Ewing was a hard worker, and an upstanding man as well. And he graduated from Georgetown.

But no Ivy would touch him with his high school record.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Well, Zena Edosomwan, For One


Author:
Diogenes (Go Green)
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Date Posted: 22:44:48 03/07/17 Tue

Not sure there was an Ivy AI in 1980/81 when Patrick Ewing was recruited to Georgetown. In any event, Mr. Edosomwan met the AI standards for admission to an Ivy school. What is your point?

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: I thought it was obvious, but...


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 06:49:07 03/08/17 Wed


If you want to justify Zena's admission to Harvard because met the AI, that's where the discussion ends.

The rest of the stuff is irrelevant. There's tons of hard working guys of great character out there that the Ivies can't touch.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Unfair


Author:
Diogenes (Go Green)
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Date Posted: 08:19:15 03/08/17 Wed

Agree with you. I've never understood the volleys of criticism directed at Harvard's athletic recruiting. If someone is qualified for admission, how can their admission be criticized?

The real problems with Ivy admissions involve discrimination between and amongst qualified applicants because almost all the applicants are qualified. Discrimination against Asian-Americans and discrimination in favor of non-AI minorities are subsisting problems. One of the solutions--one I favor--is to impose an AI on all applicants, not just athletes.

Athletes, along with Asian-Americans, are subject to invidious discrimination because of their abilities and who they are. As they say on Twitter: "Unfair".

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: All second (or third) hand stuff. but


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 08:39:42 03/08/17 Wed


These are not my opinions, but only what I'm remembering from the Ivy BB (mostly Penn) board, the criticisms of Zena's admission were as follows (apologies in advance for any inaccuracies at all levels):

1) Harvard let him take the boards numerous times, and he barely qualified on his final attempt. Harvard generally didn't do that previously.

2) Harvard "recruited" a guy who did not have D-I basketball talent, but had excellent SAT scores to balance out Zena's score. The other "recruit" never suited up for the Crimson.

3) Even then, Harvard basketball ran into academic compliance issues with the NCAA (they got out of it eventually).

4) Harvard basketball "took" some low-band AI spots away from their other sports. Those sports lost competitiveness whereas basketball gained competitiveness. Again, something they hadn't done previously.

In essence, the argument was that while Harvard was following the letter of the law, they were violating the spirit of the AI/Ivy admissions with respect to athletes. At a minimum, Harvard never did anything even remotely close to this for Amaker's predecessor.

All that being said, I haven't seen much griping about Harvard's basketball admissions lately. So all this is water under the bridge...

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Also part of the discussion


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 09:00:44 03/08/17 Wed


Another part of the problem was that Penn felt that Harvard was the one that imposed the AI on the Ivy League as a way to muzzle Penn's success in basketball in the late 1970s.

So there were some hard feelings among Penn alums based on a perception that Harvard was succeeding in basketball by playing games with the AI.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: All second (or third) hand stuff. but


Author:
Diogenes (Go Green)
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Date Posted: 09:26:02 03/08/17 Wed

You listed all the criticisms I've heard. But if the rules weren't broken--they weren't broken. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Perhaps I'm being simplistic, but to my ears it all sounds like losers whining about winners.

One thing I find interesting is that while Harvard has enjoyed better teams, they haven't been a whole lot better than the usual powers in the League and, by their performance the NCAA's, have helped out the League as a whole.

Subjectively, it seems to me that Harvard has raised the standards of play in the League--and, if true, that's a good thing.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: All second (or third) hand stuff. but


Author:
joiseyfan
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Date Posted: 10:44:11 03/08/17 Wed

Not to be too picky, but Harvard has certainly raised the standards of RECRUITING in the league; the standards of play are a different question.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: All second (or third) hand stuff. but


Author:
Diogenes (joiseyfan)
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Date Posted: 11:33:57 03/08/17 Wed

Excellent point.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: To be fair to Penn


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 10:53:30 03/08/17 Wed


There were indeed Penn fans on the boards expressing the same sentiments that you articulated above.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Anyone who cares


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 11:09:47 03/08/17 Wed


This thread was pretty typical of the "Harvard Debates" on the Penn Board from several years ago.

http://boards.basketball-u.com/showtopic.php?tid/14705/fromsearch/1/hl/sour/tp/1/

Many other such threads existed...

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: All second (or third) hand stuff. but


Author:
mrjames
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Date Posted: 13:35:57 03/08/17 Wed

Very little of what has been said in this thread is actually true.

"1) Harvard let him take the boards numerous times, and he barely qualified on his final attempt. Harvard generally didn't do that previously."

Harvard had let recruits take the SAT/ACTs many times in the past. He actually DIDN'T qualify on his final attempt, which is why he had to take a post grad year in order to get qualified.

"2) Harvard "recruited" a guy who did not have D-I basketball talent, but had excellent SAT scores to balance out Zena's score. The other "recruit" never suited up for the Crimson."

Harvard had been using AI boosters for a long, long time. You never noticed before because the non-AI-boosters weren't good enough to be distinguishable.

"3) Even then, Harvard basketball ran into academic compliance issues with the NCAA (they got out of it eventually)."

I assume you're talking about the APR, which is a ridiculous calculation that got adjusted back up (not that they were in any real danger to begin with) once the kids involved in the cheating scandal returned to school and finished their degrees. As for that, Harvard had academic issues with players under previous coaches and other Ivies have had such issues as well. This was not unique.

"4) Harvard basketball "took" some low-band AI spots away from their other sports. Those sports lost competitiveness whereas basketball gained competitiveness. Again, something they hadn't done previously."

You can't really "take" low band spots away from other sports, because all sports outside of football are averaged, not banded, so as long as you're hitting your average, your sport has no impact on other sports in the department. There used to be a conspiracy theory that Harvard Hockey got bad all of a sudden when Amaker joined because Harvard shifted "low" spots to basketball. That never made sense, because Donato was raking in big time recruiting classes, even when the team was bad. No one seems to talk about that theory anymore.

It's exhausting to continue to combat all of the misinformation out there. I covered Sullivan's teams toward the end of his tenure at Harvard. The academic standards to which he had to adhere were tougher than what Amaker faced when he started (though with the continuing hikes to the AI floor aren't really...) but the academic standards to which he had to adhere weren't static throughout his tenure. Toward the end they were very rigorous, though that happened after having academic issues on the team.

Harvard hasn't ever had the lowest standards in the league. There was a moment there when Princeton and Yale could claim Harvard was fishing a little deeper in the AI pool than they were, but that's evened up now too. There are definitely teams (this year especially) that did things Harvard (or Princeton and Yale) couldn't remotely touch.

What's a shame is that all of these baseless rumors take away from one of the greatest program builds I have ever seen. I don't just mean on court. I mean the program as a whole. That doesn't happen without Tommy Amaker, and it's a shame that people don't appreciate it for what it is.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Not my fight


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 14:09:49 03/08/17 Wed


But I appreciate (as always) the time you took to address the criticisms as I recalled them.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Well, Zena Edosomwan, For One


Author:
John Harvard
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Date Posted: 14:08:50 03/08/17 Wed

I find these criticisms to be very disappointing - and ironic:

It seems that the AI was created to stop Penn from accepting subpar applicants (glass house?). If Harvard were recruiting in violation of rules or in a way that the league discourages, then that would be monitored and regulated. No such thing has happened. In fact, as the AI is being raised, I hear fans of other squads complaining, not Harvard.

AI relates mathematically to the average qualifications of the student body, placing Harvard at an empirical disadvantage to almost every other Ivy school.

Taking SAT's multiple times is practiced by almost all applicants. Superscoring (combining best individual scores amongst various tests/sections) is widely practiced, thus confirming that multiple testing is accepted. I know of a Power 5 school that encourages athletes with acceptable scores to take the tests over again even after admittance in order to raise the class average, thereby enabling recruiting of others with lower scores!

Last time I looked, Harvard basketball's APR and graduation rates surpassed other Ivy's and were nationally recognized. Just look at the players who have dropped out of school, been arrested, or suspended for academic performance. Not at Harvard. [Yes, I acknowledge the cheating scandal that impacted over 100 students and suspended 2 Harvard basketball players for a year.]

Finally, I commend Coach Amaker for creating a program that is about much more than just basketball. Coach Amaker has created a program that educates his players off the court, including meetings with prominent and important individuals and organizations. Just this fall I witnessed the team hold a private session with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, participate in two practices/sessions, and led to attendance by the entire team at Kareem's IOP presentation. During games, yelling, flagrant fouls, and technical fouls are at a minimum, or don't exist. These are good kids and Amaker works very hard to create a classy program and to be great mentor, well beyond basketball.

As for Zena, it's not easy to be favorably recognized on a campus like Harvard. I can assure you that he is. Remember, in this league most hockey players enter after years in the junior leagues and many football players and basketball players attend after PG years. I have personal knowledge of Zena. He belongs at a school like Harvard. I'll bet every single Ivy coach, plus 30+ non-Ivy coaches, were dying to admit him. They were right.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Well, Zena Edosomwan, For One


Author:
Upper Valley
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Date Posted: 09:03:39 03/11/17 Sat

It's a tough spot to be in for any conference trying impose any semblance of quantitative academic restrictions. If you have any sort of numerical scale, you are going to preclude some excellent kids of strong character who fall beneath your threshold.

On the other hand, if you don't have a numerical scale, then you're leaving each of your member schools to compete on the honor system, making their own decisions based upon whatever they want. And that's basically what HYP did not want to allow Penn to do in the 1970's.

So we got the AI. And with the AI, there will be unfortunate casualties, terrific young men and women who probably could have been admitted if they were not athletic recruits (like a development admit, even if he does grow up to be Jared Kushner) but who are blocked because they are terrific athletes.

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[> [> Subject: Harvard Cheating, Unique or Not?


Author:
Turner
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Date Posted: 17:34:16 03/03/17 Fri

mrjames, I think your rebuttal to Boston Lion can be summarized as, "In the history of the Ivy League, there have probably been other teams which benefited from hastily raised alumni donations, had players cheat in class or been ruled by the NCAA to have committed recruiting violations."

That's not a great rebuttal. Sure, in the entire history of the Ivy League, especially across all sports, there have been other cheaters. But the difference is that, with this Harvard team under Amaker, ALL OF THESE THINGS are happening under his watch. It's not that other Ivy programs have never had smoke around them, it's that there is a tremendous amount of smoke around THIS ONE TEAM, more smoke than has ever surrounded a single Ivy program in any sport.

By the way, as far as I know, I think Amaker IS THE ONLY Ivy basketball coach to have been dinged by the NCAA, certainly the only current coach.

And as far as academic ringers are concerned, have you read this article about Zena Edosomwan? It's fascinating, especially the comments.

http://www.harvardmagazine.com/2017/02/zena-edosomwans-journey

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Harvard Cheating, Unique or Not?


Author:
Bob S
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Date Posted: 15:58:27 03/04/17 Sat

Mr. James- This poster is in total agreement with you.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Harvard Cheating, Unique or Not?


Author:
John Harvard
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Date Posted: 14:11:13 03/08/17 Wed

As is this one.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Ivy BB Tourney/ NYT Article/Sweaty Unis


Author:
mrjames
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Date Posted: 11:47:57 03/04/17 Sat

I'm not going to throw other teams or players under the bus. But just because stuff isn't deemed interesting enough to pursue to report, doesn't mean it's not happening. (Some stuff has been like the arrests and dismissals surrounding a few Ivy bball programs). And everything I've mentioned is extremely recent within just basketball.

The criticisms of Harvard's program are amongst the fans alone. I've tried to give as much context as I am able, but it's not my place to share things that aren't already public. People will believe what they want to believe, but these beliefs are not shared by those who compete against Amaker every day.

The ignorance is frustrating, but it is what it is.

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