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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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