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Subject: Some Observations From The 2017-18 Champions List


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 22:53:58 06/12/18 Tue
In reply to: HDallmar 's message, "Princeton Wins 11 Ivy Championships This Year" on 08:57:48 06/05/18 Tue

The list of Ivy champions referenced by Son of Eli adds a lot of color to my post earlier in this thread. A few observations:

1. Columbia won 7 championships this academic year. If the Lions had won only 6 titles, it would have been their all-time high water mark. The Lions are currently in uncharted territory for Columbia athletics.

2. Yale won 6 championships this academic year. The League list shows 5, but as Son of Eli pointed out, it omits a co-championship in women's volleyball. At 6, this is Yale's second best of the last 28 years, trailing only 7 in 2010-11.

3. Dartmouth and Penn are basically treading water, consistent with immediately prior years, with 3 and 5 titles, respectively. Brown with 0 championships is also in line with recent history.

4. Princeton won 11 championships this academic year. In the entire history of the Ivy League, only four times has another school -- Harvard every time -- won as many as 11 titles. Meanwhile, Princeton has averaged 11 titles over the past 28 years. You read that right: The Tigers have averaged a total over almost three decades which only has been reached in a single season by another school four times in the history of the conference.

5. It's only one data point, so let's not jump to any conclusions. But in 2017-18, the gains shown by Columbia and Yale came at the expense of Harvard, which won "only" 6 championships. A total of 6 places Harvard third behind Princeton and Columbia, still a respectable performance. But it's the first time in seven years that the Crimson have finished behind anybody besides Princeton.

I, for one, do not expect Harvard to stay down for long. First, as our friend Observer told us last year, the four-year period from 2013-17 was the Crimson's best four-year run in program history. So Harvard has been hot as recently as a year ago. Secondly, we've seen that the Crimson are willing to invest both the dollars and, when necessary, the academic allowances to be champions. I would be surprised if Harvard stayed down for long.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Some Observations From The 2017-18 Champions List


Author:
Son of Eli
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Date Posted: 06:50:51 06/13/18 Wed

Excellent analysis A.O. This year's results reflect a move towards greater parity in the league, even if Princeton still remains in a league of their own. Congratulations to both Columbia and Yale for driving that move towards parity. Now only Brown needs to get its act together.

I wonder if Harvard's relative mediocre season is an aberration or will turn out to be a new trend. Their drop off could be an indication that their de-emphasize sports contingent was embarrassed by their recent league dominance and tightened admissions for athletes as a result. Or perhaps it's just and indication that the rest of the league has caught up. I think time will tell.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Some Observations From The 2017-18 Champions List


Author:
joiseyfan
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Date Posted: 09:33:36 06/13/18 Wed

As you can see from Princeton’s periodic blips in championship numbers, you can’t predict at this level on a yearly basis. However, the way you succeed over the long haul is to have literally dozens of teams which compete for their championship EVERY year. They may finish second or third quite often, but they’re always in the game. Over the last four years, the Tigers have won Ivy championships in 23 DIFFERENT sports. That’s the only way to end up with these long-haul results.

That being said, it’s still hard to believe Tigers have at least tied for most championships in 26 of the last 28 years. A tribute not only to Walters and Marcoux but the presidents and trustees. That’s a lot of hard work.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: So ...


Author:
Observer
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Date Posted: 10:12:20 06/13/18 Wed

... as I understand it, when Princeton wins, its "a lot of hard work" , and when Harvard wins, its cheating?

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: So ...


Author:
observer
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Date Posted: 13:16:22 06/13/18 Wed

Actually it's because Princeton is the most committed to women's teams in the league, top to bottom. A significant number of their team championships over the years have come in women's sports.

This year alone:
WSoccer
WBasketball
WTennis
WLacrosse
WGolf
WRowing
WTennis
WVolleyball

Eight titles in women's sports, more than any other school had combined.

And notably, this year they didn't win any women's titles in track/xc or swimming - which are sports in which the tigers have had much historical success.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: So ...


Author:
sparman
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Date Posted: 13:40:46 06/13/18 Wed

Further to your point, they also won in field hockey, a perennially strong team (you listed tennis twice, probably meant to say field hockey). I believe women have won more titles each year than men for a while.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: So ...


Author:
observer
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Date Posted: 13:55:38 06/13/18 Wed

good catch

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[> [> [> [> Subject: So in women's sports .....


Author:
Observer
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Date Posted: 19:09:40 06/13/18 Wed

.... winning means you're "committed" if its Princeton, and its cheating if you're Harvard?

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: So in women's sports .....


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 19:45:17 06/13/18 Wed

I think that most careful observers of Ivy League sports think that Harvard is only "cheating" in men's basketball, to use your preferred term.

As another poster said elsewhere in this thread, what Harvard has done in men's basketball is sui generis, unique compared to not only other Ivy programs but also to other Harvard sports.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: You actually mean, I take it ...


Author:
Observer
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Date Posted: 21:34:22 06/13/18 Wed

"... most careful observers of Ivy League sports" who are graduates of Yale.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Boston Lion is a Yale grad?


Author:
Calvin
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Date Posted: 09:53:57 06/14/18 Thu

I must have missed the change in mascot announcement.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: An Earnest Message to "Observer" and Other Harvard Fans


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 23:42:57 06/14/18 Thu

"Observer," in light of the state of public discourse in the US being as bad as I can ever remember, I'm going to try to state the following in the most constructive, least antagonistic manner possible.

Sometimes Ivy League universities are criticized just for being elite institutions. Sometimes Harvard, Yale and Princeton are criticized even more just for being especially famous. And sometimes Harvard is criticized just for being the most famous of all.

Given that preamble, I think that it must be tempting to believe that Harvard athletics, specifically Harvard men's basketball, is being criticized mostly because it's Harvard. Certainly, that is what your comments in this thread suggest that you believe.

I can't speak for other observers or critics, but I would like to assure you that my opinions about Harvard men's basketball have nothing at all to do with the fact that it involves Harvard. First, I have no criticism whatsoever about how the other 41 Crimson varsity sports conduct themselves. So this isn't criticizing anything merely because it carries the Harvard name.

Secondly, the Harvard men's basketball team is being run in a very different fashion than the other 41 Harvard varsity sports. There's a lot of behavior which has been discussed at length over the years since Amaker arrived. One can believe that this behavior is either benign or not so, but it is undeniable that the criticism of Harvard men's basketball centers on this behavior, not because the players wear the name Harvard on their uniforms.

Thirdly, perhaps to you criticism of Harvard sounds like sour grapes or simple envy. Perhaps it sounds like dogs in the back of the pack are barking loudly, trying to level criticism at the lead dog. But as explained in detail elsewhere in this thread, if it were simply a matter of the back of the pack taking shots at the lead dog, those shots should be fired at Princeton. The Tigers are far and away the lead dog in this pack, not Harvard.

Finally, perhaps criticism voiced by Yale fans to Harvard ears sounds like a manifestation of frustration coming from the losing end of the H-Y rivalry. For a prolonged stretch, Harvard was beating Yale in football, crew, basketball and most other sports. I grant you that there was plenty of frustration in the land of Eli. But criticism of the Harvard men's basketball program, as least in my case, is a separate matter entirely.

As evidence of that, I note that, in the recent past, Yale has gained the upper hand in football, crew, lacrosse, baseball and a lot of other sports which are most important to fans. So the frustration has been mitigated and diffused for the most part. But speaking only for myself, the manner in which Harvard men's basketball conducts business is still a legitimate topic for investigation.

Win or lose, we are a conference which stands first and foremost for academic limitations on the pursuit of athletic success. That's why our conference exists. Critics of Harvard men's basketball aren't speaking up because it's Harvard; we're speaking up because we fear Stemberg, Amaker, Scalise et al threaten the very principles upon which the Ivy League was founded.

I welcome any response or rebuttal from you. I hope that you will not reply with a simple retort of indignation. I have done my best to state my case with respect and civility; I hope that I have succeeded.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: An Earnest Message to "Observer" and Other Harvard Fans


Author:
observer
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Date Posted: 09:36:17 06/15/18 Fri

If fans don't think that every school tries to buy and/or gain advantage in select sports, then they are nuts.

The only issue here is that Stemberg (and Ballmer) provided an influx of cash after the school let the men's hoops program get sclerotic.

Every school is strategic with AI points (and without SAT/ACT scores, it will be the wild west all over again) and how they allocate them across their programs.

Harvard stands out because of the rapid improvement - and visible/tangible changes in facilities/recruiting haul/attention from media that has happened. (That and historically, Harvard led the charge against Cornell's hockey excellence and Penn's hoops excellence which led to the AI.)

The Harvard defenders don't sound much dissimilar to those Penn/Princeton fans who kept defending the duopoly as a natural right for many years.

Maybe for the league it's a good thing that Harvard has found religion to improve its teams. Now they should put their money where their mouth is by seeking the same improvements to athletics as they have made in basketball, namely:

1) Football in the NCAA playoffs
2) Fewer arcane restrictions for the sake of restrictions (limits on MTE in basketball, for instance)
3) Allowing scholarships (so as to blunt the advantage of financial aid award differences among schools)
4) A re-examination of the value of the A.I. especially with standardized testing being called into question because of its disparate impact on low-income and minority students.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Ivy League Endowment Returns From Bloomberg


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 14:06:14 06/26/18 Tue

Bloomberg just ran another feature story on the epic underperformance of Harvard's endowment. As I said to Observer in my immediately preceding post, it is true that sometimes critics like to take shots at Harvard because it's the most famous university in the world. Bloomberg seems to be one of them.

But having broached the topic, let's take a look at the data Bloomberg presented.

Endowment . . 1-Year Return . . 10-Year Return

MIT . . 14.3% . . 7.6%
Columbia . . 13.7% . . 7.3%
Virginia . . 12.4% . . 7.3%
Princeton . . 12.5% . . 7.1%
Notre Dame . . 12.6% . . 6.7%
Yale . . 11.3% . . 6.6%
Pennsylvania . . 14.3% . . 6.0%
Stanford . . 13.1% . . 5.8%
Michigan . . 13.8% . . 5.6%
Northwestern . . 11.7% . . 5.6%
California . . 15.1% . . 5.4%
Harvard . . 8.1% . . 4.4%

A couple of observations:

Columbia really is on a tear. Look at the recent outperformance since Al Bagnoli arrived in Morningside Heights. As on the football field, Penn has done well since he left West Philadelphia.

If Harvard's endowment had performed as well as those at Yale or Princeton over the last 10 years, Harvard's endowment would now be $17-20 billion *LARGER*. The 10-year underperformance of Harvard's endowment by itself would now be the sixth largest endowment in the country.

On April 11, 2007, Bob Scalise received several million dollars from Tom Stemberg and hired Tommy Amaker, taking Harvard athletics in a direction which it had never traveled previously. Some critics say that is great and long overdue: "Let's be the best we can be! Go, team!" Other critics say that is regrettable: "Hey, what is a high school junior varsity player in Camden McRae doing on your list of recruits?"

But karma has spoken: After decades running the world's most successful endowment, since Bob Scalise pulled the trigger, Harvard has left $20 billion on the table.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Ivy League Endowment Returns From Bloomberg


Author:
Calvin
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Date Posted: 14:56:12 06/26/18 Tue

"The 10-year underperformance of Harvard's endowment by itself would now be the sixth largest endowment in the country."

Mic drop.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: actually


Author:
holtsledge
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Date Posted: 17:13:47 06/26/18 Tue

I read someplace yesterday that Quinnipiac had the best return at around 17% and Dartmouth was first in the ivies
Top of Class
Quinnipiac University's endowment bested every Ivy League college in 2017.

SCHOOL

ONE-YEAR RETURN

ASSETS

Quinnipiac

University

$0.5B

20.9%

Dartmouth

College

14.6

5.0

University of

Pennsylvania

14.3

12.2

Columbia

University

10.0

13.7

B

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: actually


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 22:00:24 06/26/18 Tue

Holtsie, I am sure that you are correct. I was working off a screen grab from the Bloomberg story and the partial numbers that you list are all consistent with the numbers on my screen.

Kudos to the financial managers wearing Green for a fine year.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: I tried


Author:
holtsledge
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Date Posted: 07:52:56 06/27/18 Wed

to copy and paste stats from WSJ article but was only able to get what I posted. The QU 10 yr number was a remarkable 17% return. The article stated they went with proven stock pickers rather than going with hedge funds and private equity like Harvard and Yale did.

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