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Subject: The Source of The Problem is Finite Undergraduate Student Body Sizes


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 14:07:14 12/08/21 Wed
In reply to: Bengal 's message, "Attention Joe Friday and Acob: APB" on 13:48:13 12/08/21 Wed

I have nothing against rugby, women's rugby or women's sports, but I often wonder why schools such as Harvard and Princeton so proudly announce new varsity sports as though sponsoring more sports is necessarily better or more prestigious than sponsoring fewer.

Supporting more varsity sports on any campus costs money and creates tension. That's one reason why Power Five universities typically field 15-20 sports, in contrast to Ivy League colleges which might have 30-40 separate teams in their athletic departments.

The biggest problem at an Ivy League institution is admission slots. As we know from personal observation and anecdotal evidence such as the Varsity Blues scandal, these precious golden tickets are worth much more on the open market than one might guess.

Undoubtedly, football recruits are being cut back in part because Ivy League faculties generally view football and men's basketball recruits as the sports where the greatest academic sacrifices are made to field a competitive team.

I think that men's hockey probably deserves to join that holy trinity but, whatever the specifics, that's why pressure is being placed on football teams to field smaller teams.

I'll say it right now. No Ivy League school needs to field a women's rugby team. Posters on this site applaud and sing the praises of Princeton for raising women's rugby to varsity status. And sure, when viewed in isolation, who would be against giving more opportunity to women's rugby players? I've got nothing against these women athletes.

But nothing can be viewed in isolation. In the context of the larger athletic department and especially the entire cohort of admitted high school students at all eight Ivies, adding women's rugby just creates more pressure to cut back elsewhere. And right now, that "elsewhere" is football.

Stop adding new sports. Stop women's rugby from making progress as an Ivy sport.

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Replies:
[> [> Subject: I have a better idea


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 14:17:52 12/08/21 Wed


Keep women's rugby.

Drop swimming/diving, golf, and lightweight crew.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: I have a better idea


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 14:31:52 12/08/21 Wed

Sure. I'm not advocating against women's rugby in particular.

I'm saying the faculties at our Ivy universities are sick and tired of teaching student-athletes which they believe are a cut below the remainder of the student bodies. That is the ultimate source of the pressure to cut back on recruited athletes.

And you can sympathize with the general lament from professors. At tiny Dartmouth and Princeton, recruited athletes make up almost a fifth of the student bodies.

You want to keep women's rugby? Sure, drop something else.

The broader point is stop adding more sports, Harvard and Princeton! Stop it.

And in the case of women's rugby, stop it before it reaches critical mass to be sponsored by the Ivy League, until and unless, as GG wants, swimming/diving and lightweight crew are also dropped.

(It makes less sense to drop golf, where the squads have about a half dozen athletes each. Golf ain't the problem.)

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[> [> Subject: Re: The Source of The Problem is Finite Undergraduate Student Body Sizes


Author:
Bengal
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Date Posted: 14:26:07 12/08/21 Wed

On the contrary. Princeton has bloated the size of its undergraduate body and continues to do so. Before the advent of women, an overdue change, there were 3200 undergrads. That has steadily increased. Penn at one time within recent memory was at 7,800. isn't it around 10,000 undergrads now? And as I said, we used to have many more recruited football players within our lifetimes. There is no need for further cuts.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: The Source of The Problem is Finite Undergraduate Student Body Sizes


Author:
Joe Friday
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Date Posted: 15:57:29 12/08/21 Wed

I just came off a zoom call with the TV detectives listed above, and I was able to get the following feedback from them prior to their naps which will be followed by their group attendance at the early bird special where they will all wear trench coats and pinky rings while loudly cursing and attempting to solve before anyone else the mystery of the the height and weight of the person who made the gravy for the grilled chicken to be served at exactly 5 PM:

Covid: some IL coaches will say out loud privately that 120 at this level was already borderline unmanageable/hard to keep newer players motivated, especially with JV play having gone away. Add the intermediate term roster bloat caused by Covid and you won’t/don’t see coaches howling in protest over modest roster reduction, which the TV sleuths say will, in fact, be permanent.
The bigger management problem there is with the transfer portal and the inability to be 100% confident of what your future actual need is, because you don’t really know with certainty who is coming back, what class are are they in, do they contribute, what kind of depth in that position group do you have if they don’t come back, etc…all of which is a good reason to NOT have roster reduction in order to allow programs some degree of flexibility/ability to pivot quickly. The recruiting boards will begin(?) to resemble pro draft boards to include the variables of “free agency” (the portal).

IL Presidents inexplicably caving to “pressure” from their respective faculties, separate and apart from their own closeted anti-athlete bias. You don’t need me to paint that picture, but I do wonder exactly what that “pressure” really amounts to other than the incessant whining like the army of snowflakes that they are. If some football and or basketball players are supposedly not up to the task academically (as per the nuances of the respective schools’ AI), then let them flunk out and those programs will think twice about throwing the dice on that kid in the lowest band. In the interim those outraged academics can always turn in their resignations and give it a shot in the real world….yeah, I didn’t think so…

The group had no strong feelings about the other sports mentioned, let alone whether they had any role in reducing the football numbers, which is highly doubtful. None of them make real money - if any - but their consensus was to live and let live. Expand away, but don’t weaken other programs to do so.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Joe (and Acob)


Author:
Bengal
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Date Posted: 17:47:11 12/08/21 Wed

Joe: Retire that crew to the Home for Retired Detectives. Call in Sipowicz, Renko, Inspector Morse, and Poirot on the case. The coaches could not have initiated this, and besides, far easier just to take a few less yourself if you think there are too many footballers are on your own roster. Plus, some of these coaches seemed to have taken pretty close to the average of 30, covid or not.

I don't think it was Robin Harris, she is more implementer than initiator (unless directed by the Presidents to cook something up). There are faculty hostile to athletics, but also some who are favorable. Stay on the case. I don't think we have solved it. The game's afoot. Acob, where are you, old salt?

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Joe (and Acob)


Author:
Joe Friday
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Date Posted: 19:09:40 12/08/21 Wed

Coaches would not unilaterally disarm, and while no one has suggested that the coaches themselves initiated any of it, my sense is that they would privately acknowledge that it’s not a mountain to die on either if it were to be imposed on them, which seems to be the case….I like the variety of characters you’ve listed there, though I’d never list Sipowicz with Morse or Poirot, but it is still a free country for now. I will stick with the grittier characters from the 70s, though I may bring in Magnum so they can tease him about his hair and mustache - not sure.

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[> [> Subject: Re: The Source of The Problem is Finite Undergraduate Student Body Sizes


Author:
Two Cents
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Date Posted: 14:46:09 12/08/21 Wed

May offend a few on this board, but the following sports should all be moved to club team status at Ivy schools. And there should be no financial or admission assistance involved with athletes due to their involvement in these sports:

Squash
Sailing
Skiing
Fencing
Equestrian
Archery
Men’s and Women’s Water Polo
Men’s and Women’s Rugby

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: The Source of The Problem is Finite Undergraduate Student Body Sizes


Author:
Go Green
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Date Posted: 14:53:50 12/08/21 Wed


Not my impression that men's rugby has varsity status at any Ivy.

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