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Date Posted: 14:28:59 01/10/22 Mon
I agree with JerryLH that, at Cornell, football is not comparable to wrestling, lacrosse or hockey. Cornell has made a long-term, sport-specific commitment to those latter three sports and most recruits are aware of it.
In wrestling, Cornell has its special relationship with the local community college which serves as a de facto prep school or red shirt way station for 18-year-old high school graduates to season and develop for a year.
In lacrosse, Cornell is sitting on top of one of the real recruiting hot beds in America. It's as if Cornell football were located in Texas while the rest of the Ivy League was in Nebraska. Cornell has a structural advantage in lacrosse.
In hockey, ditto. Cornell has a connection to Canadian feeder schools stronger than that at other Ivies.
Lastly, in all three sports, Cornell has a long-term, demonstrated commitment to each sport, which is known to high school recruits. That creates what accountants call "goodwill" and marketers call "brand equity."
None of that applies to Cornell football.
Building goodwill or brand equity is difficult. To do it in a short period of time, the institution needs to do something new and different, splashy and attention-getting. I am talking about hiring Tommy Amaker, spending millions on him and reallocating low academic band recruits from other sports. Or hiring Al Bagnoli and publicly signaling a sea change in attitude toward football. In either case, somebody will probably be opening his wallet in a way which was not done before.
Just swapping out Archer by itself does not reposition Cornell relative to the recruiting machines built by Surace, Murphy and Reno. And of course, those three guys have an edge in financial aid as well. I don't think it's huge, but I know they are playing from a position of strength, not weakness.
I'm not saying Cornell shouldn't aim high. That's Cornell's prerogative, just as it was Columbia's. But to think that firing Archer accomplishes much is a big oversimplification.
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