April Fools: Ivy League approves four-point line for next season despite Columbia’s objections

Jim Engles shopping for stilts for Mike Smith.


The Ivy League Presidents approved a plan late Friday night presented by a subcommittee of athletic directors honoring the coaches’ desire to institute a four-point line in league play starting next season.

The four-point line will be implemented for conference play only as an experiment fervently wished for by the league’s coaches.

“We figured, since the league set a Pomeroy-era Division I record this year by taking 40 percent of our shots from three-point range this year, we think we’d know how to cash in from even deeper,” said Princeton coach Mitch Henderson, looking momentarily up from his KenPom account.

The four-point line will lie in the shape of an arc 30 feet back from the basket.

Ivy coaches are confident that Steph Curry’s popularity will eventually create a demand for a four-point line.

“Emphasis on three-point shooting, ball movement and interchangeable positions started at Princeton,” Henderson said. “This is just the next step in the Ivy League again playing a brand of basketball that nobody considers until some other team 3,000 miles away starts doing it 40 years later.”

Seven of the eight league presidents approved the plan, with only Columbia voting against it.

Columbia finished last in league play last year in percentage of shots taken from three-point range.

“I don’t know about this whole deep shooting craze,” Lions coach Jim Engles said. “I’d rather abolish the three-point line entirely. The more people who listen to Gregg Popovich, the better. And honestly, they have Devin Cannady and we’ve seen what that means. So kibosh the whole thing.”

Engles added that he was just looking out for what was best for his team, and that other measures he was considering that would benefit his team included stilts for Mike Smith and light blue paint that the team manager can apply around every opposing team’s court and on top of bleachers during road games so the Lions feel more like home.

“The stilts are for Mike to use in the paint,” Columbia Athletic Director Peter Pilling said. “They don’t mean as much if he’s just shooting threes like everybody else in the league. And we couldn’t win on the road at all this year, so I’m going to make sure the Ivy League Tournament is held at Levien next year. If we can steal Al Bagnoli from Penn, we can take the tourney away from the Palestra.”

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