Penn AD Grace Calhoun has been busy, but to-do list from Jerome Allen infractions remains

Penn Director of Athletics M. Grace Calhoun has had an incredibly busy and productive spring, but it appears that Penn Athletics hasn’t completed at least two of the required penalties from the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ February report under her leadership.

Calhoun, who has been in charge at Weightman Hall since the summer of 2014, oversees a staff of 165 employees, 33 varsity athletics programs, and nearly 40 club sports, as well as broad-based intramural and recreational offerings for students, faculty and staff.

To add to her full-time job and parenting of four homebound children during the coronavirus pandemic, Calhoun is the chair of the Ivy League’s committee on administration, the chair of the NCAA Division I council, a voting member of the NCAA board of directors and a non-voting member of the NCAA board of governors.

Read morePenn AD Grace Calhoun has been busy, but to-do list from Jerome Allen infractions remains

Theresa Grace Mbanefo fights for racial equality at Cornell

Theresa Grace Mbanefo is a rising Cornell women’s basketball junior. (Cornell Athletics)

As the country continues to grapple with a deadly pandemic and a growing protest movement against police brutality and centuries-old racial inequalities, Cornell women’s basketball rising junior Theresa Grace Mbanefo and her organization, Women of Color Cornell Athletics (WOCCA) are looking to make structural changes on the East Hill of Ithaca.

On June 1, WOCCA initiated the “Hear Us Now” photo campaign to “demand informed allyship from the Cornell athletic community and beyond.”

The posts of the various female and male student-athletes of color show each holding up a sign describing times when they heard the crowds cheering for them.  The last shows all of the athletes holding posters with “But do you see us? #BLM”.

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Katie Benzan changes course, decides to play at Maryland for 2020-21

Harvard’s Katie Benzan shifted from the burnt orange of Texas to the black and gold of Maryland as the Terrapins announced her arrival for the 2020-21 season.

The three-time first team All-Ivy guard surprised Ivy hoops fans in late August when she decided to forgo her senior season at Harvard.  Two months later, she chose to play for coach Karen Aston at the University of Texas as a graduate transfer.

After the season, Aston’s contract was not renewed and the Longhorns hired Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer on April 5.

Shortly after that, Benzan decided to change course and look elsewhere.

Ivy Hoops Online spoke to Benzan from her home in Wellesley, Mass., where she is taking classes to finish her undergraduate degree in psychology.

Read moreKatie Benzan changes course, decides to play at Maryland for 2020-21

Bella Alarie goes to Dallas with the fifth pick in the WNBA Draft

Bella Alarie is a Dallas Wing now. (WNBA)

Princeton’s Bella Alarie didn’t have to wait long to hear her name, as she was called with the fifth overall pick by the Dallas Wings in Friday night’s WNBA Draft.

“It’s been my lifelong dream to play in the WNBA, so it was a really special moment,” Alarie told WNBA media. “I’m glad I got to share it with my family.”

Earlier in the week, Dallas President, CEO and General Manager Greg Bibb discussed his interest in Alarie with Ivy Hoops Online and sealed the deal with the team’s second pick of the first round.

Bella becomes the second member of the family chosen in the first round, following her father, Mark, who went to the Denver Nuggets with the 18th pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.  She also joins former teammate Leslie Robinson as the only other Tiger to be drafted in the WNBA and equals the highest spot ever by an Ivy League hoopster with Harvard’s Allison Feaster (1998; Los Angeles Sparks).

Read moreBella Alarie goes to Dallas with the fifth pick in the WNBA Draft

Pre-WNBA Draft buzz for Princeton’s Bella Alarie

Three-time Ivy Player of the Year Bella Alarie has long demonstrated that she’s a WNBA-caliber talent, and league evaluators are taking stock of her potential for success there. (Princeton Athletics)

With the nation continuing its fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the sports world on hiatus, the WNBA will provide some actual live entertainment on Friday night as the league’s draft will be televised at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN. Ivy hoops fans will have an additional bit of interest waiting to hear Bella Alarie’s name.

Alarie, a three-time Ivy League Player of the Year, four-time first team All-Ivy, two-time AP Honorable Mention All-America and all-time Princeton leader in both points and blocks, looks to be the third Ancient Eight athlete picked in Draft history and the first chosen in the opening round since Harvard’s Allison Feaster went No. 5 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks in 1998.

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Brown chooses Monique LeBlanc as its new women’s head coach

Monique LeBlanc takes over the helm of the Bown women’s basketball program after a nine-year tenure at Merrimack. (Brown Athletics)

On Friday afternoon, Brown Athletic Director Jack Hayes announced the hiring of Monique LeBlanc as the Bears’ new women’s basketball coach, the fifth in program history.

LeBlanc, a native of Cumberland, R.I., will arrive in Providence after a nine-year tenure at Merrimack College.  This past season, when the Warriors made the jump from Division II to Division I, LeBlanc had her best season with a 20-10 record and a 13-5 third-place finish in the Northeast Conference.

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Ivy League’s lead followed as NBA suspends season due to coronavirus outbreak

A little more than 24 hours after their controversial decision to cancel the league’s postseason tournament was chastised by players, media, Ancient Eight enthusiasts and general sports fans, the Ivy League appears to have been ahead of the curve, as the NBA abruptly canceled the remainder of the season on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Ivy League canceled the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments three days before they were to begin.

Read moreIvy League’s lead followed as NBA suspends season due to coronavirus outbreak

Fallout continues over decision to cancel the Ivy League Tournament

Things have not calmed down after Tuesday afternoon’s bombshell announcement from the Ivy League and its eight presidents that this weekend’s Ivy League Tournaments were canceled, making the league the first conference to cancel tournament play.

The conference likes to refer to its tournament as Ivy Madness.  To paraphrase Harvard senior Seth Towns, the 2018 Player of the Year, it’s more like Ivy Mayhem.

Read moreFallout continues over decision to cancel the Ivy League Tournament

Penn men cruise over Columbia to take No. 4 seed in Ivy Madness as AJ Brodeur makes history

Penn senior forward AJ Brodeur set three program records in his final game at the Palestra as the Quakers easily dispatched Columbia, 85-65, on a historic night at the Palestra to earn the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.

The Red & Blue (16-11, 8-6 Ivy) nabbed their fourth straight Ivy League Tournament berth, knocking Brown (also 8-6 in Ivy play) on the strength of a Brodeur triple-double: 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Penn split the season series with Brown but held the second tiebreaker, a better record against league top seed Yale.

Brodeur’s triple-double was the first in program history, a feat that followed two more records from the Northborough, Mass. native.

With the game well in hand in the second half, the focus became whether Brodeur would pass Ernie Beck ’53 to become the all-time leading scorer.

Read morePenn men cruise over Columbia to take No. 4 seed in Ivy Madness as AJ Brodeur makes history

Penn men defeat Cornell, 78-64, control Ivy Madness destiny

After four months and 26 games, Penn’s chance at making its fourth straight Ivy Madness appearance now comes down to one final contest.

Following a closely matched 24 minutes, the Quakers used a 12-4 run, punctuated by back-to-back threes from Ryan Betley and Jordan Dingle, to create separation from Cornell and cruise to a 78-64 victory on Friday night.

Read morePenn men defeat Cornell, 78-64, control Ivy Madness destiny