Ivy Hoops transfers – continued …

Harvard’s Bush heads west, Haskett goes south

Two of the first three Harvard seniors to enter the transfer portal have made their graduate school decisions in November.

Jadyn Bush will be heading out west to join the University of California, Berkeley, and Rio Haskett will suit up for Hampton University.  There is still no reported decision from Danilo Djuricic.

Read moreIvy Hoops transfers – continued …

Final results of the Penn men’s basketball bribery scandal

After Penn parent Philip Esformes had his 20-year prison sentence for Medicare fraud commuted by fellow Quaker parent President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Ivy Hoops Online looks back at the people and departments, directly and indirectly, involved in the bribery scandal in which Esformes got former Penn men’s basketball head coach Jerome Allen to place his son, Morris Esformes, on the recruited athletes list for the fall of 2015.

Read moreFinal results of the Penn men’s basketball bribery scandal

President Trump commutes sentence of Philip Esformes, mastermind behind Penn men’s basketball bribery case

The tail end of Tuesday afternoon’s statement on Executive Grants of Clemency from outgoing President Donald Trump brought news that caught the interest of Ivy hoops fans.  Philip Esformes, the father who bribed former Penn men’s basketball coach Jerome Allen to get his son, Morris, onto the recruited athlete list for the fall of 2015, had his 20-year prison sentence for Medicare insurance fraud commuted.

According to the statement, the commutation was supported by two former attorneys general, Edwin Meese (1985-1988) and Michael Mukasey (2007-2009). Meese was also joined by former attorneys general John Ashcroft (2001-2005) and Alberto Gonzalez (2005-2007), as well as Whitewater Special Counsel and former Baylor President Ken Starr, in supporting Esformes’s appeal of his conviction due to “prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege.”

Read morePresident Trump commutes sentence of Philip Esformes, mastermind behind Penn men’s basketball bribery case

Report: Harvard men’s basketball poised not to play in ’20-’21, at least one other team considering the same

A quiet Saturday on the college basketball front was upended just after three o’clock with Adam Zagoria’s tweet:

 

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Read moreReport: Harvard men’s basketball poised not to play in ’20-’21, at least one other team considering the same

NCAA allows return of basketball in November, Ivy League will wait to decide

With most regular seasons and championships for fall sports postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college athletes and fans have been anxiously awaiting word on the winter sports schedule. They received good news on September 16, when the NCAA Division I Council, chaired by Penn athletic director Grace Calhoun, announced that the men’s and women’s basketball seasons could begin on November 25.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said to ESPN. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”

While basketball enthusiasts around the nation rejoiced with the news that meaningful games would soon be returning to the hardwood, fans of the Ancient Eight were left wondering if the league would move from its July 8 decision that teams could not participate in intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester.

The short answer is no.

“There are no changes at this time,” responded Ivy League associate executive director, strategic communications & external relations Matt Panto to a request from Ivy Hoops Online. “The decision we have made is it (hold on competition) goes through the (end of the) fall term.”

Read moreNCAA allows return of basketball in November, Ivy League will wait to decide

Could an Ivy hoops bubble be considered for ’20-’21?

With a growing number of colleges cancelling in-person plans as well as fall sports in response to COVID-19, questions will soon shift to the status of winter sports. Since experts believe there will be a significant increase in cases and deaths as flu season arrives and activities moving indoors amid colder weather, it is difficult to image a return to a normal world, much less a normal sports world, by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

If there is no large-scale vaccine available or significant improvement in testing as previewed by Yale’s SalivaDirect COVID-19 test, winter teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, will not be permitted to play their traditional 4 1/2 month schedules (or 2 1/2 months in the Ivy League’s case).

Could something shorter and less traditional be done to allow college hoops to be played this winter?

Read moreCould an Ivy hoops bubble be considered for ’20-’21?

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”.

Read moreTheresa Grace Mbanefo fights for racial equality at Cornell

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