Sexual assault charges against former Cornell basketball player Xavier Eaglin dismissed

On Sat., Mar. 5, 2016, the Cornell men’s basketball team completed its season with a 75-71 victory over the Brown Bears in what turned out to be coach Bill Courtney’s last game as head coach of the Big Red. Little did anyone at Newman Arena realize that it would be the last game for then-first year Xavier Eaglin.  

One day later, Eaglin, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound 19-year-old, was arrested by the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) on charges of rape, sexual assault and strangulation, according to the Cornell Daily Sun, which reported Tuesday that the charges were dismissed.

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Breaking down Cornell’s men’s and women’s 2017-18 schedules

Cornell has released the 2017-18 schedules for its men’s and women’s basketball teams.  Coach Brian Earl will look to improve upon last season’s 8-21 (4-10 Ivy, T-6th) record for the men, while coach Danya Smith looks to avoid an expected rebuilding year from last year’s 16-11 (7-7 Ivy, T-4th) squad that just missed earning a spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.

Coach Earl’s first season as a head coach was a challenging one.  Not only did he bring in a completely different style of basketball without any of his own recruits, but he had to confront defections and or injuries to three key members of his front court.  Heading into this season, the coach will be bringing a six-member recruiting class to campus.  With a second year in Earl’s more disciplined half-court systems and greater depth, the Big Red will try to move up the standings and earn a spot in the postseason Ivy Tournament.

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Cornell 4.0 may just be the one

For Cornell’s first-year head coach Brian Earl, the 2016-17 campaign was going to have challenges typical to many new Ivy League coaches. In addition to bringing some new staff and a different playing style, the coach was not able to recruit any of his own players. With only one first-year coming to East Hill in the fall, the team was similar to the one that went 10-18 overall and 3-11 in the conference last year.

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Big Red’s big win in the Big Apple

While hundreds of thousands of people came to New York to protest Penn’s first-ever President of the United States on Saturday, the Cornell basketball team came to the Big Apple to challenge its own Ancient Eight foe.  Depending on one’s political views, the results for the marchers was inconclusive.  No matter which Ivy Leaguer one supported in the recent election, however, there was no disputing the Big Red’s victory in avenging their loss to Columbia one week earlier.

With the Columbia students back from winter break, Levien Gymnasium was packed and the crowd was ready for the Lions to move to 2-0 at the start of conference play.  With Robert Hatter, Cornell’s second leading scorer and primary ball handler, on the sidelines with a knee injury, things looked good for Columbia. Even with the loss of another starter, the Big Red looked calm and relaxed as the team completed its warmups. The Lions, however, appeared more serious as game time approached.

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Brown and Columbia make a move toward the other “final four”

With the first-ever Ivy League Postseason Tournament, the regular season has focused on which teams would make it into the top four.  In the preseason and the first two months of the campaign, Princeton, Yale and Harvard appeared certain to get to the Palestra for the second week of March.  The first two weekends of conference play has confirmed those ideas.  For most of the nonconference season, Penn seemed to take control of that fourth spot.  While losing to Princeton at Jadwin Gym on the opening night of the league schedule, the Quakers showed enough on the offensive and defensive sides to justify those predictions.  However, the Quakers’ two home losses this weekend showed that their path to the Palestra is uncertain and opened the fourth spot for all five lower division squads.  After Saturday’s action in Philadelphia and Ithaca, Brown and Columbia took strong steps towards claiming the last spot in the top tier.

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