Now’s the time of year that an Ivy League hoops slate would be revving up, and since there’s no Ivy hoops action to come this spring, here’s an IHO contributors’ roundtable pondering what might have happened in the 2020-21 Ivy season on the men’s and or women’s sides if there had been one instead of an exodus of much of the league’s top talent via the transfer portal. Behold the one-year Ivy hoops universes we created:
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.
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.
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.”
The Ivy League’s longstanding policy of only extending eligibility to student-athletes in their first four years of undergraduate enrollment, as expected, is prompting an increasingly long list of talented seniors becoming graduate transfers.
Temple announced Friday that Brendan Barry has signed a financial aid agreement to attend the university after three seasons at Dartmouth.
The Big Green had to go without Barry’s standout three-point shooting and ball distribution last season , which he missed due to injury. Barry had decided earlier this year to return to the Big Green rather than play elsewhere as a graduate transfer.
A native of Fair Haven, N.J., Barry averaged 9.8 points and three assists per game in his three seasons at Dartmouth.
The Ivy League announced Thursday evening that winter sports for the 2020-21 season were cancelled in an effort to mitigate transmission of COVID-19. Was eliminating Ivy hoops the right move? Our contributors offer their thoughts:
A quiet Saturday on the college basketball front was upended just after three o’clock with Adam Zagoria’s tweet:
Sources: Two Ivy League schools are highly unlikely to play men’s hoops this year and it’s possible the whole league won’t play at all.
“I have a feeling it would be the whole league isn’t going to play,” one Ivy League asst coach.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 17, 2020
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.”
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?