When the Ivy League canceled its conference basketball tournaments in March as a precaution against COVID-19, it set off a firestorm of controversy in league circles that soon abated when the threat of the novel coronavirus sunk in. The rest of the sports world soon followed the Ivy League’s lead.
The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:
We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:
- As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
- When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
- Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
- We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
- Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.
This is just the beginning.
Nearly a month after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis officer while three other officers stood by, the Ivy hoops community has continued to speak out against racial injustice and in support of people of color.
Another introspective from Nat Graham
Penn men’s associate head coach and 1997 graduate Nat Graham, who is White, on Sunday published a post on Medium thoughtfully reflecting on the structural advantages his race gave him in life and the “not so equal” separation between his Miami neighborhood and that of his Black high school teammate who Graham found out later eventually got his teeth knocked out while in prison.
Our latest Ivy hoops roundup features the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivies and a whole lot of Ivy graduate transfers on the move:
Academic All-Ivies announced
The Ivy League released its winter edition of the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivy list Thursday. The basketball honorees were:
In the season finale episode of Inside Ivy Hoops recorded Thursday night, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by IHO writer Rob Browne, and the two reflect on the Ivy League’s decision to cancel the men’s and women’s basketball conference tournaments and the remarkable fallout since, plus reaction to the league’s All-Ivy selections:
My apologies for inexplicably leaving out the great Ray Curren from the IHO contributor acknowledgments. Ray did a characteristically fantastic job covering the Dartmouth men this season for IHO.
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.
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.
The Ivy League announced Tuesday that it has canceled the men’s and women’s conference basketball tournaments slated to be held at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion Friday through Sunday in response to coronavirus concerns, declaring the Princeton women and Yale men, the Ivy League regular season champions, the automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments.
“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”