Kyle Smith’s departure from Columbia puts Ivy League at a crossroads

The only thing surprising about the news was its timing: hours before Columbia was set to host UC Irvine in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament final, a report that coach Kyle Smith would accept the same position at the University of San Francisco as soon as Thursday emerged from TV station KPIX.

Smith’s departure, confirmed with an announcement from USF Tuesday, has been a topic of discussion for years, more so now after he coached the Lions this year to what is one of their best seasons ever — a school-record 25 wins, plus the first postseason championship banner of any kind in Levien Gym. Add in the fact that three head coaching jobs opened up in the West Coast Conference this year — where Smith spent almost a decade as an assistant at Saint Mary’s — and the concept became more “probability” than “possibility.”

Read moreKyle Smith’s departure from Columbia puts Ivy League at a crossroads

Lenses on Penn basketball’s expenses

There has been much talk in the past several years, particularly this season, about how much or little support Penn Athletics has received from the university.

It must be noted that the problem for Penn Athletics isn’t the inability to spend. According to data from the Office of Postsecondary Education, Penn’s annual expenses since 2004 – the start of Amy Gutmann’s presidency at Penn – average out to 30,644,364, the highest average in expenses in the Ivy League in that span:

Average Annual Athletics Expenses Since 2004

  1. Penn 30,644,364
  2. Yale 27,483,608
  3. Princeton 19,230,050
  4. Harvard 18,707,094
  5. Columbia 18,703,370
  6. Dartmouth 18,673,655
  7. Cornell 18,589,023
  8. Brown 15,175,837

Read moreLenses on Penn basketball’s expenses

It's all about the Benjamins for Penn Basketball

 

Ben Franklin AQ 2One of the most august positions in world economics is held by Penn’s founder, Benjamin Franklin.  This is because besides being the consummate Penn Man —philosopher, humorist, inventor, publisher, Ambassador to France, politician, author, scientist and, of course, whoremaster — Big Ben’s portrait graces the front of the $100 bill.  As the Ivy basketball season winds down with Pennsylvania”s once equally august hoops program firmly in the cellar, Penn President Amy Gutmann should reach into her $9.6 billion endowment, pull out a hundy, and take note.

Read moreIt's all about the Benjamins for Penn Basketball

IHO Power Poll: Columbia homer edition

Several weeks ago, I was inspired by The Ancient Quaker’s epic power poll. If the AQ can create a ranking of the Ivy basketball teams so detached from Planet Earth that Penn would come in at No. 1, why couldn’t I do the same?

Behold, then: a totally scientific and rational power poll, with just three weekends left in the season.

I will follow the guideline established by the AQ from his power rankings: “I’ve decided to rank the teams as I see them which of course has nothing to do with reality.”

Read moreIHO Power Poll: Columbia homer edition