The Jerome Allen story: A closer read

Jerome Allen was inducted into Class X of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. He’s no longer in the Hall of Fame now, and understandably so, But the good he did for Penn shouldn’t be shunted aside either. (Penn Sports Network video)

It was one year ago today that allegations that Jerome Allen took bribes were first reported by Bloomberg and the Miami Herald.

But the passage of time didn’t make Sports Illustrated’s deep dive last week into how Jerome Allen became guilty of bribery, wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion any easier to digest.

Most Penn basketball supporters will find it an uncomfortable read, but its revelations are simply too many to ignore.

They reconfirm what we already knew – one of Penn basketball’s most admired figures used his head coaching position for personal gain at the expense of the program.

But taken as a whole, the article’s revelations paint a far more holistic portrait than that.

Allen is and will always be more than an implicated figure on a witness stand, and his story as told by SI merits closer examination – as do the institutions and forces that shaped it. As someone who covered Allen and Penn basketball extensively for the Daily Pennsylvanian from 2012 to 2014, I thought I’d do a closer read of SI’s story, portions of which are italicized below.

Read moreThe Jerome Allen story: A closer read

Columbia all-time moment No. 2: Jim McMillian’s third straight All-American selection

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Columbia is next because you don’t mess around with Jim.

The man behind the best prolonged stretch of basketball in Columbia history receives his own honor in our countdown.

There are individual moments in Jim McMillian’s career one could point to, such as his 37-point effort against Princeton in 1968’s playoff, but nothing single-handedly sums up his career better than his postseason accolades. Since freshmen could not play varsity NCAA basketball, McMillian’s three-year run from 1967-68 through 1969-70 is unequaled in Columbia history and is unlikely to be repeated by anyone going forward. McMillian led Columbia to an incredible 63-14 record in his tenure, including the 1968 Ivy title and 20-4 and 20-5 records the next two years, finishing second in the league. Had the landscape of NCAA basketball looked in the late 1960s as it does today, McMillian likely would have had more than just one postseason opportunity as the Lions were ranked in the top 20 at points in each of his last two season with nothing to show for it. Nonetheless, his career on the court is unparalleled in Lions history.

Read moreColumbia all-time moment No. 2: Jim McMillian’s third straight All-American selection

Columbia all-time moment No. 5: Buck Jenkins sets single-game scoring record

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Columbia is next because why pass the buck when you can pass to the Buck? 

We have back-to-back Buck Jenkins moments on the countdown! The most prolific point scorer in Columbia history has not just the all-time scoring record as we mentioned last week but set the Lions’ single game scoring record with 47 points as a sophomore on Feb. 15, 1991, a record which stands to this day. As the Lions defeated Harvard, 92-77, Jenkins accounted for more than half the team’s points and just barely broke Chet Forte’s record of 45 points in a game in the process. On the evening Jenkins went 15-for-23 from inside the arc, 17-for-21 at the line, and incredibly did not attempt a three-point shot, despite the line being a foot closer than it is today at the college level. Jenkins was one of two players to score more than 40 points in 1991 without attempting a three-pointer. The other? LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal.

Read moreColumbia all-time moment No. 5: Buck Jenkins sets single-game scoring record

Columbia all-time moment No. 6: Buck Jenkins named ’93 POY, sets school scoring record

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Columbia is next because the Buck stops here…

If he is not the best player to ever suit up for the Columbia Lions men’s basketball team, Leonard “Buck” Jenkins is certainly in the discussion. Jenkins culminated his Lions career as the school’s all-time leading scorer, a mark which still stands more than 20 years later. Before stepping on the floor at Levien Gymnasium for the first time, Jenkins was already known as the all-time leading scorer at Woodbridge High School. He led the Lions in scoring from his sophomore through his senior season, the last of which culminated in Columbia basketball’s first ever Ivy Player of the Year Award in 1993 (the honor was first bestowed in 1975), splitting the award with Jerome Allen from Penn’s 14-0 squad. That year, Jenkins led the Lions to a 15-10 overall record and a 10-4 mark in Ivy play, including a 4-0 start. Columbia finished second behind Penn that year, the team has not won more than eight games or finished higher than third in any season since. This certainly would have been a postseason team had the NCAA landscape looked in 1993 as it does in 2015 and Jenkins was the key reason why.

Read moreColumbia all-time moment No. 6: Buck Jenkins named ’93 POY, sets school scoring record

Columbia all-time moment No. 9: Craig Austin’s POY campaign

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Columbia is next because powder blue is a beautiful color.

The 2000-01 season was not a great one for Columbia basketball as a team, but for Craig Austin, it was one to remember. The junior small forward became the only Columbia player to win sole possession of the Ivy Player of the Year award. (Buck Jenkins shared the award with Jerome Allen in 1993, the award was given out for the first time in 1975.) The Lions were perfectly mediocre in Ivy play, finishing tied for fourth place at 7-7. But Austin’s numbers stood out far and beyond his competitors in league play, especially down the stretch. Austin averaged 18.4 points per game on the season, the only Lion to average double figures, and nearly doubled the point total of the next highest scorer on the team.

Read moreColumbia all-time moment No. 9: Craig Austin’s POY campaign