Brown chooses pursuit of championships over opportunity in dropping 11 varsity programs

Bruno has fewer varsity sports teams to root for after the university decided to approve a net loss of nine varsity athletic programs in an effort to garner more wins and championships among the programs that remain. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

What is the purpose of collegiate athletics? Is it to win? Or is it to provide as much opportunity to compete as possible?

Brown endorsed the former interpretation with its announcement Thursday that it is dropping 11 varsity programs starting with the 2020-21 academic calendar.

Browns is eliminating varsity men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s golf, women’s skiing, men’s and women’s squash, women’s equestrian as well as men’s track, field and cross country while bumping club coed and women’s sailing up to the varsity level.

Read moreBrown chooses pursuit of championships over opportunity in dropping 11 varsity programs

Brown chooses Monique LeBlanc as its new women’s head coach

Monique LeBlanc takes over the helm of the Bown women’s basketball program after a nine-year tenure at Merrimack. (Brown Athletics)

On Friday afternoon, Brown Athletic Director Jack Hayes announced the hiring of Monique LeBlanc as the Bears’ new women’s basketball coach, the fifth in program history.

LeBlanc, a native of Cumberland, R.I., will arrive in Providence after a nine-year tenure at Merrimack College.  This past season, when the Warriors made the jump from Division II to Division I, LeBlanc had her best season with a 20-10 record and a 13-5 third-place finish in the Northeast Conference.

Read moreBrown chooses Monique LeBlanc as its new women’s head coach

Sarah Behn steps down as Brown women’s coach

Sarah Behn’s tenure as Brown coach is over. (Brown Athletics)

Brown announced Monday that Sarah Behn has stepped down from her role as Brown women’s basketball coach after six seasons at the helm.

Behn went 74-96 (20-64 Ivy) since taking over in 2014 for 26-year coach Jean Marie Burr, leading Brown to an appearance in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament in 2017 and a berth in the 2017 Women’s Basketball Invitational, gaining the program’s first-ever win in a national postseason tournament with a first-round victory over UMBC.

Read moreSarah Behn steps down as Brown women’s coach

Brown coach Mike Martin isn’t going anywhere

Around 7:15 Thursday morning, Brown Athletics sent out a tweet that implied men’s head coach Mike Martin was receiving a contract extension:

4 years as a student-athlete at @BrownUniversity and 7 as @BrownBasketball head coach and, thankfully, many more to come for @mmartinbrown! #evertrue

A little over an hour later, Jon Rothstein tweeted out a more definitive message:

Brown’s Mike Martin has received a long term contract extension, per release.

However, when Ivy Hoops Online requested a copy of the release from Brown Athletics that afternoon, we were informed that the department could not “confirm or deny that there was an extension.”

Read moreBrown coach Mike Martin isn’t going anywhere

ALL FOOLS’ DAY: Brown basketball budget to be used on hockey team

Athletic director Jack Hayes announced Wednesday that Brown, which has easily totaled the lowest amount of basketball expenses among all Ivies since 2004 according to Office of Postsecondary Education statistics, will transfer the remaining monies in its basketball budget to the budget for its men’s hockey team.

“Hockey rules at Brown, inasmuch as it rules at all,” Hayes said in a statement. “I just wanted to be transparent for once about where our institutional support really lies.”

The basketball team will raise funds going forward by pooling together lunch money taken from the players by coach Mike Martin.