- Following a 11-plus week paid suspension, Auburn University reinstated former Penn assistant coach Ira Bowman to his similar position on Saturday afternoon. The 1996 Ivy League Player of the Year was suspended by Auburn just before the SEC Tournament, after former Penn coach Jerome Allen testified that Bowman was involved in a scheme resulting in bribes by Florida businessman Philip Esformes to get his son, Morris Esformes, on the basketball roster for the fall of 2015.
Sam Blum of AL.com wrote that an Auburn athletics spokesman confirmed the news but did not have the results of the school’s investigation or information regarding the reasoning for Bowman’s reinstatement. AL.com has filed an open records request to obtain this information. Bowman returned to his reported $250,000 a year job, just in time to help with one of the biggest recruiting weekends in program history.
Kevin Bonner, Penn’s senior associate athletic director, governance and administration, did not respond to an email from IHO regarding the reinstatement, the Auburn investigation or any Penn investigation of Bowman.
The Penn men opened up the ’18-’19 season on the road against George Mason on Tuesday night. In a gutsy second half performance, the Quakers came from behind to beat the Patriots, 72-71, for big win against a team that entered the contest ranked #116 by KenPom and #120 by Bart Torvik. Unfortunately, Ryan Betley, the Red & Blue’s leading scorer and a second team All-Ivy player in ’17-’18, was injured early in the game and appears to be lost for the season.
Around the five minute mark, Betley took an inbounds from Devon Goodman. As he was driving the baseline, his right leg went out from under him and he collapsed to the ground. After the Penn trainers spent several minutes with Betley, he was helped into the locker room without being able to put any pressure on his right leg. He later returned to the bench with a brace on his right leg.
This is part 1 of IHO’s 2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview. Read part 2 here.
The rise of the Ivy League is projected to continue.
The Ancient Eight is slated by KenPom as the 13th-best conference in Division I this season, just seven years after it placed 26th. That’s a quantum leap, a product of the league’s bolstered recruiting in that time frame. The Ivy hoops status quo now consists of top-25 recruiting classes, Nike Skills Academy members and expectations of NCAA Tournament success.
There’s a three-way cluster between Harvard, Princeton and Yale projected to top the league. In the Ivy Preseason Media Poll, Yale received the most first-place votes (eight) but Harvard garnered the most points overall. Without a clear conference favorite, it’s quite likely that the regular season champion will not also be the conference tournament winner, with Bart Torvik’s Ivy Tourney Simulator tabbing Penn as the favorite in an Ivy tourney as a No. 4 seed.
Yale point guard Makai Mason will play for the Elis in the 2017-18 season and become a graduate transfer following that season, according to Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports.
Mason was a standout during Yale’s NCAA Tournament run last season but was injured in a scrimmage in November, reportedly needing to undergo surgery to repair his foot.
Mason’s apparent decision to play for the Bulldogs in 2017-18 indicates the junior has remained enrolled at Yale rather than withdrawing from school.
Last season, Mason averaged 16.0 points, 3.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game and added 31 points in Yale’s NCAA Tournament first-round win over Baylor.