ALL FOOLS’ DAY: Cornell extends Bill Courtney’s contract

Cornell is doubling down on coach Bill Courtney.

The Big Red have extended Courtney’s contract through 2020.

Cornell athletic director Andy Noel announced the extension Wednesday, which many consider questionable following a fifth straight season under Courtney without a postseason appearance. In five seasons under Courtney, Cornell is 50-95 (.345) overall and 24-46 (.343) in Ivy play.

Noel offered reasons for the extension later Wednesday at a press conference in the concourse outside of Newman Arena, as the gym floor was being cleaned at the time.

“It always takes seven or eight years to win at Cornell, if it happens at all,” Noel said. “Just look at Steve (Donahue).  Ithaca and winning don’t go together. That’s just the way it is. Rest assured, we’ll be Ivy title contenders in 2018. Just not before.”

Courtney thanked Noel at the presser, making a gesture in which he faked wiping sweat off his brow.

“I said when I took this position in 2010 that no one thought we’d be good the next year,” Courtney said. “I can still the same today. That doesn’t mean I’ll be saying the same thing in 2020, though. Not necessarily.”

Tuesday evening, Newman Arena hosted a Big Red Transfers Game in which four players who transferred from Cornell for different reasons in recent years – Shonn Miller, Dwight Tarwater, Errick Peck and Nolan Cressler – took on the entire current Cornell basketball roster in a 4-on-16 pickup game. The four transfers won the 40-minute pickup game, 118-42.

After the game, the players from both teams found that their belongings, which included laptops, wallets and other valuable items, had been stolen. A similar theft occurred in January when several members of the Columbia men’s basketball team had their belongings stolen from their locker room in Newman Arena.

Cornell University Police discovered Wednesday morning that the belongings of the Big Red Transfers Game had been stolen by Cornell basketball fans who planned to sell the belongings for money. Police said the culprits aimed to use the money to build a fundraising campaign for a new arena to replace Newman Arena, which was aptly named in 1990 after the character Newman from Seinfeld. The fans told police they wanted the new gym to be called Louis Dale Memorial Arena because they want to commemorate the only era in Cornell basketball history worth remembering.

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