Tommy Amaker, Harvard men’s coach, on what he and his team have learned from their first two experiences in the Ivy League Tournament: “We’ve learned how hard it is (to win). We learned how hard it is to play in tournament atmospheres, tournament environments. We’ve played well, but haven’t been able to win the championship. You need to be a little bit lucky as well as playing well. We’re hopeful for both this weekend.”
Steve Donahue, Penn men’s coach, on the allegations that his former assistant coach Ira Bowman was involved in the 2013-2015 bribery scandal between former Penn head coach Jerome Allen and Florida businessman Philip Esformes: “Unfortunately, I’m probably going to have to direct those questions to our administration. I have no comment at this time.”
Courtney Banghart, Princeton women’s coach, on her feelings as an Ivy League lifer (player, assistant coach, head coach) on the recent elite college admission-athletic recruiting controversies that has included two Ancient Eight schools: “I know the Ivy League has been targeted in a way that makes us all uncomfortable, but me and every one of these student-athletes that have high-level offers and choose to come and play in this environment, are doing it because the core values align so holistically with who they are. I will stand, for the rest of my life, on the quality of the experience that the Ivy League offers. It (the Ivy League) is not indicative of a bad decision made by a few.”
Dayna Smith, Cornell women’s coach, on the idea of her team playing with “nothing to lose”: “I’m proud and I’m happy for them (the players). I’m proud and happy for our staff. There’s been a lot of teaching and a lot of learning. We’re still not a complete product and have a ways to go to be in the same (league) as Penn and Princeton and Harvard. But, as far as having “nothing to lose,” we don’t really believe that. It’s zero – zero and we’re all two games from the NCAA Tournament.”
Mike McLaughlin, Penn women’s coach, on whether the Ivy is a two-bid league: “I just want people to look at the Ivy League the way the Ivy League sits. Let’s take a look at where each team is, see where the conference is ranked and take a look at it that way. I think if everyone would do the work the right way and see the level of play in this league, I certainly believe we can compete with anyone on any given day. So, yes, I believe this is two-bid league.”
Kathy Delaney-Smith, Harvard women’s coach, on the recent passing of former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, a key congressional supporter of Title IX: “I graduated from college the first year that Title IX was in effect. I walked into a high school where it was horrific, what girls had. My team wore woolen field hockey skirts passed down. I filed four lawsuits in the early 1970s because of Title IX. So for me, I thank Birch and all the people who worked so hard on Title IX because it changed the world. I think there’s more to go. I’m a big fan of equity, so (to me) Title IX is a religion.