Ivy Hoops Online preseason polls tab Princeton, Yale as women’s and men’s favorites

The Ivy League men’s and women’s preseason media polls amounted to a shrug with Yale emerging on top and a vote of confidence for Princeton, respectively.

So did polls of Ivy Hoops Online’s contributors.

Our contributors unanimously pegged Princeton to finish atop the Ancient Eight on the women’s side, but we were less sure on who would win the Ivy League championship on the men’s side. Penn edged out Columbia by a single point to take second place in our projected women’s standings, while Yale slipped past Harvard by one point to take fourth place, a finish that would knock Harvard out .

Yale received five first-place votes, while Harvard nabbed two and Penn one. While none of our contributors picked Princeton to win the league, three projected the Tigers will place second in the conference standings. We predicted the same order of finish as the men’s and women’s polls. So there’s consensus even amid all the unknowns that the 2020-21 season that wasn’t left the Ivy hoops landscape.

For a preview of what that landscape looks like heading into the first Ivy hoops action in 20 months coming up this week, check out our roundups of the men’s and women’s media days.

Ivy Hoops Online Preseason Polls:

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Will Venable: From Princeton-Penn to Red Sox-Yankees

Will Venable surveys the Cameron Indoor Stadium floor during Princeton’s battle versus Duke on Jan. 5, 2005. | Photo by Beverly Schaefer

Editor’s note: Ivy Hoops Online contributor Erica Denhoff caught up with former Princeton hoops great Will Venable, who just finished his first season as Boston Red Sox bench coach and reflected on a remarkable two-sport career and Ivy League basketball’s place in it.  

Will Venable, Princeton ‘05, shines brightest on the biggest stages.

Against JJ Redick-led No. 5 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 5, 2005, Venable, a senior guard, played 39 minutes and put on an offensive skills clinic. He scored 21 points, dished out three assists and collected four rebounds in a 59-46 loss for the Tigers. Venable’s athletic defensive play came to the fore as he stole the ball three times from the Blue Devils.

“Venable was terrific tonight,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ” … He is a heck of a competitor, in the Ivy League or any league.”

“As we go into our league play, I know that Will Venable is going to give me that 100 percent effort for 40 minutes every single night,” then-Princeton coach Joe Scott said.

Almost one month to the day later, Venable demonstrated both coaches described him accurately.

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Ivy League 2021-22 season preview: Buy, hold and sell edition

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ were looking up at the end of last week, but more importantly, it’s a good time to be bullish about Ivy League basketball. There’s going to be an actual Ivy hoops season this year, and we’re here to herald its return together. Here’s how Ivy Hoops Online contributors feel about some of the storylines within that greater, happy story as the 2021-22 campaign approaches.

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Decision time for the Ivy League: What the NCAA v. Alston Supreme Court decision means for the Ivy League’s policy of not providing athletic scholarships

Editor’s note: The authors of this article submitted this article to the Ivy League’s eight presidents Monday to share their views and recommendations, eight days after it was published here:

In June 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in NCAA v. Alston that the antitrust laws prohibit the NCAA from limiting in any way its Division I schools from offering “education-related compensation or benefits” to student-athletes (men and women) who play basketball and football.

This means, for example, that the NCAA is barred from preventing any college from giving full tuition, room and board or other education-related benefits — such as tuition for graduate or professional school, textbooks, or internships while in school — to these college athletes. The Supreme Court agreed with the federal district trial court that the NCAA could set standards or definitions of what types of expenditures are “education-related,” including those items just noted. In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court recognized that the antitrust laws exist to ensure and protect competition and to prevent practices that interfere with a student athlete’s right to have schools compete for their services.

As the Supreme Court described the effect of the district court’s finding, “competition among schools would increase in terms of the compensation they would offer to recruits, and student-athlete compensation would be higher as a result … Student-athletes would receive offers that would more closely match the value of their athletic services.”

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What will NCAA NIL policy impact be on Ivy League and its athletes?

The NCAA on July 1 enacted an interim policy allowing college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness (NIL) for the first time with the following guidance:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities may be a resource for state law questions.
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

The Ivy League has noted that it has adjusted rules to allow athletes to engage in NIL activity.

But what will the impact of the NCAA’s new NIL policy be on Ivy hoops athletes and the Ivy League itself? Ivy Hoops Online writers weigh in:

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Reports: Ivy League to allow one-time waiver for grad students to compete in 2021-22 due to COVID-19

The Ivy League is doing something unusual – at least for the Ivy League.

Reports emerged Thursday that the league will allow seniors to compete as graduate students due to COVID-19 for the 2021-22 academic year, a reversal of longstanding and unique Ivy policy of not allowing athletic redshirts or graduate students to play varsity sports.

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Ivy League cancels winter sports, eliminating 2020-21 basketball season to guard against COVID-19 transmission

Confirming a move as surreal as it was inevitable, the Ivy League announced Thursday evening that its Council of Presidents decided that league schools will not conduct intercollegiate athletics competition in winter sports during the 2020-21 season.

No Ivy hoops.

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Thoughts on the Ivy League canceling the 2020-21 basketball season

A crowd of 1,636 gathered at Lavietes Pavilion on March 6 to watch Harvard host Brown. Four days later, the Ivy League canceled its conference tournaments to guard against COVID-19 transmission, a move many in college basketball considered unthinkable at the time. | Erica Denhoff

The Ivy League announced Thursday evening that winter sports for the 2020-21 season were cancelled in an effort to mitigate transmission of COVID-19. Was eliminating Ivy hoops the right move? Our contributors offer their thoughts:

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Ivy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:

We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:

  • As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
  • When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
  • Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
  • We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
  • Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.

This is just the beginning.

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