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Why isn't Cornell dominant the other Ivies?

myluckydogmyluckydog Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
edited June 2013 in Athletic Recruits
If athletic recruits are admitted to the Ivies based on their Academic Index.

And if the Ivies can (generally) only recruit athletes that with an AI within 1 standard deviation of the average AI of all students at that school.

And if average AI of the students at Cornell is lower than at the rest of the Ivies.

And if (generally) most of the real impact athletes have lower AIs.

Then it seems that Cornell should have the largest potential athletic recruiting pool and would be able to recruit more impact athletes than any of the other Ivies …

,,, and should dominate the other Ivies in sports.

But that's not the case. Why?
Post edited by myluckydog on

Replies to: Why isn't Cornell dominant the other Ivies?

  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    Couple of thoughts on that - first, Cornell is dominant in some sports. Track and field, for example, both men and women have finished either first or second (usually first) at outdoor heps every year for the past 10 years. Cornell wrestling is also dominant.

    Secondly, while the overall athletic cohort AI can be a bit lower at Cornell than it can at say, Princeton - that means there is a slightly larger pool of potentially recruitable talent. BUT, one factor is financial aid. Cornell's enrollment is larger and has a smaller endowment than many other Ivies, so, for the athletes that are choosing between several Ivies, finances may steer them toward one of the schools with a bigger endowment.

    Also, a lot of it depends on which sports the AD has placed more emphasis. Harvard basketball, for example - they brought in Tommy Amaker as coach - were more aggressive with their recruiting, and my hunch is they were able to pick up a few terrific players at the lower end of the AI and still keep the athletic cohort AI within the 1 stn. dev limit.
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    myluckydog posted.....And if average AI of the students at Cornell is lower than at the rest of the Ivies.
    Please feel free to post the source for the overall Ivy AIs to support your statement. My understanding is that data is not shared by the individual schools or the athletic conference. So, I am looking forward to see what you got.

    With your logic, the worst academic schools in the country should be winning the NCAAs every year. I'm not seeing that either.

    I would agree (from first hand experience) that there are two tiers within Ivy AIs. HYP have a higher AI than BCCDP. Son was recruited by schools in both tiers, and the school in the top tier wanted another 100 points on his SAT which he got another 150 points. He selected the other tier Ivy due to his major. However, they did not require him to score another 100 points on SAT. Do you have a similiar experience to share?

    BTW...Cornell men's soccer and baseball won an Ivy championship last year. Women's softball has been at the top of the Ivy for a bunch of years. Cornell athletics seems to be doing just fine.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    I should clarify what I said about FA packages at Cornell v some of the Ivies w/ more money. This article explains the FA problem Cornell has faced in attracting athletes
    Financial Aid Packages Threaten Cornell Athletics | The Cornell Daily Sun
    But - the article was written 5 years ago. Since that time, Cornell has made an effort to match FA aid packages offered by the other Ivies.
    Producing a FA offer from a competing Ivy is a topic for another day.
  • myluckydogmyluckydog Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member

    Here's how I figure (please check my math):

    I ballparked the AIs using the 25/75% SAT scores for Cornell and Harvard as follows.

    I took the 25/75 SAT scores for Cornell (630/670 (CR) and 670/770 (M)) and got a mean CR+M SAT score of 1370. I divided that by 10, then added a Converted Rank Score (assuming the average GPA of the class is 3.8-3.89, which may be high)) of 78. This gave me a ballparked AI for the Cornell student body of 215.

    I did the same for Harvard (690/79, 700/800, CRS of 79 (assumed average gpa of 3.9-3.99)) and got a ballparked AI for the Harvard student body of 228.

    If you use 12 for the standard deviation, the acceptable AI for athletes at Cornell and Harvard are 203 and 216, respectively.

    This difference seems pretty significant, so I'm wondering why it hasn't had more of an impact on performance.
  • hawk357hawk357 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    S was recruited athlete at Cornell. Non helmet sport. AI 219. In terms of athletic performance not much difference between 203-216. Also How do you quantify on field performance as relates to AI
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member

    Ballpark numbers are ballpark numbers. These AI numbers are fine for a message board discussion in discussing generalities but they are no means exact. You originally stated that Cornell is lower than the rest of the Ivies, but then you only compared it to Harvard. I don't think anyone is surprised that the Cornell AI is lower than the Harvard AI. I'd like to see what the other Ivy schools ballpark numbers look like, but I'm in a Las Vegas hotel and I have other things to do. I think when all the numbers are "ballparked" you'll see exactly what I described above...two tiers within the Ivy.

    One thing that did just occur to me.....Cornell has both a public and private charter. It is the only Ivy like that. I'm not sure which schools are considered public or private within Cornell. I assume that public vs private charter doesn't help their numbers as they would have to fulfill some Admissions requirements with students from New York State only (public) versus a more selective national pool with the private charter. Of course the one thing we will never know is where the athletes fall into these ballpark AI numbers.

    I've been looking at

    Ivy League Championships - By School : The Ivy League

    and I noticed that the trend stays the same in terms of athletic dominance for Ivy history and the last 15 years. I looked at every year (back to 1956) as well as the last 15 years. Princeton comes out on top every time. THey are the big dog in Ivy sports 55+ years ago as well as now. Harvard is second and Cornell is third.

    I could ask corollary questions on this data such as :

    1) Why does Princeton dominate over Harvard and Yale? What does Princeton do that Harvard & Yale doesn't when they recruit higher AIs from the same athletic pool?

    2) Brown & Yale struggle athletically in comparision to the other schools. Why? My thought is budget and priority. I don't think Brown and Yale value athletics as much as the others.

    3) Why does Cornell do better overall than Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth & Penn when they are recruiting from the same (presumed) AI level?

    Anyway, I think it is good discussion material. There are so many factors with Ivy admissions numbers, athletic history, and financial committment to athletics that needs to be weighed out to consider why these schools do what they do . I wish I could make sense of it all. Got to go, I'm off to a Vegas show!

    PS...full disclosure. My son is a junior engineering baseball player at Cornell. His AI was above your number by quite a bit, and it included class rank at that time.
  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    MLD- I can’t speak for other sports but I can offer a few observations about swimming recruitment and the Ivy League. Since swimming is a timed sport it is possible to quantify performance for a recruiting class (collegeswimming.com does a nice job with this). The Ivy League generally does not get the top 20 ranked male or female swimmers where the difference in AI would be expected to make the most impact. After that Princeton and Harvard get the top recruits followed by Yale, Columbia and then the other ivies (this can vary somewhat year to year). I believe there are several factors which cause this including differences in training facilities, the individual coaches, how prestigious the school is, and the results at the ivy league championship (faster swimmers don’t like to swim for slower teams). Harvard and Princeton both have 50 meter pools while Yale has a 25 yard pool and Columbia’s pool is 4 stories underground. The coaches can also play games with the AI. Ivy League teams can only bring 17 swimmers to the Ivy League championships. Most teams recruit 10 swimmers per year and the AI floor is 176. If a coach can bring in several high AI recruits then he can bring in 4 highly ranked-low AI recruits.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    HP are not only outperforming other Ivy swimming programs but also hanging there with the big boys these days. http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/swimming-men/d1
    I think this is the first time I have seen two Ivy schools ranked top 25 nationally. Success will breed success.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    ^I think swimming is right in the sweet spot for H&P to successfully compete on the national stage. Trying not to generalize, but swimmers (the ones I've met, anyway)tend to be pretty strong academically. Combine that with the fact that D1 swimming is an NCAA equivalency sport and scholarships tend to be smaller - it's understandable that some of the top swimming recruits would gravitate toward the Ivies.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    From what I have seen, this seems to be most evident in the last 2-3 years. What has changed? Just the amount of financial packages from H&P comparing to the others' scholarship offers? I feel it's more than that... But what is it
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    What has changed? Just the amount of financial packages from H&P comparing to the others' scholarship offers? I feel it's more than that... But what is it?

    The money has a lot to do with it, I think.
    As Ivies Boost Financial Aid, Teams Up Their Game | WBUR & NPR

    And as you mentioned, success breeds success. Once a few big recruits come on board and the programs become real contenders, other top recruits start to see it as a viable option. That, and after 4 years when they hang up their goggles, they have a degree from a great school.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing!
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    Fenway--you are correct about Yale...

    Yale's admin does not appreciate the scholar-athletes....it has been an issue for a long time...even to the point of making recruiting enough students----the numbers have been cut,
    -which seems crazy since they are chasing students from around the world, or chasing the STEM majors, or chasing artists and musicians...

    Our student is in a non helmet sport and the AI for the team is tops. All of them could have gone to HYP and chose Y...
  • schoolhouseschoolhouse Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    why is there this big assumption that Ivies don't consider "elite" athletes that just happen to be smart--who ends of where is a function of what schools they decide I think you establish a baseline and after that it's all about whatever the school/coach
    financial aid/prestige etc...the school has to offer.

    isn't the AI usually a blended number, that is managed by the coach?
  • cbw123cbw123 Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    So, without outing the player, and I will leave out the year......

    Cornell took a tennis player who could not speak, read, or write English.
    There was no academic index to talk of.

    And, ALL, let me repeat that, ALL the coaches in the IVY's
    were in an uproar over it.

    Funny thing is the kid did not turn out to be the superstar that Cornell thought he would be.

    So, is Cornell sleazy about their numbers? Consensus is yes.
This discussion has been closed.