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Is it time for the Ivy league to offer football scholarships?

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Replies to: Is it time for the Ivy league to offer football scholarships?

  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2463 replies41 threadsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Forum Champion
    A couple things to keep in mind here, specific to football.

    First, the top of the Ivy, Harvard, Penn, Princeton recently and Dartmouth most years is absolutely competitive within the FCS. So are the top schools in the Patriot, namely Lehigh, Fordham and at times Colgate. Could any of those teams compete regularly with NDSU, YSU or the other top handful of teams? No. But they are at least middle of the pack or better in FCS generally. They are light years away from being competitive with the Power 5. Two very different things.

    Second, let's not oversell Stanford. Yes, they have had some good years recently. But they have sucked at times as well. Same can be said for Notre Dame. Those two schools pretty much suck up all of the available talent in the very thin sliver of kids with pro aspirations and talent who also have the academic chops to survive at such schools. There are not many such kids. Just ask Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern. But don't kid yourself. Neither Stanford nor ND are applying anywhere near the academic standards to their recruits the Ivys do. And the kids going to ND and Stanford, in the vast majority of cases, want to prioritize football. Find out that pre med or engineering is too tough while putting forty hours plus a week into football? Sucks to be you. Find an easier major or go somewhere else. The Ivy wants to preserve at least the fiction that football is secondary.

    Third, could the Ivy field FBS teams? Yes. Some would have to improve their game day facilities to meet stadium requirements (as would all of the Patriot) but Harvard, Princeton, Penn and Yale could go FBS tomorrow if they could find a conference who wants them. So yeah, the Ivy could relatively easily become a conference like the MAC. But why would they want to? There is not a ton of difference between the bottom of FBS and good FCS teams. Plus, going FBS would require summer school, red shirts and way more games and travel than the Ivy is comfortable with. Again, they could do it, but why? To play Buffalo, UCF, Toledo, etc and get waxed by Alabama or Ohio State once a year?

    Fourth, as someone intimated up the thread, the real distinction in D1 is the Power 5 on one hand and everyone else on the other. Competing in the Power 5 is a whole different thing. Say goodbye to kids picking their majors and schedules, plan on games during finals, accept a lot more proctoring and independent study. And even if they are willing to do that, there is no way the region can support another one or two, let alone five or six, big programs. There is just not that much football talent in the northeast. Just ask Rutgers, BC and Syracuse. It's Penn State's world, everybody else is just living in it.
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  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2463 replies41 threadsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Forum Champion
    @moscott, the reason to stay non scholarship is because it provides the at least theoretical freedom to stop playing football if a student athlete believes he can't succeed academically while participating.

    @twoinanddone, I believe the yearly limits on scholarships were removed in the Patriot once the phase in ended. Of course they are still subject to the 60 cap, and more importantly the 85 roster limit. But if a school loses a couple kids along the way they can make up the difference in a given year to get to 60. It is the same as the 85 total and no more than 25 in one year limit in FBS. Also, and different than the FBS, not all of the Patriot is fully funding. For those schools who are not, they have the flexibility to add more scholarships in a particular year if the funding level changes. This was a big issue because some schools thought they could compete funding less than 60 when schollys were reintroduced. Those schools wanted the flexibility to ramp up quickly if they found they could not compete at an acceptable level. I know there has been discussions over the last couple of years of the phase in on setting a yearly cap, but I don't know off hand if one was imposed. I will probably find out at the golf outing this summer, lol. And just an aside, there is no red shirting in the Patriot, although medical are allowed I believe.
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  • moscottmoscott 895 replies108 threads Senior Member
    @Ohiodad51 Some very valid points. However you kind of made my point. Stanford, ND, Duke etc...DO NOT have the same academic standards as the Ivy schools...absolutely true. That said their academic reputation is equal to or higher than a lot of the Ivy schools. My point on adding say 15 scholarships is to take away from the limited pool you talk about be it from the D1 or mainly from the Patriot who are now taking quite a few a year(105 per) that MIGHT have chosen an Ivy otherwise. Ivy could also institute a guaranteed 4 year(since no red shirt or grads) scholarship even if they drop football. Finally what I'm advocating is the Ivy schools KEEP the AI which would not effect their academics one bit but allow some scholarships to keep those few kids who fall into the middle class and can't afford an Ivy vs free ride. Wouldn't effect the rich or poor kids but there is a group that this would benefit both them and the school.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23388 replies17 threads Senior Member
    What I read was that it was limited to 15 per recruiting year, with a phase in that started in 2013 and was complete with the 2016 recruiting class. Now the phase in is over.
    Starting with the 2013 academic year, each school will be allowed no more than the equivalent of 15 scholarships to incoming football players, according to the release. The total number of scholarships cannot exceed 60 in any season,[9] a total only slightly lower than the NCAA limit of 63 scholarship equivalents for FCS programs.
    . Says 15, guess it means 25.
    In 2001, when American, which gave scholarships in all sports (AU does not play football) entered the league, the league began allowing all schools to do so in sports other than football. Lafayette, the last no athletic scholarships holdout, began granting full rides in basketball and other sports with freshmen entering the school in the fall of 2006.

    Moscott's plan of having only football scholarships in the Ivies (which wouldn't be Title IX compliant) is the opposite of what the Patriot league did, as it started with other sports and added football last. The patriot league members also have sports in other conferences, and they have awarded scholarships to those players in accordance with those conferences' rules (and NCAA), so they had some experience with awarding scholarships, NCAA compliance, traveling out of conference, etc.

    Moscott, I think you should take charge of this proposal. As an alum, approach your coach and pitch your case. I don't think you'll get far, but you go for it. And why football? Why not create an Uber team in something the Ivy league is already pretty good in and has a chance to get much better? Basketball. Crew. Lacrosse. Sports played by both sexes and smaller rosters so a few scholarships would go a long way.
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