Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Roster Report: Another Change in Harvard Roster

Max Kenyi (No. 23, above left), a 6'3" Harvard junior has left the Crimson basketball team for unreported reasons. Kenyi started 13 games for the Crimson a year ago after battling some injuries.

Kenyi was one of two Harvard recruits featured in the New York Times article of March 2008 which resulted in NCAA sanctions on the Harvard basketball program for violations of NCAA rules in recruiting practices.

Kenyi is the third Harvard player to leave the roster this year and the 14th player to leave the program in the last three seasons.

Max Kenyi (left during '10-'11)
Pete Edelson (left during '10-'11)
Spencer de Mars (left during '10-'11)

Hugh Martin (left during '09-'10)
Peter Boehm (left during '09-'10)
Peter Swiatek (left during '09-'10)
Eric Groszyk (left during '08-'09)
T.J. Carey (left during '08-'09)
Kyle Fitzgerald (left during '08-'09)
Adam Demuyakor (left during '08-'09)
Ndu Okereke (left during '08-'09)
Darryl Finkton (left during '08-'09)
Cem Dinc (left during '08-'09)
Alex Blankenau (left during '08-'09)


Anonymous said...

Kenyi? Wow, unexpected.

At this point Harvard has cut enough people to form a whole 2nd team.

Anonymous said...

did his legs wither away to nothingness or something? THey were pretty close already

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We don't know if this was a cut.

Anonymous said...

For real we have to stop making fun of Harvard players' looks. We hated it when the Daily Penn did it to our own guys.

mrjames said...

Is that really making fun? I think it's a legit point. Kenyi always needed to build up his legs. I always thought he was a ligament tear or bone break waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

call me pessimistic, but I think Amaker is going to be offloading more of these guys to make room for 4 and 5 star recruits in the near future.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Kenyi was one of the highest ranked recruits to sign with Harvard. He was a top 300 recruit by most recruiting services.

Anonymous said...

I'm talking big time national recruits, ESPN100, mcDs, etc etc

Anonymous said...

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

"Kenyi was one of the highest ranked recruits to sign with Harvard. He was a top 300 recruit by most recruiting services."

Wait, I thought rankings were overrated and we were supposed to go by what high school coaches said, not just blindly believe in some arbitrary "rankings."

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Harvard is probably getting any legitimate top 100 recruits.

They have gotten some top 300 kids which equates to A-10/Missouri Valley/CAA level.

Kenyatta Smith is their first "BCS-level" signing.

Anonymous said...

and judging by Kenyi's departure, I would have to say that there are going to be a lot more BCS level recruits coming in soon

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We don't use rankings to evaluate talent. We look to quantity and quality of offers within the context of level of exposure.

Kenyi had a lot of exposure and a lot of mid major offers.

Harvard's two California recruits-- Smith and Saunders received a lot of exposure, which is common for the Southern California, Texas, Chicago, New England and NYC kids.

mrjames said...

If we're getting technical, it's not 100 percent clear that Van Nest and Kenyi didn't have BCS offers that year.

I've never gotten clarity on this topic, just saying that both have been linked to a BCS offer. A majority of both players' offers were from your normal mid-major heavyweights though. Certainly Smith and Saunders were the first two to schedule BCS visits and instead choose Harvard.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Do Van Nest and Kenyi strike you as two players who should be playing in a BCS league?

Neither had BCS offers, although both drew some interest.

Cornell's current coach recruited both.

Let us not forget, Cornell had quite a few "BCS" kids in the last couple of seasons. In fact, Mark Coury started for Kentucky, Marc Van Burck played for Colorado, and Collin Robinson played for USC.

So... BCS kids at Cornell or in the Ivies in general, is nothing really new.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The irony of the above photo is that the Harvard player on the right, also left the program prior to graduation. Peter Boehem.

Anonymous said...

Not to get too nit-picky here, but aren't "NCAA sanctions" (plural) not the same as a secondary violation (singular) and self-imposed recruiting limits?

To wit: "Harvard has declared an unintentional secondary violation"
and "After these discussions with the NCAA, Harvard elected to acknowledge a secondary violation and to self‐impose recruiting limits for the 2010-2011 academic year."

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Harvard had multiple violations and was facing NCAA sanctions.

Rather than further contest and oppose the the charged violations, Harvard agreed to sanction itself, which is essentially a plea bargain of mea culpa (to give an analogy to the criminal system context).

Harvard's violation was classified as secondary, merely because Harvard reached a plea agreement with the NCAA Investigators and the NCAA opted not to "prosecute" the matter to the fullest extent of NCAA by-laws.

Had the NCAA pushed this case, which it could've (but opted not to due to limited resources), the sanctions could have been more substantial.

The reality here is that Harvard claimed for the last three years to have cleared its name.

In the end, the result was liability. Harvard cheated, and was caught.

Pete Thamel's article was on target and he deserves praise for uncovering some glaring violations including both Max Kenyi and Keith Wright.

Anonymous said...

"Do Van Nest and Kenyi strike you as two players who should be playing in a BCS league?"

Well, Coury and Van Burck don't either. Maybe Robinson.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Coury is definitely a BCS player.

He is just not the kind of BCS player some fans want, which is a big time scorer.

But not all BCS players are scorers. Some play utility roles for their teams.

In Coury's case, he is ridiculousy strong and physical for the Ivy and plays his role to perfection, which is defend, rebound, scrap and score put-backs.

Van Burck had a BCS body but probably belong in the Ivy.

Robinson was a super talent, but did not fit into Cornell's team concept.

He had his own beliefs as to what his role should be on a team.

He did not agree with the USC staff about his role.

He did not agree with the Cornell staff about his role.

Now he is out of basketball because of his expectations.

Anonymous said...

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

"Harvard had multiple violations and was facing NCAA sanctions."

Again though, "was facing" and "resulted in" are two different things. One implies something was going to happen but didn't, the other implies it actually happened.

Or to put it another way, your article implies NCAA sanctions happened. What actually happened was Harvard received a secondary violation, and Harvard sanctioned itself. So it doesn't matter what Harvard was facing, because the comment wasn't contesting what Harvard was charged with; it was contesting your characterization of what the actual and final penalty was.

It never was supposed to be a "Harvard was innocent rant," but a word choice rant. NCAA sanctions implied that the league actually punished Harvard, and in multiple ways. As you admit yourself (and I'll take your story at face value, for ease of argument) Harvard was only threatened with NCAA sanctions, and the actual punishment came from Harvard itself.

Thus, in my opinion, a better turn of phrase would have been:
Kenyi was one of two Harvard recruits featured in the New York Times article of March 2008 which resulted in an NCAA investigation of the Harvard basketball program. The investigation, in turn, led to a secondary violation and self-imposed recruiting limits for the Crimson this season.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Your characterization is VERY misleading.

This was not a plain vanilla self-imposed penalty.

Harvard fought and defended Amaker's actions for three long years (both in the media and with collegiate administrative bodies).

Only when Harvard was cornered and against a wall, did the penalty become imposed.

Harvard did not volunteer or self-impose anything.

Harvard surrendered only after it was defeated.

In short, Harvard pulled the trigger on itself, but the NCAA gave it the loaded gun.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Max Kenyi quit the team because he was no longer getting as much attention from Kenny Blakeney during summer pick-up games.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Kenyi's MCL sprain from last season never really healed fully.

Anonymous said...

no, it must be something devious. it couldnt be that he hadnt healed and would lose a year of eligibility. or...

Anonymous said...

So to go back to your court analogy then, if someone takes a plea deal, we should just automatically associate them with the crime they were originally tried for? Or does their record indicate the crime they were convicted for, ie- the result of the plea? I'm thinking the it's the latter.

Our characterization is the facts at hand- the official report says "one secondary violation; self-imposed sanctions." NCAA sanctions = sanctions handed down by the league. That did not happen. You may have wanted it to happen. You may think it should have happened. The NCAA may have considered doing it had Harvard not self-imposed. But the woulda/coulda/shoulda is not in play. We're not arguing at all about the behind the scenes stuff. It doesn't matter, to the final result, whether Harvard self-imposed right away or agreed to do it after 3 years only because cornered. What matters is that THEY, not the NCAA, imposed sanctions, and that the NCAA report says they committed one unintentional secondary violation.

To say Kenyi was involved in the story that led to NCAA sanctions is shoddy journalism. It led to an NCAA investigation, which could have led to NCAA sanctions, but didn't.

Dennis said...

Info from The Crimson:

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Harvard University does not allow medical red-shirts.

It looks like Kenyi is going around the University rules by take a year off from school.

When he returns to Cambridge he is able to preserve his eligibility.

Anonymous said...

maybe he is going on a one-year mormon mission.

Anonymous said...

Putting the last two comments together for a moment: how many years can Corbin Miller play at Harvard if he takes a two year mission after freshman year? Is it two (frosh and senior), three (4 in 5), or four (only enrolled 4 years out of the next 6)?

Anonymous said...


I happen to support your manic hatred of Tommy Amaker. He's just too easy to despise. But why are you making more out of Kenyi's withdrawal than it is? The Crimson article makes it clear that his injury has not fully healed and, as many Ivy League athletes do every year, he's taking a year off so that he can play a sport he loves for four years instead of three. There's no crime and no "going around University rules" here.

Don't let your blind, frothing hatred of Amaker and all things Harvard (which, again, I fully support) ascribe unseemly motives to perfectly innocuous behavior.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:23 I think it is u who is making more of CBB's comment than it is. From what I understood, there is no redshirting at Harvard so if Kenyi stays enrolled this year, he is missing an entire year of playing that he can't make up. So he is skirting this by taking a leave of absence while he is injured, hence preserving a year. I thought that is all that is meant by saying he was trying to work around the rules. I don't understand at all how this conjecture displays frothing hatred. It seems a perfectly neutral speculation.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:23 PM here again. Every fact that CBB and you state is true but, as long as we are using courtroom analogies, it's the truth but not the whole truth.

The whole truth is that Ivy League student-athletes, probably a dozen a year, routinely take a year off because they get injured and do not want to use up a year of sports eligibility when they cannot play. I don't know if every single Ivy prohibits medical red-shirting but certainly HYP do. If you want to preserve your year of eligibility at Harvard, Yale or Princeton, you have to take the year off.

I objected to the fact that CBB implies that Max Kenyi cooked up some secret plan to subvert or circumvent Harvard rules. He's not doing anything that other HYP athletes don't do all the time.

mrjames said...

Where did all this talk about an injury come from?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

To follow up on MRJames, there has been no official public comment on the reason for the leave of absence.

We only know it is personal.

While Kenyi did suffer an MCL injury a year ago, the leave of absence could be for other reason(s).