Friday, January 28, 2011

A Date in Cornell Basketball History: Harvard Basketball's Jurassic Park

Saturday's Cornell opponent is... [pause] Harvard.

When it comes to Ivy League basketball, in a lot of ways, Harvard is the outsider. But what makes Harvard so different from the other seven schools on the hardwood?

First, it has been well publicized in recent years in the media that Harvard has never won an Ivy League or Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League ("EIBL" -- the Ivy League's predecessor) championship. Harvard is the only Ivy League program to have this dubious distinction.

The Harvard program, launched in 1900, did not even exist between 1909-1920 and has just one NCAA Tournament appearance to its credit, during the 1945-1946 season. At the time, however, Harvard was not a member of the EIBL with the other current Ivy members.

In recent years, further distinguishing Harvard from the rest of the Ivy League, is the negative national attention the Crimson received for the coaching staff's decision to engage in mass player cuts. But the most recent incident is the NCAA recruiting scandal which led to program sanctions during the 2010-2011 season.

Above, the box score from Cornell's 82-75 win over Harvard on January 13, 1962. Well known writer and author, Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) played for Harvard in that game. In addition to Crichton, Harvard's other most well known alumnus of the basketball program is former Vice President, Al Gore, who played one season on the Crimson's freshman team.


Anonymous said...

Just curious, why do you dislike Harvard so much? You never make negative posts like this about any of the other Ivy schools. Did they reject you or something?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

It is not a matter of "like" or "dislike" it is about recognizing the FACTS and applying weight to them. None of what we have written is opinion.

A refresher course on Harvard's "rise" --none of which was accomplished through generally accepted standards of fair play and equity--

1. Fact: Harvard fired Frank Sullivan
2. Fact: Hired Tommy Amaker
3. Fact: Harvard reduced admissions standards for its basketball program, thereby making its athletes even less representative of its student body
4. Fact: Harvard increased financial aid solely to gain an advantage in athletics, giving "grants" without calling them what they are: athletic scholarships
5. FACT: Brutally cut a half dozen players during September 2008, even though the kids worked hard and did nothing wrong.
6. FACT: Willfully and intentionally violated NCAA rules on multiple occasions.
7. FACT: Denied violating NCAA rules despite the obvious.
8. FACT: Boasted about vindication after the Ivy League puppet investigation cleared Harvard
9. FACT: Finally, Harvard was prosecuted and found liable for committing violations of NCAA rules.
10. FACT: Harvard swept all of the above under the carpet with PR efforts and pretends none of it happened and that they run a classy program like any other Ivy.

Harvard rose up through cut throat tactics, rules violations (FACT) and just being arrogant.

And ridiculous question, but no, Harvard did not reject anyone that is associated with this Blog.

Anonymous said...

They are Cornell's biggest rival probably

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to get Harvard in trouble, there was a possible violation mentioned on the basketball u site:

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

It wasn't a "possible violation" it was in fact a violation.

Boosters of any school (which includes alumni) that have direct contact with a prospective student-athlete and discuss that student athlete's recruitment or college plans are absolutely in violation of NCAA Rules.

The incident referred to above though appears to be a very minor violation.

However, the incidents involving Max Kenyi, Keith Wright, Zach Rosen and an undisclosed Cornell player, were indeed violations by Harvard. If it were Kentucky, the program would have received a substantial penalty.

Anonymous said...

Other famous Harvard Basketball players: James Brown (CBS Sports) and Arne Duncan (current Secretary of Education)
Also, fascinated by Blog's list of 10 Facts (6 through 10 are essentially the same piece of information).
The biggest Fact was that Frank Sullivan was a terrible coach with an axe to grind. He was the source for much of the opinion about Harvard on this blog.