Despite being widely known for their prestigious academic programs, The Ivy League has also been receiving a lot of attention outside of the classroom with its men’s basketball programs lately. The Shadow League's featured series on the African-American head coaches of the men's basketball teams in the Ivy League, "Ivy Leage Hoops: Ahead Of The Curve In Coaching Diversity,” showcased the stories of Cornell’s Bill Courtney, Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, Yale’s James Jones and Penn’s Jerome Allen.
With all the positive attention being drawn to Ivy League athletics through these coaches' stories, The Shadow League welcomed Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris to the TSL Sports Talk studios last week to talk about the great success The Ivy League has had this season in men’s basketball.
TSL Sports Talk host Mark Gray opened up the discussion by stating that the The Ivy League has truly personified what student athletics is all about:
“It’s well documented, [The Ivy League] doesn’t do athletic scholarships…How is it that the Ivy League is able to compete at such a high level when you’re not really making the significant financial investment that a lot of these other schools are making from the scholarship standpoint?”
“Well we think its because we’re able to attract really quality students who strive to be the best at anything they do. So, they want a top-notch academic experience and they also want to challenge themselves against the best athletically. They want to compete at a Division 1 level and they recognize that the investment that they’re making in their education will benefit them throughout life and they also learn very important lessons competing in athletics as well. So we offer that wonderful combination of top-notch education and highly competitive Division 1 athletics.”
Listen to the full interview below to hear what role intercollegiate sports has on the visibility/branding of The Ivy League, Robin’s thoughts on the NLRB ruling and more.