While many college athletes are competing in their respective sports over the course of much of this pandemic, athletes in the Ivy League have been unable to do so since their seasons have been canceled. There has been no Ivy League football. Another season of Ivy League basketball has been canceled. Swimming pools, fields, and tracks at the Ancient Eight institutions have instead been sitting idle for months. Because of the cancelation of athletics across the Ivy League, some might wonder if this is going to have an enduring impact on the Ivy League athletic recruiting process in the years to come. Wondering what we think? Well, wonder no more as we offered our thoughts to The Yale Daily News.
This Too Shall Pass for Ivy League Athletics as Recruits Will Still Want to Compete in the Ivy League
As Drew Beckman reports for the newspaper of Yale University in a piece entitled “Recruiting consultants foresee no major changes to Ivy recruiting despite canceled competition,” “Brian Taylor, managing director of Ivy Coach — a New York-based college consulting firm — also believes the year-long cancellation of sports will not have a lasting effect on the attractiveness of the Ivy athletic experience. ‘The parents and students we work with, I think they understand that this too shall pass,’ Taylor said. ‘If they were interested in playing baseball for Yale before the pandemic, they’re probably still interested in playing baseball for Yale now.'”
The Cancelation and Reinstatement of Teams Will Have A More Enduring Impact on Ivy League Athletics Than the Pandemic
But you know what just might have a lasting impact on recruits within certain Ivy League sports? Team cancelations followed by reinstatements! Brown eliminated some athletic teams early on in the pandemic, only to reinstate a couple of them. Dartmouth eliminated five teams early on in the pandemic, only to reinstate all of them because the school turned to be out of compliance with Title IX. As Beckman writes, “Ivy Coach’s Taylor, who works with both athletes and non-athletes in the college admissions process, cited pandemic-induced cuts to varsity teams — as opposed to the cancellation of seasons — as the major concern weighing on recruits…Although Taylor acknowledged the attractiveness of the Ivy League brand for many athletes, he also noted that Dartmouth’s elimination and subsequent reinstatement of five programs will have an enduring impact on future Dartmouth recruits. ‘If you’re a junior or sophomore even, and you’re a swimmer, are you going to be looking at Dartmouth now?’ Taylor said. ‘I think that has a much more detrimental effect on recruiting than does the pandemic, but that was a product of the pandemic.'”
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