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Username Post: Race, Activism, and Ivy Hoops        (Topic#20489)
dtannenwald 
Freshman
Posts: 6

Age: 32
Reg: 11-24-15
09-15-17 02:50 PM - Post#232870    

Hi Everyone,

I'm writing to share a piece I just wrote for Harvard Magazine. It is based on a visit to campus by James Brown and focuses mostly on race, activism, and Harvard hoops. However, it also touches on these issues across the Ivies, so I thought I'd share it here:

http://harvardmagazine.com/2017/09/athlete-activ is...

Thanks for reading!

Best,
David

 
whitakk 
Sophomore
Posts: 145

Age: 26
Reg: 11-11-14
09-15-17 09:44 PM - Post#232879    
    In response to dtannenwald

Great topic.

Jordan Abdur Ra'Oof and Troy Whiteside recently founded a platform for minority students to tell their stories: https://www.ivyuntold.com/founders/

 
dtannenwald 
Freshman
Posts: 6

Age: 32
Reg: 11-24-15
09-15-17 10:49 PM - Post#232880    
    In response to whitakk

Thanks Kevin! I'll check it out.

 
section110 
Masters Student
Posts: 716

Loc: south jersey
Reg: 11-22-04
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-16-17 04:17 PM - Post#232884    
    In response to dtannenwald

The James Brown Harvard teams never won a title or, for that matter, a game against the better coached Calhoun, Morse Hankinson, Littlepage & Haigler Penn teams. It wasn't the times.

The two Ivy coaches who publicly commented @ Harvard's lowering standards for Amaker were Sydney Johnson & James Jones.

Just saying.


 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2033

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-16-17 07:00 PM - Post#232886    
    In response to section110

The article seemed to me to have a slightly self congratulatory tone. I suppose this should not be surprising since it is written to be read by harvard alumni/ae. I would take issue with the claim that James Brown's basketball class was the second most highly rated nationally for its year. Penn and Princeton dominated that era and, as previously noted, Harvard never won a title until many years later after Amaker arrived. As for Implying that Amaker was somehow unique as a black bball coach in the Ivies, Tiger alumnus JT III preceded him at Princeton and, I believe there may have been others before him elsewhere in the Ivies.

 
section110 
Masters Student
Posts: 716

Loc: south jersey
Reg: 11-22-04
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-16-17 07:47 PM - Post#232888    
    In response to Tiger69

Littlepage & I believe both Jonses, JT3 & Johnson at Princeton & probably at Cornell & Brown as well. Yeah its a Harvard guy who in his self righteousness has no idea of Ivy history.


 
TigerFan 
Masters Student
Posts: 872

Reg: 11-21-04
09-17-17 09:17 AM - Post#232892    
    In response to section110

Don't forget Princeton great Armond Hill, who coached at Columbia in the mid-90s. But Ivy League basketball didn't really begin until TA showed up in Cambridge.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 2844

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-17-17 11:11 AM - Post#232893    
    In response to section110

  • section110 Said:
The James Brown Harvard teams never won a title or, for that matter, a game against the better coached Calhoun, Morse Hankinson, Littlepage & Haigler Penn teams. It wasn't the times.

The two Ivy coaches who publicly commented @ Harvard's lowering standards for Amaker were Sydney Johnson & James Jones.

Just saying.




I know this question has been discussed before, but I'll go ahead and bring it up again: if Harvard had given Frank Sullivan the same resources it gave Tommy Amaker, would he have been as successful? Obviously, we'll never know, but it's certainly possible the answer is 'yes.' Sullivan was a very capable coach who was forced to fight with one hand tied behind his back.

 
Mike Porter 
Postdoc
Posts: 2151
Mike Porter
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Reg: 11-21-04
09-17-17 12:59 PM - Post#232896    
    In response to Silver Maple

No. Amaker had already recruited a top 10 class at Seton Hall of all places. What he wins with is recruiting and I don't see anyway that Sullivan would have replicated that...

Of course we can never say with certainty, but I find that premise unrealistic.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4652

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
09-17-17 04:36 PM - Post#232903    
    In response to Mike Porter

The answer is no. While I love Frank's approach to the game, and while he did have a keen eye for talent, he was permitted to go to where the floor currently stands during his time in Cambridge and wasn't able to do much more with that than being the best non-P for a decent stretch. People will criticize Harvard for allowing Tommy to explore more of the above-floor studio space than Sullivan was allowed to at the end, but what's often forgotten is that Sullivan himself was allowed to dip lower than he was permitted at the end as well.

Many will disagree with me, but Ivy League basketball, under the AI-era, really didn't begin until Tommy showed up in Cambridge. How much Tommy's presence had to do with that is a matter for debate, but aside from a handful of Penn and Princeton teams, this league was hot garbage for the first 25 or so years of the AI era and was getting worse fast.

 
section110 
Masters Student
Posts: 716

Loc: south jersey
Reg: 11-22-04
09-17-17 07:18 PM - Post#232908    
    In response to mrjames

I will disagree. Princeton 91.93,96,97. Penn 93, 94, 95,2000, 03, Cornell 10 & probably 08 ( I realize Amaker was at Harvard as an lower dweller & a third place team, but Donahue had those players before Amaker coached a game in Cambridge), Five Penn, four Princeton is a pretty large handful & you didn't count Cornell due to use of the words "showed up" instead of had any effect.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4652

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
09-17-17 09:05 PM - Post#232909    
    In response to section110

I guess I'm cheating a bit, because I consider those mid-90s Penn teams and those mid-to-late 90s Princeton teams to be teams one and two. The early 90s Princeton team is number 3. Early 2000s Penn team is number four. And team five (Cornell), I sort of write off as luck. That's five sets of teams since 1980. Since Amaker showed up, he's had the two sets of teams that won five straight and a new team that seems poised to make a run. James Jones never sniffed a team like we saw in 2015 in the 2000s, and he's essentially got a new team that should be quite strong. Princeton's had two strong teams this decade as well.

That's five sets this decade after five sets in three. And I think that squares with the number of Top 100 teams we've had as well, which is pretty similar for the first three decades of the AI era and this decade.

Now the 1960s and 1970s... that's obviously a whole different story.

 
section110 
Masters Student
Posts: 716

Loc: south jersey
Reg: 11-22-04
09-18-17 09:37 AM - Post#232918    
    In response to mrjames

Using sets vs. individual teams is our difference. but I think you are overcounting the current # of sets. Really doesn't matter, because with liberalized financial aid we agree the league is and will continue to improve.

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2033

Reg: 11-23-04
09-18-17 10:16 AM - Post#232923    
    In response to section110

I agree with 110. Liberalized financial aid is the key to Ivy excellence ... in all areas. I would like to see the day when all Ivies could offer a free education to anyone admitted. The key would be the later generosity of those who have benefitted.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4652

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
09-18-17 10:53 AM - Post#232925    
    In response to Tiger69

This year is going to be insane.

Of course, the Ivy League will go the route of Monty Burns' softball team between now and November, but if we stay *reasonably* healthy, this year will be unlike anything we've ever seen. Three potentially Top 50/100 teams, all in their MTE years, with other big opportunities on the schedule too? If we can't get it done this year, maybe we are actually cursed with some sort of glass ceiling.

 
TheLine 
Postdoc
Posts: 3062

Age: 54
Reg: 07-07-09
Race, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-18-17 01:12 PM - Post#232933    
    In response to mrjames

Thanks for sharing this, David. I enjoyed the read. It's great to see how much Coach Amaker has embraced his role at Harvard. When Coach K retires I hope Amaker is the chosen heir - he has earned it.

I do agree with others - I don't get the notion that Harvard has somehow been an oasis of African American support and counter culture acceptance in a sea of conformity. You're also incorrect in stating Amaker was the only African American coach in the league when he was hired. Over half the league's coaches were African American at the time - Jim Jones, Craig Robinson, Terry Dunn, Joe Jones, as well as Amaker. So let's put aside the notion that concerns about Amaker's early recruiting had anything to do with racism.


 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2033

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-18-17 04:25 PM - Post#232943    
    In response to TheLine

The article didn't say that Amaker was the only African American coach in the league at hiring. Rather, it stated that he was the only African American AT hARVARD at that time. I assume that his point was that the Cantabs were a bit late in the game.
But, in all seriousness, Amaker has clearly raised the bar throughout the league by successfully recruiting many talented players who not so long ago would have not considered the Ivies. I believe that he was greatly benefitted by the change in financial aid policies at some/all(?) Ivies that replaced loans with outright grants. But, I give Amaker credit for opening new doors to all the Ivies with his early success. I recall the complaint of a few posters that the mediocrity of the rest of the League was holding back the Ps prior to Amaker. No more. I credit the person who first observed that the rising tide would eventually benefit us all.

 
penn nation 
Professor
Posts: 9375

Reg: 12-02-04
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-18-17 04:41 PM - Post#232945    
    In response to Tiger69

Definitely not all.

Thanks for burying the lede.

  • Tiger69 Said:
I believe that he was greatly benefitted by the change in financial aid policies at some/all(?) Ivies that replaced loans with outright grants. .




Edited by penn nation on 09-18-17 04:42 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
TheLine 
Postdoc
Posts: 3062

Age: 54
Reg: 07-07-09
Re: ace, Activism, and Ivy Hoops
09-18-17 06:15 PM - Post#232953    
    In response to Tiger69

T69, thanks for catching that the article said Amakar was the one African American coach at Harvard in 2007 - not that he was the only African American basketball coach in the league. My apologies on that. My greater point is that it's a stretch to say Amaker was unfairly maligned because he was black when over half the league's coaches were black at the time.

And yes, totally agree that Amaker has changed the league significantly. He's very underrated.


 
Old Bear 
Postdoc
Posts: 3265

Reg: 11-23-04
09-19-17 08:20 PM - Post#233001    
    In response to TheLine

'69 old boy, you lost me with "the rising tide" nonsense.

 
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