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Username Post: Brown's new direx in athletics        (Topic#24380)
PhD Student
Posts: 1186

Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Reg: 11-21-04
05-28-20 01:38 PM - Post#308036    

https://brownbears.com/news/2020/5/28/genera l-new-...
LET'S go BRU-no (duh. nuh. nuh-nuh-nuh)

Edited by Bruno on 05-28-20 01:38 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

Posts: 10

Age: 29
Reg: 11-13-10
05-28-20 03:38 PM - Post#308061    
    In response to Bruno

Huge Brown fan here. Frequent reader of these boards even though I haven't posted in many years.

I've been a huge Brown basketball fan since I was a student at Brown a decade ago. I was a freshman at the Pizz when Garrett Leffelman hit the game winning buzzer beater over Jeremy Lin. I was a junior in the stands when freshman Sean McGonagill dropped 39 points on Columbia days after having face surgery. Just like any out-of-towner on these boards, I have continued to watch games on ILDN/ESPN+ and follow the team as closely as I follow my professional sports teams.

Here’s where it hits me. I was on the men's cross country and track & field teams at Brown. My teams just got cut. This is my first time feeling real anger towards Brown as an institution. I look back on my college experience as such an amazing transformative time in my life, and I continue to be incredibly grateful for it years later. I feel, justifiably or unjustifiably, that my positive experience was uniquely shaped by Brown’s culture and values in a way that other universities could not replicate. Part of the reason I love rooting for Brown basketball, and other Brown sports, is because I have such positive feelings toward the institution those teams represent. I’m certainly not going to stop paying attention to Brown basketball out of protest or anything like that, and I hope I continue to get the same enjoyment out of it as before. But the combination of my love for Brown with my passion for sports that has driven my Brown fandom is at least a little bit tainted now that the university has decided to cut team that gave me the opportunity to experience Brown. I’m just very sad, to say the least. And I know it will be in the back of my mind the next time the Bears take the court.

I’m not arguing that it shouldn’t have been done. I don’t pretend to be a better decision-maker than those who are actually involved. It just hurts me a lot. And if this decision strengthens the remaining sports as intended, including the basketball team I root so hard for, to me, that added value comes with a cost I cannot disregard. I’m very emotional right now, and I’m sad for the current athletes who were apparently surprised by this news today.

PhD Student
Posts: 1186

Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Reg: 11-21-04
05-28-20 09:48 PM - Post#308087    
    In response to skip

Appreciate your perspective on this and your sharing it. I feel sad too, and recognize that this definition of inclusion is one that has defined the Brown experience for some time.

I do think Brown athletics has been overextended relative to its resource base. I believe and hope that the macro benefit to the Brown community of having fewer teams with more resources to win outweighs the cost. So I favor the decision strategically and give Brown and Christina Paxton and Jack Hayes credit for making a very hard decision. And I especially feel for every player on those teams who just had their varsity status revoked.
LET'S go BRU-no (duh. nuh. nuh-nuh-nuh)

Riverside Pete 
Posts: 1

Age: 71
Reg: 04-26-18
05-30-20 12:07 PM - Post#308141    
    In response to Bruno

Editorial by grumpy old Lion.

I don’t think that all the Ivies need to have all the exact same number of teams, but I think “ substantial equivalence“ should be required to remain in league. This exists now. While there are exceptions ( e.g. Dartmouth doesn’t wrestle, Col doesn’t play Div 1 hockey, Yale doesn’t wrestle, Penn does not have a women’s hockey team.) , these exceptions are few and far between.But the direction Brown has taken is quite beyond that.

The fact that they admit to doing so in order to beef up the other more important public facing sports is honest, but sneaky and will give them an undeserved advantage in fielding better hoops and FB teams. This is bound to hurt Columbia-even more so than H, Pr, Y. Maybe it’s time the league should rethink whether Brown should remain as a member of the league. After all, the Ivy League was officially formed strictly as an athletic conference. And, in my opinion, this did a great deal to raise Brown’s overall institutional reputation.Now Brown wants to have it both ways. Not fair.

Old Bear 
Posts: 3737

Reg: 11-23-04
05-30-20 02:07 PM - Post#308146    
    In response to Riverside Pete

Columbia doesn’t play men’s or women’s hockey or men or women’s lacrosse. Both are expensive sports. Has Columbia not had an advantage all these years?

penn nation 
Posts: 14910

Reg: 12-02-04
05-31-20 12:26 AM - Post#308177    
    In response to Old Bear

FWIW, every school is cutting back in some form or another.

I just heard that Princeton's Sociology Department will not be accepting any incoming Ph.D. students in the fall.

Posts: 24524

Reg: 11-21-04
05-31-20 09:49 AM - Post#308195    
    In response to penn nation

I wondered about this so I pulled up Princeton's graduate program menu for this year and Sociology is not one they offer at any level. https://gradschool.princeton.edu/node/4371

It appears that if they had such a program, it was eliminated before this year.

penn nation 
Posts: 14910

Reg: 12-02-04
05-31-20 09:53 AM - Post#308198    
    In response to palestra38

Try this link:


We regret to announce that Princeton Sociology will not accept applications during the 2021 admissions cycle. In order to ensure that the department has resources to adequately support its students during the covid-19 pandemic, we will hold off on bringing new students to the program until 2022. The decision to eliminate a cohort of future students was not an easy one, but we have decided that our priority during these unsettled times is to take care of those who are already matriculated in the department. We look forward to reading applications again in the fall of 2021 for the 2022 cohort.

Posts: 2407

Reg: 10-20-14
06-10-20 07:05 PM - Post#308893    
    In response to penn nation

President Paxson responded to complaints from the Brown community with a letter on June 6.

https://www.brown.edu/about/administration/ preside...

This afternoon, the school decided to reinstate varsity status for men's track, field and cross country.

https://brownbears.com/news/2020/6/9/brown-w ill-re...

Decision on track and field and cross country
Dear Brown Community,
We have heard clearly from our community over the past couple of weeks that the University's decision to transition men's varsity track, field and cross country to club status will have real and lasting implications for efforts to build and sustain diverse and inclusive communities for our students at Brown, and particularly our community of black students and alumni.

Our students, alumni and parents took the time to share their deeply personal stories of the transformative impact that participation in track, field and cross country has had on their lives. Many noted that, through Brown's history, these sports have been a point of entry to higher education for academically talented students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity, many of them students of color. In addition, we heard from members of the women's track, field and cross country teams who made a compelling case that eliminating the men's program would adversely impact the women's program.

Considering these and other factors, the University has decided to reinstate the varsity status of men's track, field and cross country at Brown. This change is effective immediately and does not alter other decisions to reduce the number of varsity sports as part of the Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative.

As I wrote in my letter to the community on Saturday, the primary reason for eliminating men's track, field and cross country was to help Brown remain in compliance with a 1998 settlement agreement stemming from a Title IX lawsuit. This was not the case for any of the other teams that were transitioned out of varsity status.

This settlement agreement, which pertains only to Brown and is unique in all of collegiate athletics, created tight constraints specific to Brown regarding the balance of varsity athletics opportunities for women relative to men. The University has achieved the required balance historically by maintaining squad sizes of men's teams that, on average, are below Ivy League squad sizes. This has been an impediment to Brown achieving broad athletic excellence. At the same time, and as a result, Brown has a larger fraction of athletics opportunities for women than most of its peers.

The reinstatement of men's track, field and cross country will have implications for the squad sizes of Brown's varsity teams. However, we have determined that with some modifications, Brown will be able to remain in compliance with the requirements of the legal settlement and with Title IX for the time being. In the coming year, the University will examine alternative strategies for addressing the issues that arise from the settlement agreement.

Maintaining and strengthening diversity was a foundational principle in considering the final makeup of varsity teams from the outset of the Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative. The original revised roster of varsity sports maintained Brown's overall diversity in varsity athletics, but we now more fully appreciate the consequences of eliminating men's track, field and cross country for black students in our community and among our extended community of black alumni.

As I shared this weekend, members of the Brown athletics community will receive invitations in the coming days to participate in virtual meetings to hear directly from Director of Athletics Jack Hayes and me about the decisions underlying the athletics initiative. We hope to address common questions being raised and ongoing areas of concern.

Again, I remain committed to the decision to reduce the number of varsity teams to increase the competitiveness of athletics at Brown. We will do so while providing equal opportunities to participate in athletics, regardless of sex, and remaining true to our values of supporting diversity and inclusion.

Christina H. Paxson

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