The last time the Harvard men’s basketball team took the floor, it was to play in the third round of March Madness. On Oct. 17, the “madness” will move to Lavietes Pavilion, as the squad begins the 2014-2015 season with its fourth-annual “Crimson Madness” festivities.
The event will be modeled after the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, with a dunk contest and a three-point shootout leading up to the evening’s marquee event, the Crimson and Black inter-squad scrimmage. The entirety of the night will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Though men's soccer's Andrew Chang netted Athlete of the Week honors this week, here were some other performances that garner recognition.
Fischer had a career game in the Crimson’s Ivy League opener against Brown on Saturday. The junior scored his first touchdown of the season with 2:11 left in the opening quarter.
After scoring three goals in sixteen minutes to take out Northeastern on Tuesday, the Harvard men’s soccer team (4-3-0) is riding high. The Crimson has scored 10 goals in four games heading into its game against UMass (1-5-0) on Friday, looking to take out its third in-state rival in less than two weeks. The Back Page previews the matchup below.
A little more than four years after the NCAA announced new rules “requiring each member institution to have a concussion management plan”, the Boston City Council approved further head trauma-oriented safety ordinances last week for individuals competing in NCAA events within city limits. The law is thought to be the first of its kind.
NCAA Division I schools in the vicinity impacted by the new legislation include Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern, as well as each school’s opponents at home games.
Among other provisions, the law requires each affected college to have an emergency medical action plan in place for all events held in Boston. As a part of this plan, athletes are barred from reentering the same game or match after suffering a concussion or displaying concussion-like symptoms that signal a concussion.
Additionally, the city will require a neurotrauma consultant to be on-site for all NCAA Division I football, ice hockey, and men's lacrosse events effective on July 1 of next year, an action inspired by the National Football League’s use of these same experts at its games.
While the newest set of rules may affect other area schools to a greater degree, they figure to make little-to-no difference for Harvard because of the strict policies the Ivy League already in place before the ordinance.
“The practices the regulation asks for have been part of our normal protocol and are consistent with our focus on student health and welfare,” said Tim Williamson, the Harvard Athletics Department communication director, in an emailed statement.
The Ivy League has been a pioneer in the area of head injury legislation for the past few years, with the widespread call for reforms reaching its nadir just after Penn football captain Owen Thomas took his life in April of 2010.
Even before the NCAA enacted its own first major set of head injury reforms in 2010, the Ivy League had begun its research on how to lower the number of collisions in contact sports in 2009 and implemented a new policy for football of limiting full-contact practices during the season from the NCAA maximum of five down to two a week. Similar contact restrictions were rolled out for soccer and lacrosse teams in 2012, with more emphasis on concussion education and prevention introduced as well.
Currently, Harvard conducts a series of tests—both before the season for a baseline test and when a concussion is suspected. The process triggered by concussion-like symptoms involves visiting a team physician, notifying the resident dean for academic accommodation if a concussion is diagnosed, and a group of tests that must be passed before a player is cleared to return.
The Harvard men’s basketball team will play seven of its first eight games in the Boston area, according to the 2014-2015 schedule released by Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker on Tuesday. The Crimson will begin its season with MIT at home on Nov. 14 and will not leave Massachusetts for the rest of the month—closing with a marquee home matchup against UMass on Nov. 29.
In December, Harvard will take to the road to play two foes from Big Six conferences—the University of Virginia and Arizona State. The Sun Devils, the Cavaliers, and the Minutemen are the only 2014 NCAA Tournament teams on Harvard’s schedule.
“We have put together a strong non-conference schedule that will help us prepare for the rigors of Ivy League play,” Amaker said in a statement released by the team.
After playing a Dec. 8 home game against Boston University, Harvard will play only two contests at Lavietes Pavilion until a Feb. 13-14 homestand against Columbia and Cornell. The Crimson take the road for five of its first six Ivy League matchups, including a trip to Princeton and Penn during the first weekend of the spring semester.
Harvard will close the season by playing six of its final eight games at Lavietes, where the team has lost just three games over the last three years. After closing the regular season with road games at Yale and Brown in 2014, the Crimson will face the Bulldogs and the Bears at home on Mar. 6-7 to conclude the 2015 season.