Cornell does not belong in the Ivy League.
Actually, let me back up for a second.
We here at The Crimson have several missions, chief among them educating and alerting our readers. But we also like to inspire.
Two years ago, one of our writers managed to do just that in writing “Columbia: The Ivy League’s Worst Athletics Program.” The scathing review of Lions sports drew 77 comments from personally offended readers and an ad hominem retaliation in The Columbia Daily Spectator.
It also led to a revival in Lions athletics. After winning one Ivy championship over two years, Columbia earned two crowns in 2012-13 and five more titles last year, tying the school record. You’re welcome, Lions.
Now Cornell needs the same kick in the butt, which is why I wrote that the Big Red does not belong in the Ancient Eight. And the facts bear it out.
Let’s start with a map of Ivy League schools. Seriously, pull one up. Now tell me which of these things is not like the others. Every school is within a three-hour drive of at least one other school, except for that one dot in western New York. You could pull up a map of New York for more detail, but Ithaca would not be on it.
Now let’s move to a timeline. Seven Ivy schools were founded in a 163-year period during the Colonial Era. Cornell opened almost 100 years later in 1865. Reflecting the change in times, it is also the only university of the eight with an English motto.
The Big Red’s argument for inclusion only gets marginally better when we move to today’s athletic fields. Cornell won six Ivy titles last year, its second fewest since 2001-02. I should add that none of those came in women’s sports. That’s not cool. And I haven’t even gotten to the Big Red’s 0-3 football team, which just lost to Yale, 51-13.
Cornell, we were cool with you when you had NFL prospect Jeff Mathews at quarterback, but now that he’s gone (and struggling to stay in the NFL), I just don’t know. The best thing about Big Red athletics at this point is probably the interactive Bear logo on its website (which, to be fair, is sweet).
I hoped recent displays of Cornell’s campus culture would provide the school with an argument to stay, but alas. Before Bill Gates visited the campus on Oct. 1, tickets sold out in mere minutes and students began scalping the free tickets to his talk for upwards of $200.
Anyone who has seen The Social Network knows that the proper response to a Gates visit is typified by one student who explains in the movie, “I showed up late; I don’t even know who the speaker was.”
Again, I don’t write all of this to be hurtful. I want to be helpful. If Columbia can turn it around, so can you.
That said, I don’t see Cornell proving its Ivy worth this weekend. Read why in this week’s predictions…
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