The hunt for the Ivy League football title ended for Brown University before it even began in the 2000 campaign.
The Bears, defending co-champions of the crown, were ruled ineligible for the championship by the Council of Ivy Group Presidents in early August due to recruiting violations. The Council’s decision increased the sanctions Brown imposed upon itself after an internal investigation. The university is not allowed to appeal the decision.
This is the first time in the 44-year history of the Ivy League that a team will not be allowed to challenge for a title.
Brown Director of Sports Information Christopher Humm said that the athletic department was not allowed to speak on the issue at this time.
However, at the time the Council’s decision was issued, Laura Freid, Brown’s executive vice president for public affairs and university relations, told the Associated Press, “Although we are disappointed that the football team is ineligible for the Ivy title, we expect the coaches will use this experience to motivate everyone to exhibit the highest standards of sportsmanship and preformance both on and off the playing fields.”
In addition to being barred from the title, the Bears must reduce the number of recruits by five in 2001 and 2002. Also, the women’s volleyball, men’s soccer and men’s basketball teams must reduce the number of paid recruiting visits by 25 percent, based on a three-year average.
The director of the Brown Sports Foundation, DavidZucconi, has also been indefinitely prohibited from contact with Brown student-athletes.
While the NCAA accepted the Council’s sanctions, it declared that the students were not at fault and are therefore eligible to compete.
“This has nothing to do with the behavior of any Brown student. This is an administrative violation,” Freid told the Brown Daily Herald.
Cornell will face Brown’s football squad in Providence on Oct. 21 in a game that would have been a battle of two preseason favorites for the title.
As far as Pete Mangurian, head coach of Cornell’s football squad is concerned, these sanction do not change the season’s outlook.
“I really don’t think it has any effect on anything. If [Brown’s] games are going to count in the final stastics, I really don’t think this has any teeth.
“If you finish second [to Brown] and win the league, your name will have an asterisk [in the record book]. And no one wants to win a title with an asterisk,” he said.
Archived article by J.V. Anderton