Thursday, February 9, 2012

Late to the Game

Ready to Play?

Marist will play two games before they travel to Wien Stadium for the Columbia season opener on September 15th.  (The Red Foxes’ first two games are at Bryant and then at home against Bucknell).

Marist went 4-7 last year, but one of those wins was over Sacred Heart which beat the Lions and Dartmouth in 2011. So this game could be a lot tougher than the easy win Columbia scored over the Red Foxes in

Call for Internship Help!

I know of three current players looking for summer internships in some form of financial trading.

They are Steve Grassa, Andrew McHugh, and Sean Bracket.

If anyone has any leads for them, please contact Greg Abbruzzese '91 at or call 978-360-5676.

Greg has their resumes and contact information.

Let’s help these guys stay in NYC this summer so they can train together!

Yale Tix?

This Saturday night's men's basketball game is sold out and I have a friend who would like to buy a few tickets from anyone here who might have a few extra. If you have some tickets, please email me at and I'll put you in touch with him.

Danny Welstad

Possible Late Add?

A 6-4 210 pound RB from Gig Harbor, Washington could soon join Columbia or Dartmouth's incoming freshmen list.

Danny Welstead had some gaudy running stats, but I'm told he would really be considered only as an OLB prospect in the Ivies.

Danny was late to the recruiting process for a number of reasons, but now he is determined to get on someone's radar.

Diversity Issue
I’ve spent a few days letting things cool off before writing one last piece on Ivy sports recruiting vs. Affirmative Action.

I hate to be baited into “proving” I’m not a racist. There’s no way a person of any race or ethnic group can prove than 100% and so it’s a loaded deal like saying: “when did you stop beating your wife?”

But let me clarify this issue one last time into one sentence, and then I’ll explain further.

Here’s the one sentence:  "Ivy sports recruiting is far superior than Affirmative Action because it works BETTER to create racial, economic, geographical, and intellectual diversity."

I’m not against all those forms of diversity; I’m DESPERATE for more of them! And any given Ivy football, basketball, or soccer team achieves that goal better in sheer numbers and in spirit than Affirmative Action.

But the added bonus from athletic recruiting in the Ivies is that it rewards the achievements of minority kids, not just the fact that they are minorities.

This DISPROVES the truly racist notion that to achieve racial diversity, you have to lower standards.

Isn’t it funny that Ivy schools can actually accept anyone they want, UNLESS he or she is an athlete… then they have to uphold certain rigid standards.

Isn’t it funny that the ONLY applicants held to a written GPA and SAT standard are actually MORE diverse than those who are not?

Isn’t it funny that former Ivy athletes tend to be more successful than they non-athlete Ivy grads of any race or nationality? This is a BIG sour spot with a lot of my non-athlete Columbia classmates who are STILL convinced they’re just so much better than our athlete counterparts. After 25 years of hearing this, I’m really getting sick of it.

I say it’s crazy to say there aren’t enough high achieving minority kids out there and thus Affirmative Action needs to incorporate lower standards.

Baloney! We just have to look harder/differently and/or find new areas of achievement outside of just SAT scores and GPA. Athletics is just one, but it’s a very successful one. Similar programs in the arts and
in specific areas of achievement, like science, work well too. 

In other words, we need to be more flexible in admissions, especially if we have potential applicants who are science geniuses or young and successful entrepreneurs who may not have aced the whole SAT or have a
perfect GPA.

As CU parent Mark Kosminskas wrote last week in the Chicago Tribune, if athletics is the lure that gets kids who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in higher education or have a chance at getting into an elite school… then so be it. 

This is a worthwhile cause and argument.

What Does this Have to Do with Columbia Football?

This issue has everything to do with Columbia football.

In case you haven’t noticed, recruited sports in the Ivies are under serious attack. People like Yale President Richard Levin and even former Columbia Provost Jonathan Cole, (who played baseball for
Columbia himself and should know better), are fighting hard to reduce the number of varsity sports at all eight Ivy schools.

I choose to hoist these guys by their own petard; their stated goal of diversity. They all say diversity is so very important to them, and yet they attack what has been the best diversity-creating tool on Ivy and other elite college campuses for more than a century!

If we want to protect Columbia football and Ivy football, the superiority of football recruiting must be trumpeted as much as possible.

I contend that the Jonathan Coles and even Lee Bollingers of this world don’t really want diversity as much as they want to control every aspect of admissions and be lauded for somehow putting together
a successful social engineering project.

Meanwhile, achieving real diversity would mean having to give more credit and power to the football coaches of the Ivies.

That’s something these guys would never accept.

But let's make them see the light.

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RedTiger61 said...

Here's a couple of non-related questions .... any more news on the Trumbull front ??? ... also, has Coach M settled on a trainer or strength coach ??? ... at some point, could you comment on which ivy's appear to have the best recruiting class ??? .... what is the projected date for the opening of the Campbell center ????

Anonymous said...

Let me second that notion. I'd like to hear Jake's thoughts on Ivy recruiting classes. Have we ever had three three-star recruits in a class? It also seems like we recruited more speed this year. Can we expect fast players to have an impact sooner than the big guys?

oldlion said...

Coles is the genius who sold off part of Baker Field for the Allen Pavilion. Need I say more?

lionrock said...

This is an outstanding incoming class that is on par or better with every school in the Ivy League. I count more highly-rated prospects than in the last five to ten years combined. Napier, Padilla, Davison, Hurt, Cieslak and Ardron are all possible impact players on defense. All four of the quarterbacks and both tailbacks are possible impact players on offense. Durham is a great pick-up at tight end. As far as the defensive backs and wide receivers are concerned, nearly all of the incoming players have the speed and athleticism to make an impact. Coach Mangurian has so many very good "athletes" in the incoming class that he can try them on offense and defense to see where they can help the most. Finally, there are least five talented kickoff and punt receivers in the incoming class so our special teams play will be much improved. One of my favoite "athletes" on film are Trevor Bel and Travis Rehm, who are both from Texas, but there are several others I like as well. My compliments to Coach Mangurian and his staff for bringing such a strong class.

oldlion said...

One note on the new class. We have very few OLs coming in, and the few who are coming in are not huge. But this staff seems to know what it is doing. They may have concluded that there is enough talent on the OL to leave heavy recruiting for next year. And if this season demonstrated anything, size on the OL isn't everything in this league.

#1 Lion said...

Guys, we have some speed, but we still lack is SIZE, SIZE, SIZE! No 6'4" WR to strech the field (unless we convert an incoming QB). No BIG TE, or DEs (with weight) so I am concerned. Mangurrian/Willson recruits look good, not great. Let's continue to be positive, but let's also be objective, please.

For example, last years line was big, but they lacked skill. Defensively, we are still very small (upperclassmen and incoming recruits).

On the FLIP side, I saw this kid's name Niko Padillia on the recruiting list, a 6'1" noseguard... and thought to myself, "great another hobbit noseguard". So I then went to "Rivals" to seee his highlight tape. WOW! This kid is strong as an ox (400 bench, 600 squat) and is agile with a motor that doesn't stop. If Mangurrian and Staff are smart, they woulde move this kid to FB and we'll have a 4-year starter (3-year All-Ivy). Nobody would want to get in this kid's way.

Anonymous said...

In my judgment, the wise Old Lion is correct again in his assessment that the coaching staff concluded that there were sufficient talent returning on the offensive line to leave the heavy recruiting of OL players to 2012.Of course, we are bringing in a terrific three star offensive lineman from Ohio in Austin Stock who could see playing time this fall. There is also a very interesting lineman from Texas who is only about 6' 220, but was very highly rated for his blocking skills. On film, the guy has great technique.

Pantone278 said...


The following is the reason why sports recruitment is not a valid replacement for an admission process that considers ethnicity.

Now that you have laid out your thinking, my sense is that you are Bollinger are much closer on this issue than you now would admit.

The question I would like answered is whether "sports affirmative action" (and I use the term to encompass ALL students admitted as athletes) is admitting students with lower credentials than those admitted through "affirmative action" (as you define it).

Jake said...

I think athletic recruiting at IVY and similarly academically rigorous schools is SUPERIOR to Affirmative Action and its methods should be copied to focus on a diverse and changing new set of skills and achievements to create a truly diverse student body.

In other words, just as athletic recruiting recognizes athletic achievements that may or may not be reflected in a GPA, we have to try harder to find other areas where kids excel and decide if maybe, just like athletics, they are worth boosting that kid's status as an applicant.

So if we find a kid who has, say, produced some records and put together some concerts in his/her neighborhood and turned a profit doing it, might we realize that he/she is as worthy as a student who won a geography bee?

I know we already recognize virtuoso violinists who may not have the highest GPA's or SAT's, but what about the young blogger who writes epic poetry or fantastic short stories?

How about the son or daughter of immigrant shopkeepers who gets decent grades despite working in the store all night?

I want more diversity, but again, it has to be based on achievement. Where I think we would agree is that we all have to keep working on finding new areas of achievement and that takes real effort.

And that's the root of the matter. I think the admissions process at the Ivies is a lazy Hall of Fame. The admissions people set out an easy set of criteria and take true individuality and achievement out of it for all applicants. And is there a lazier way to evaluate a student than using the SAT; a test someone else writes and even grades for the colleges?

Pantone278 said...

I don't disagree with any of that although at the edges we might disagree on how things get implemented.

I know that I used fairly strong language in making my earlier points. It was intentional, but it was NOT intended to paint you as a racist. I do not believe you are even though we may not share the same politics.

Keep up the good work on CU football!

Anonymous said...

Good news for our #1 Fan. While we may not have any 6'4" wide receivers in the incoming class to "stretch the field," we do have some very talented smaller wide receivers who can do the same thing. For example, Trevor Bell is only 5'7," but he seems blazing fast, can high jump 6'6" and triple jump 47 feet. With that type of athleticism, you don't have to be 6'4" to be a star.
More good news for the #1 Lion Fan, is that we will be much bigger on defense as we have three strong defensive linemen going about 260- 270 including the player he named, Niko Padilla, and also Daren Napier who' 6'4 260 and defensive end JR Hurt who is 6'3" 270. And the final good news is that we do have a highly rated tight end in Nick Durham, who is 6'4" 228. Durham seems like a good bet to back up Hamilton Garner, our 6'5" 225 tight end, who made second team All-Ivy as a junior.

Anonymous said...

One of the nice things about the incoming class is that there so many very good prospects at the skills positions that the coaching staff will have the opportunity to move players around until they find the best combination.

Anonymous said...

Important to note that all three of our incoming linebackers go 230 or better. That's much bigger than in the past. Also, if the two incoming "defensive linemen" who are listed at 215-225 are shifted to linebacker, we will have even more size and depth than before.

oldlion said...

Lou Miller, probably our best DL in years, was about six feet and maybe 220.

Anonymous said...

Hamilton Garner made All-Ivy Second Team as a sophomore.

#1 Lion said...

Again, some people just don't get it??? Why must we always try to do more with less, as opposed to doing more with greater size and speed? All you people are doing is making excuses, or rationalizing our lack of size in recruiting.

You are the same people that said that we had the BEST O-LINE in the IVIES last year! You also said that the team was going to be, at least 7-3.

I get the fact that we are all fans, just be honest with yourselves. Yes, Mangurrian looks like he secured athletes, and that's great! His coaching technique alone will win at least 3extra games (I predict 6-4 next year by the way), but we need more size!

I don't care how many stars are on your RIVALS report card, a 6'3" lineman is small in this league. Again, my exception, based on the film that I watched is the Niko padillia kid. Please play him at FB!

Anonymous said...

Slivka is a tall receiver who caught a few balls as a freshman. I think he, DeNovo and Garner give us decent returning receivers. We need one of the fast freshman to contribute but the cupboard isn't bare.

Unknown said...

With 29 recruits this year, I don't see how Coach Mangurian will achieve his stated goal of 60-65 upperclassmen on the team. If future years yield the same numbers, then there would have to be a roughly 30% attrition rate, or about 10 players per recruiting class. This is much higher, by about 40% to 50% than Coach Wilson had. Assuming that the same number of recruits are brought in each year, then some will be told that they are no longer on the team. How will this help Columbia recruiting? Waiting patiently for a much improved team and won loss record, but recruiting and then cutting players seems that it would be hurtful to future recruiting. Am I off base here?

dabull said...

How can you call for Padilla at FB when you don't even know what offensive set we will predominantly use? If they use the I-formation is he agile enough to get his body on OLB's and safeties in space? We don't know. On the other hand perhaps he might be the kind of NG on D that can get us push up the middle and require some double-teaming that frees up backers or other linemmen to make tackles for losses. This would probably make him way more valuable to the team than a fullback that might be on the field for 8 or 10 snaps. I don't see the offensive set going to more power run this year when we still have Brackett who has been so good at read option and scrambling out of the pocket. At any rate I think it's a little crazy to start calling for recruited linemen to play other positions when we don't know anything about their true abilities. Let the coaches worry about that. I've said this before and I will repeat------any team relying on freshmen,especially on the interior is not gonna compete in the top half of this league. Let these guys come in and learn and mature through the weightroom and natural growth, then let the best kids compete for play.