Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thin Pipeline

Clifton Dawson was the #1 impact FBS transer to the Ivies in the last 10 years

Big Green Alert's Bruce Wood goes through the names of the FBS transfers to the Ivies over the years. He only really lists QB's, but he gets the big names. 

The list includes some impressive names, like Bushnell Cup winner Gavin Hoffman QB from Penn, and Penn's QB, Doug Rader. 

And Harvard's RB Clifton Dawson, who came to Cambridge from Northwestern and had a full four-year run with Harvard, was the biggest FBS transfer of the past 10 years.  

But the list is generally too small in my book. 

Why so many academically eligible, (and there are a lot of them), players choose to ride the bench in the FBS when they have a chance to really stand out in the Ivies is beyond me.

Of course, Brett Nottingham is coming from academic powerhouse Stanford. But when you come from the athletic program at an FBS school, even if it is Stanford, Duke or Michigan, employers still look askance at your qualifications.

Ivy is Ivy. No easy tracks. And the world knows it.

So why don't more FBS players make the same move?

I'm going to blame poor publicity, at least mostly.

Outside of our readership zone, how many college football fans have heard of Clifton Dawson, Gavin Hoffman or Doug Rader?

Had Dawson made it with the Colts in the NFL a few years ago, maybe things would be different. But he didn't.

And had Nebraska-to-Yale transfer Patrick Witt turned out better than a disaster, more people would have talked about that move in a more positive way.

But the Witt transfer DID get a lot of notice in the general press. Based on that model, there's a good chance the local sports media in New York will pick up on the Nottingham story as it develops.


oldlion said...

How did Jeff Adams do with Cleveland? If he makes it next year that will be a plus for us.

Anonymous said...

This is just my personal opinion but Duke strikes me as a very, very overrated college while Stanford is a better school than most of the Ivies. My larger point is that a blanket statement regarding the attraction of the Ivies for FBS football players is too broad an assertion. I would leave Durham in a heartbeat but think long and hard before departing Palo Alto. And, from the perspective of employers, giving up a Stanford degree to go to a majority of the Ivy League is a downgrade for many occupations.

On this blog, we regularly compliment career second- and third-string players who stick it out for four years because they enjoy the camraderie, the experience and the game itself, even if they never see the field on Saturdays. Why not do the same if you're getting a Stanford degree -- for FREE?

That's why I view Nottingham's transfer as a bigger endorsement of Columbia than Witt's transfer to Yale. But of course we are fortunate that Nottingham's family is affluent enough to ignor the scholarship issue. Very few FBS players are in the same situation financially. The stars really aligned to bring this young man to Morningside Heights. It's a mistake to think that other FBS benchwarmers are or *should be* lining up to do the same. Let's keep some perspective on this, our excitement about Nottingham notwithstanding.

oldlion said...

Agree on Duke. Not sure I agree on Stanford. For a non Division 1 athlete admission to Stanford at least statistically is no mean feat. But I think the quality of the education is nowhere near as strenuous or as intensive as it is at most of the Ivies. Check out the USNWR rankings, which would put it in the middle of the pack among the Ivies. I still think of it as a party school for very smart people.