Thursday, February 26, 2015

Open Enrollment Period

You know how at work you get a few months to change your health insurance, benefits, etc?

Al Bagnoli’s arrival at Columbia should serve as a broad “open enrollment” of sorts for former players still on campus who quit the team, recruits who were on the fence about Columbia but chose another school, and potential transfers who were recruited recently by Bagnoli and Penn and aren’t happy at the non-Ivy schools where they ended up.

Of course the same is true for potential assistant coaches, but I assume that window is closing very fast if it hasn’t already.

When players leave a team in the Ivies, whether voluntarily or not, there’s always a chance they won’t come back no matter how good they were on the field. Since the primary goal for every Ivy player is academic success, it’s often easy to just focus on your studies and not bother returning to the added burden of athletics.

But I have reason to believe that Columbia will enjoy the return of several strong players to help ease Bagnoli’s attempt to make Columbia relevant again.

At Tuesday’s news conference I saw DL Charles Melka looking ready to return to play. I have good reason to believe fellow DL Chad Washington may also be back in the fall along with LB Mark Cieslak. WR Isaiah Gross, who spent time in and out of Pete Mangurian’s dog house, may be returning as well.

I’m a believer that all the above-mentioned players would really upgrade the talent level of the 2015 Lions, particularly on defense where Washinton and Melka’s presence along with the returning star Niko Padilla could suddenly make our front line more than just relevant.

Obviously I can’t know or even comment much on potential transfers and recruits who could change their minds.

But let the word go forth: Columbia Football is now under new and excellent management!

Play Ball!

Columbia baseball begins its regular season tomorrow at the University of Houston. The Ivy champs are looking for a three-peat this year and the Columbia Spectator has a great preview of the season out today. 

Soccer Deal

The USL, which acts as a minor league to the MLS, has announced that the New York Red Bulls II team will play at the Rocco Commisso Soccer Stadium at the Baker Athletics Complex beginning this summer. 

I’m not sure how many of those games will be at night, but if they catch on in any way without any neighborhood protest they could act as solid proof that Lions football can host one or two night home games per season without destroying the epic beauty and silence of the Inwood neighborhood.

We’ll keep our eyes open for that. 


Columbia_Fan said...

Seems like anyone that wants to come back to the team should be given the opportunity to commit now before the start of spring practice, due to the extenuating circumstances of a new staff.

OLion said...

Its happened before. My last year was under Tellier and Shoop let other kids back on the team.

oldlion said...

What about Chad Nottingham? He still has one year of eligibility.

alswingman said...

Returning Washington, Cieslak and Gross would be outstanding. The program really felt their absence last season.

Columbia_Fan said...

An important first gesture for the new coach, would be to offer amnesty to the fallen troops.

msgCC'60 said...

Is Brett Nottingham still enrolled or has he left CC?

Curtis Chen said...

I know there is a temptation to have high expectations but what some are asking is whether we are setting our hopes too response to that would be no, I don't think so.

I am sure that most people on this blog have worked at or near the top of their organisations and have seen the difference a confident and proven leader can be relative to a climber wanna be. "A" players attract "A" players, B players attract C players. Bagnoli is an A player. Coupled with the resources to fund it, this makes a powerful combination when looking to change a place. The fact that this organisation is only a hundred or so makes the impact of leadership even more acute than say a new CEO in charge of 40,000.

So I share the body of confidence expressed by most of the posters here. And I have made my contribution to back that confidence

Big Dawg said...

Let's get back to the idyllic and pastoral atmosphere of Inwood.

Where do those entitled and arrogant wanna-be's living in one of the least costly areas of Manhattan get off complaining about a facility that pre-dates most of their lives, not to mention residence in Inwood. We have donated pieces of Baker Field, granted access and wildlife refuges, and handed out countless free tix to games to the neighborhood.

PS, people, this is MANHATTAN????
What's your issue with some evening action one or three times a year?

Tod Hawks said...

According to the search button on the main Columbia University website, Brett Nottingham is still a student at Columbia College.

Tod Howard Hawks CC 66

alswingman said...

oldlion that would be great if we had Chad Nottingham - a hybrid Chad Washington and Brett Nottingham. An insane pass rush and the long ball in one guy.

Columbia_Fan said...

Nottingham is/was a pocket passer. Bagnoli and new staff may turn out to be the best we've ever had, but they will not be able to provide a pocket passer adequate protection, this early in their endeavors.
Teaching the OL to open holes for the running backs and protecting a run and throw QB will be tough enough for any staff.

oldlion said...

Freudian slip I suppose.

Jake said...

It appears Todd got confused last night so let me clarify: I have been screening all comments before they post here for more than 2 years. So if you post at night there's a chance it won't appear here until 520am when I wake up. I still work for a living.

#1 Lion said...

Todd H. grow up! Boo ho, Jake wouldn't post my comment. Seriously? Grow a (proverbial) pair...

Welcome back CC from HK!

Curtis Chen said...

Thanks #1 Lion !!