Harvard NCAA Tournament Win Proves Ivy League Sports Are No Joke


We are entering the second weekend of March Madness, and once again the NCAA will use the tournament to build up how great they are for student athletes.

The NCAA last year released the graduation success rate numbers (GSR) of student athletes highlighting how basketball and football rates were at all-time highs. The Ivy League sits at the top when it comes to graduation rates for student athletes while still being competitive in the field of play making them the best home for student athletes.

For student athletes entering college in 2005, the Ivy League has a graduation rate of 97.9%. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) had a rate of 87%. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) had an average rate of 67% while the Big Ten had a GSR of 82%. When comparing these traditional athletic power conferences it is not hard to see how student athletes fare better in the Ivy League academically.

The misnomer about the Ivy League is that they do not have real athletes. They are not handing out athletic scholarships therefore they cannot attract the top athletes that enable to them to stay competitive. Well the data says otherwise. When looking at the schools with the most team titles in men’s sports all time there sits Yale at number 13 with 25. In all sports since 1957, the Ivy League has won 43 team titles and 185 individual titles.

Even with Harvard winning their first NCAA tournament basketball game in school history last weekend, do not take that as a sign that the Ivy League is not competitive. The academic success of their member schools is not a surprise, but the amount of championships won since 1957 probably is for most people. No matter how you feel about student athletes and how they are treated by the NCAA, one thing is clear. With the Ivy League sitting at the top of the graduation success rate list and winning on the field, they are the ideal home for student athletes. Now, getting accepted may be a whole different ballgame.