Ivy League: A powerful balance of athletics and academics

Albert Connor

Oftentimes students sacrifice academics to play sports at smaller schools, less known for their education. Many students also sacrifice playing their sport in college, so they can have an education at a top academic university. The Ivy League is a top commitment conference for students due to the competitive sports and the impressive academics.

Saint Ignatius Senior football star John Kemp signed his letter of intent to play football at Yale. “I wanted to play football at the division I level. Luckily I had good enough grades that Yale got in touch with me”. 

Kemp maintained a near 4.0 gpa across his four years at ignatius and was named All Conference in the Chicago catholic league for football. He continued, “It was definitely my best option for academics and sports, so I knew I for sure wanted to go there.” 

The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference in the Northeast that is known for having eight of the most academically competitive schools in the country. The Ivy League consists of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. Most of the sports at each of these schools compete at the Division I level, though the Ivy League conference is in the FCS for football, the lower level of Division I Conferences. Undergraduate enrollments range from 4,500 to about 15,000, larger than most liberal arts colleges and smaller than more state universities. 

The Ivy League draws a lot of attention from possible recruits because of their academics. Through sports it is easier to be accepted into an Ivy League school. According to Andrew Belasco, CEO of College Transitions, a consulting firm that helps students identify good-fit schools, ”It is much easier with athletics. However, no amount of gridiron glory is going to get a kid with a 2.7 gpa into Princeton. You’ve got to be ‘in the ballpark’ academically” Partially because of this, Ivy League athletics popularity has increased, even though these schools have primarily been known for their academics.