The football team received a double-dose of bad news this past week with just over a month until the first game. A 17-person panel of Ivy League media representatives predicted Princeton to finish last in the conference after consecutive 1-9 seasons. The Tigers were picked to finish at the bottom of the conference last preseason as well.
In addition, running back and reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Chuck Dibilio officially announced that he would not return to school for the fall season after suffering a stroke in January.
Dibilio was one of the few bright spots on last year’s team, rushing for 1,068 yards and shattering freshman Ivy League records left and right. But his still-unexplained stroke, which required emergency surgery and nearly ended the young man’s life, will keep the star off the field for at least the fall season.
“While we would have loved to have him on the football field this season, I believe he is making the best decision for his future,” head coach Bob Surace ’90 told goprincetontigers.com. “I’m very hopeful we will see Chuck back on campus as a student in the spring.”
Dibilio’s hometown newspaper The Express-Times reported this morning that Dibilio will help coach his high school team for the fall and is “99 percent” positive he will play for Princeton in 2013.
Not all was bad for Princeton, though, as the defense received some promising news. Senior defensive lineman Caraun Reid was named a third-team FCS preseason All-America after a stellar junior season. Reid was a one-man wrecking crew up front last year, notching eight sacks and three blocked kicks on his way to first-team All-Ivy honors.
Overall, though, it has been a rough couple of years for the Tigers since Surace took over after the 2009 season for the fired Roger Hughes. Princeton finished 0-7 in the conference in Surace’s first year, as one double-overtime win over Lafayette was all that kept them from a winless season. Last year saw relatively little improvement, as Princeton tied with Columbia for last in the Ivy League with just one conference win, a 24-21 victory over the Lions.
Harvard received 13 first-place votes and is the favorite to win a second straight Ivy title.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/08/14/31062/