Football schedule changes could make both Harvard, Yale games away next year| Feb 22, 2018
Instead of facing one of the normal age-old rivals Harvard or Yale, the football team will play Brown in next year’s homecoming matchup and end the season playing regional rival Penn. The decision comes after modifications to the Ivy League football schedule announced in mid-December 2017. This conflicts with the traditional schedule for the Tigers. What many alumni have expressed concern about however, is that Princeton will play both the Bulldogs and the Crimson away.
The homecoming games were often the highlight of the football season for alumni and fans alike. However, the new schedules may give the Tigers an opportunity to grow new rivalries and add to the storied traditions of the Ivy League.
“I don’t think this will change the rivalry,” University Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux said. “The rivalry is still very much intact. A lot of thought went into it. It is a complicated schedule and we made sure to hit our principles. The Ivy League football rivalries are fantastic and we will make it great. We will make it a great Princeton experience.”
“Princeton, in terms of homecoming games, will play Harvard when Harvard is here and Brown when Brown is here,” Marcoux said. Although the decision was announced in mid-December, a schedule change has been an ongoing process with initial discussions beginning as early as 2012. Several reasons prompted the schedule change. For example, the new schedule eliminates the need for Dartmouth to travel to Princeton during its final exam period.
More importantly, the Ivy League wanted to promote regional rivalries to enhance the final game of competition.
“Now, the last game will not only have title implications, but it will also feature regional rivalries,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “How exciting is that?”
Currently, Harvard and Yale already finish the season together. Next year, The Game -- the famed matched between the Crimson and Bulldogs -- will be hosted in Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. “It just made sense to extend regional rivalries across the Ivy League,” Harris explained. The regional matchups to begin the 2018 season are as follows: Brown-Dartmouth, Columbia-Cornell, Penn-Princeton, and of course, Harvard-Yale.
The decisions were made by the Ivy League and were voted on by a committee of athletic directors. “Football scheduling is complicated,” said Harris. “We looked at several different options, getting input from various constituencies including football coaches, athletic directors, and people who understand the schedule.”
In addition, the schedule had to comply with numerous Ivy League rules including limits on the number of home and away games teams were allowed to play. “There are many nuances to the schedule and many of the changes were a result of trying to say loyal to Ivy League principles,” Marcoux added.
Several alumni contacted by the ‘Prince’ on the issue declined to comment.